Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley (2 Cassettes)

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Last Train to Memphis, the first part of Guralnick's two-volume biography of Elvis Presley, was called a masterpiece by the New York Times. This concluding volume recounts the second half of Elvis's life in rich and previously untold detail.

Beginning with Presley's army service in Germany in 1958 and ending with his death in Memphis in 1977, Careless Love chronicles the unraveling of the dream that once shone so brightly, homing in on the ...

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Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley

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Overview

Last Train to Memphis, the first part of Guralnick's two-volume biography of Elvis Presley, was called a masterpiece by the New York Times. This concluding volume recounts the second half of Elvis's life in rich and previously untold detail.

Beginning with Presley's army service in Germany in 1958 and ending with his death in Memphis in 1977, Careless Love chronicles the unraveling of the dream that once shone so brightly, homing in on the complex relationship between Elvis and his Machiavellian manager, Colonel Tom Parker. It's a breathtaking drama of the American dream, encompassing race, class, wealth, sex, music, religion, and personal transformation. Written with grace, sensitivity, and passion, Careless Love is a fascinating look into one of the most misunderstood people of our time, and into the very nature of success.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Acclaimed by the critics, Guralnick's Last Train to Memphis (Audio Reviews, LJ 6/15/95) chronicled Elvis's early life, his music, and his phenomenal rise to fame. This second volume covers the period from his army service in 1958 to his death in 1977, describing his slow artistic and physical decline, accompanied by ever-increasing prescription drug use. Guralnick manages to avoid the sensationalism so prevalent in earlier biographies as he writes of nearly a decade of "B" movies, the endless tours playing at increasingly more remote cities, and the pathetic spectacle of an overweight Elvis performing outdated music in a skintight white jumpsuit. He even treats Elvis's bathroom death scene with dignity and critical distance, telling the sad facts of the prescription drug overdose with a reporter's thoroughness. This book will appeal to all who want a factual yet sympathetic account of the last years of Elvis's life. J. Charles reads clearly, sounding believable as Elvis and those around him. The tape quality is excellent. Highly recommended for all public libraries.--Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo
Kirkus Reviews
Guralnick concludes his majestic two-volume biography of Elvis Presley with copious evidence of Elvis' creative and personal plunge. Last Train to Memphis (1994) brilliantly illuminated the mystery of Elvis' genius, what it consisted of and where it came from. The unanswered mystery here is how someone who reshaped American culture between 1954 and 1958 could have so completely insulated himself from that culture for most of the rest of his life. After Elvis came out of the army in 1960, he increasingly became a clock-puncher. The times left him behind as he gamely acted in inanely trashy movies and sang inanely trashy songs in order to fulfill contractual commitments. Guralnick meticulously documents manager Colonel Tom Parker's cutthroat dealings with RCA Records and the movie studios, which resulted in staggering paychecks for both Presley and Parker (by the mid-'70s, Parker was splitting his sole client's earnings 50/50). While his celebrated 1968 TV special rejuvenated Elvis professionally, the overstuffed-jumpsuit years that followed had few aesthetic or personal high points. Hangers-on tirelessly served the King's whims, including multiple simultaneous affairs and the incredibly debilitating pharmaceutical habits that eventually did him in. Unconditionally loved by his audiences no matter how bloated, doped up, and incompetent he became, Elvis indulged obsessions with guns and karate and even took a stoned trip to the Oval Office, where he persuaded a bemused President Nixon to make him a federal narcotics agent. As his sometime spiritual advisor and hairdresser Larry Geller puts it, "The outside world was a distant place he ventured out into but never really lived in."Careless Love is about claustrophobia, insularity, and disintegration: exactly the opposite of the previous volume's subjects. We miss the cultural context of the 1960s and '70s, but then, so did Elvis. The diffuseness of this life is reflected in Guralnick's narrative. Nevertheless, this sequel to his exhilarating first volume is the most meticulously researched and sympathetic, honest portrait of Elvis we are likely to see.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781567408089
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 1/1/1999
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Abridged
  • Product dimensions: 4.11 (w) x 7.06 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 20 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 20, 2010

    The most comprehensive & factural story of Elvis' life from his induction into the Army to his death.

    I've read dozens of Elvis books, but this one stands out for the extensive research and content about his career transactions, life with his buddies, Priscilla, personality change and his tragic death. This book has no agenda other than to present Elvis' life as factually as possible.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    weelll... i haven't read it yet!!

    i've read the little part that they let you read and i love it!!ELvis was surely before my time! he died like 20 years before i was born ,but he is still my favorite singer i've been in love with his music for as long as i can remember and ever since everyone has known me i loved him. i listen to his music all the time and i've watched the 68 comeback special to many times to count!and i've read any books about him and i cant wait to read this one and i'm sure i'll finish it in a heartbeat like any other book i've read!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Sad reading about the demise of a legend

    Guralnick is an adept writer and after having read "Last Train to Memphis" I could not wait to tackle the latter part of Elvis' life. While Elvis was before my time, this book makes for a fascinating read. Spend some time learning about the incredible influence Elvis had on our culture and then cry a bit as you learn the destructiveness of excess (drugs, women, etc).

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2000

    A depressing tale

    This second volume of the Elvis bio is a sad story of his descent into drugs, womanizing, conspicuous consumption, and poor professional decisions. Interestingly, there are no real villains. Even Col. Parker comes across as a sincere and successful promoter - despite poor artistic tastes. But there are no real good guys either. Guralnick's view is that Presley continued to hold high musical standards but was too insecure to overcome other commercial and personal forces. I have one major stylistic complaint that applies to this and the author's first Elvis book. Guralnick has an annoying habit of introducing people briefly and then mentioning them several paragraphs or chapters later only by their first names. He'll also introduce a person or event, then after a long unrelated tangent, refer again to the person or event as 'he' or 'it'. I often had to reread many pages to remember who he was talking about. Very frustrating!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2012

    DO NOT ORDER-Takes 11 months to get...maybe

    I ordered this for my nook in January 2012 as a preorder. I was supposed to get it in February, then March, then April...now it is November of 2012.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2005

    A STORY WELL TOLD

    I read Last Train and couldn't wait to start Careless Love. From the first page until the last, I could not put this book down. I felt that I lived every day with him. He really was The King and rightly so. His legacy will always live on good, bad or indifferent and I wish he was alive today. Thanks Peter for 2 wonderful books and for doing them right!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2003

    I couldn't put it down!!

    This book included alot of detail and interesting facts about Elvis. It includes interviews and quotes from many of Elvis' friends, family and musicians. I could not put this book down, I just wanted to keep reading to find out as much as I could about who Elvis Presley was.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2014

    Read

    If i could all i would do all day is do things that have to do with elvis only i am hiis number one fan and if you say anything bad about him you will deal with me also do not spell his name wrong or i will correct you!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2014

    The King

    Just when you thought you read or heard it all this wonderful book goes to another level . Some many different storys from many different people. 900 pages and I'm thinking all the same old stuff not even close. Read and enjoy.

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