Orson is a young boy whose mother works at a U.S. Army base in Germany in the 1950s. There, he becomes a fan of a G.I. stationed at the base, one Elvis Presley, whose music is played over and over on the radio. When Orson is caught stealing recordings of Elvis's tunes
This is a novel about friendship, a novel that spans the decades that changed America forever.
Orson is a young boy whose mother works at a U.S. Army base in Germany in the 1950s. There, he becomes a fan of a G.I. stationed at the base, one Elvis Presley, whose music is played over and over on the radio. When Orson is caught stealing recordings of Elvis's tunes from the PX, the attendant publicity catches the star's attention, and he comes to visit his young fan. Thus begins a lifelong friendship. As Elvis's career rockets ever higher and his behavior becomes ever more erratic, the two share many adventures. The sixties explode, and Elvis becomes the icon of the nation, while Orson, a college demonstrator, drifts away from regular life while looking for something of substance to believe in. Each man is an emblem of his time, as social conventions crumble, barriers fall, and the cultural landscape changes forever.
A panorama of change and dissent, of the ability of friends to stay true despite distance and time, Elvis in the Morning portrays a nation in change and the effects of celebrity on innocence. 5-5/16 X 8.
"This is a low-key pleasure of a read, a nostalgic take that eschews mush and a heartfelt tribute to the tragic figure who touched so many lives."--Publishers Weekly (boxed)
"(A) quirky look at the life of Elvis and at an American era."--The New York Daily News
"There are rich veins to mine just below the surface of this fairy tale. The author merges fictional characters with historical figures and events reminiscent of E.L. Doctorow's Ragtime."--The Tennessean
"It's gripping, stylish, funny, and moving. Who knows? Rolling Stone might even have to acknowledge its excellence."--The Oxford American
"(A) canny fourteenth novel, which sparkles with the borrowed allure of charismatic, real-life figures."--Book
PRAISE FOR SPYTIME
"The ultimate in spy novels--with real characters and studied speculation on certain events by Buckley, who met many of the key players-this is a tense, heroic tale of a real Cold War legend."--The New York Daily News
"Spytime is a quiet-time read for those who like their espionage erudite and their intelligence intelligent."--USA Today
William F. Buckley Jr. is the founder of the National Review and was the host of what was television's longest-running program, Firing Line. The author of thirteen other novels, many of them bestsellers, he lives in Connecticut.
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What is it about the King that fills a niche for Mr. Buckley? After all, Elvis had no interest in politics. The novel opens in West Germany. Fictitious schoolboy Orson Killere, the protagonist, lives there with his widowed American mother, who works at a U.S. Army base. When Orson watches Elvis make his television debut in 1956, Orson becomes captivated. The lesson Elvis imparts unto Orson is: do what you believe is right and ignore the establishment naysayers. Orson is also strongly influenced by his teacher, who is a socialist. Then, in 1959, when fourteen year old Orson decides that Elvis¿ music is common property like the air and the water, he breaks into the Army base¿s PX and steals the Elvis acetates. Orson gets caught and a judge sentences him to a month without Elvis¿ music. When G.I. Elvis learns about the incident, he decides to meet his young fan. Orson subsequently introduces Elvis to his Elvis Presley Fan Club co-president, Priscilla Beaulieu. It is then that a lifelong friendship between Orson, Elvis, and Priscilla develops. The story chronicles the true milestones in Elvis¿ life through Orson¿s eyes. In 1959, Orson and Elvis return to the United States, where they pursue the next phase of their respective lives; Elvis¿ career in the movies and Orson¿s education at the University of Michigan. However, the friends remain in touch. Orson¿s anti-capitalist predilections resurface at U of M, where he organizes a student protest that leads to his expulsion. Consequently, Orson becomes a drifter. After a series of unfortunate events, Orson meets the powers that be of an emerging computer giant company, who offer him gainful employment and tuition to attend university. Orson ultimately gets caught up in the drug culture of the 60¿s. He successfully goes through rehabilitation and tries to save Elvis from his substance abuse. While Orson¿s character was vivid, the depth of the real characters fell short. The book would have been more credible if the virtues and foibles of these people had been captured. For the average reader who is not knowledgeable about the Greek-tragedy like life of Elvis and its ramifications, the book lacks emotion and power. However, what I particularly love is the political spin. As an ardent fan of Elvis, I have always vocalized that it was he who single-handedly refaced the landscape of pop culture, and did so in the most ingenuous way. It was his very innocence, talent and charisma that empowered him to mainstream Rock and Roll, largely an African American invention, into postwar, pronuclear, prejudiced America. Elvis made it acceptable for one to be a non-conformist, different and unconventional. This revolution ultimately led to the breakdown of socioeconomic and racial barriers such as: the challenging of authority, war protests, desegregation, women¿s liberation, etc. Therefore, Elvis was not just an entertainer and was indeed much more of a political influence than we realize. Hence, Mr. Buckley could not have been more politically correct than to have written Elvis in the Morning.