BN.com Gift Guide

Black Elvis

Overview


In this funny, touching collection about music, identity, liars, and love, Geoffrey Becker brings us into the lives of people who have come to a turning point and lets us watch as they take, however clumsily, their next steps.

In the title story, an aging black singer who performs only Elvis songs despite his classic bluesman looks has his regular spot at the local blues jam threatened by a newly arrived Asian American with the unlikely name Robert Johnson. In “Man Under,” two ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (5) from $12.88   
  • New (3) from $12.88   
  • Used (2) from $13.08   
Black Elvis

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price
(Save 42%)$18.95 List Price

Overview


In this funny, touching collection about music, identity, liars, and love, Geoffrey Becker brings us into the lives of people who have come to a turning point and lets us watch as they take, however clumsily, their next steps.

In the title story, an aging black singer who performs only Elvis songs despite his classic bluesman looks has his regular spot at the local blues jam threatened by a newly arrived Asian American with the unlikely name Robert Johnson. In “Man Under,” two friends struggling to be rock musicians in Reagan-era Brooklyn find that their front door has been removed by their landlord. An aspiring writer discovers the afterlife consists of being the stand-in for a famous author on an endless book tour in “Another Coyote Story.” Lonely and adrift in Florence, Italy, a young man poses as a tour guide with an art history degree in “Know Your Saints.” And in “This Is Not a Bar,” a simple night on the town for a middle-aged guitar student and jazz buff turns into a confrontation with his past and an exploration of what is or is not real.

In his depictions of struggling performers, artists, expectant parents, travelers, con-men, temporarily employed academics, and even the recently deceased, Becker asks the question, Which are more important: the stories we tell other people or the ones we tell ourselves?

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Black Elvis addresses the most potent of the bittersweet mysteries, herein writ right, that animate our condemned kind: family, loyalty, love, religion, memory and love. If there were a short story Hall of Fame, Geoffrey Becker would be installed in its rotunda—on the Jumbotron, in fact, keyboard held aloft in much-deserved triumph."--Lee K. Abbott, author of All Things, All at Once: New and Selected Stories

"These are wonderful stories, both humorous and deadly serious, and sometimes with a touch of magic as well. If you think you don't know these characters—in all their variations—you surely will before you are halfway through a page."--Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge

"Many of the characters in this collection are journeyman musicians—has-beens and never-weres—but make no mistake, Geoffrey Becker is no journeyman himself. He is an artist of the highest order. Without flourish or pretension, Becker delivers these sparkling stories with conviction, verve, and perfect pitch."--Don Lee, author of Wrack and Ruin

Publishers Weekly
In twelve tightly-coiled stories, Becker (Dangerous Men, Bluestown) mines the thwarted dreams, failed relationships, and wayward lives of chronically luckless characters. The award-winning title story is a good introduction to Becker's work, featuring his recurring muse: the down-and-out musician, in this case an African-American Elvis impersonator upstaged by a Chinese Robert Johnson. "Another Coyote Story" is narrated by a Native-American writer living in Sherman Alexie's literary shadow. In "Jimi Hendrix, Blue Grass Star," a street musician fakes a brain tumor in an effort to woo a beautiful but cold violinist. In "Santorini," middle-aged and recently-dumped Laura makes a play for her best friend's much, much younger son. The cumulative effect of these stories is disheartening; protagonists always end up worse off than they were at the story's start. The rewards Becker offers readers take the form of wry humor and the occasional lapse into grace, alongside the more immediate pleasures of "cigarette and pork grease smell, of cold beers and loud music."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author


Geoffrey Becker is the author of one previous collection, Dangerous Men, and the novel Bluestown. E. L. Doctorow selected “Black Elvis” for The Best American Short Stories 2000. Becker is an associate professor of English at Towson University.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments
Black Elvis
Know Your Saints
Cowboy Honeymoon
This Is Not a Bar
Iowa Winter
Imaginary Tucson
Man Under
Another Coyote Story
Jimi Hendrix, Bluegrass Star
Santorini
The Naked Man
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)