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Elvis Presley Boulevard: From Sea to Shining Sea, Almost
     

Elvis Presley Boulevard: From Sea to Shining Sea, Almost

by Mark Winegardner
 

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Elvis Presley Boulevard chronicles the trip we’ve all taken—or wanted to take—into the country that confounds its admirers and delights even its critics. Mark Winegardner, a young Ohioan, spent the formative summers of his wonder years touring the States with his family in a succession of recreational vehicles. Much later, only months before his

Overview

Elvis Presley Boulevard chronicles the trip we’ve all taken—or wanted to take—into the country that confounds its admirers and delights even its critics. Mark Winegardner, a young Ohioan, spent the formative summers of his wonder years touring the States with his family in a succession of recreational vehicles. Much later, only months before his wedding, he undertakes another transcontinental odyssey, this time without benefit of license­-plate games with his sister or parental warnings to get his feet out of the car window.

He arms himself with only the bare essentials: a Styrofoam cooler; a Hawaiian shirt; enough cash for gas, blue plate specials, and the occasional knickknack; a buddy; and the buddy’s ailing ‘68 Chevy Impala. Determined to extract full value from every scenic overlook, these two set out to discover America. They visit Xanadu, Foam House of Tomorrow, in Gatlinburg, Tennessee; the Woody the Woodpecker Museum in Los Angeles; and Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, the only community named after a game show. They play the Easter Island Hole at Magic Carpet Golf in Tucson. They marvel at the fourteen peacocks strolling Graceland’s lawn and at the vastness of the prairie states, “where no one speaks French or pays to park.” They collect 3-D glasses. They eat Devil Dogs. They take the amazing Miracle Photo. They discover themselves. Most amazing of a11, they discover an unbroken chain of Elvis tapestries, Elvis ashtrays, Elvis T-shirt wearers, and Elvis imitators that unites this land as surely as Route 66 divides it.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Winegardner offers a travel book that celebrates the ``macrocosm'' of America, the ``common road'' of the turnpike. After summers of family travel in various RVs (his parents ran a dealership), he develops an ``eminently American wanderlust . . . a love of crossing state lines'' that leads him to take a two-month, $500 trip with an old college friend. This time he travels in a '68 Chevy Impala dubbed El Basurero (Spanish for either garbage heap or garbage man). They discover that no matter where they go in the U.S., they encounter Elvis Presley in some form: ``Give us this day our daily Elvis.'' The trip and Winegardner's childhood recollections, told with nostalgia and a good dose of cynicism, make for a great story. (January)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802194329
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
02/27/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
File size:
775 KB

Meet the Author

Mark Winegardner was already an acclaimed novelist in his own right (The Veracruz Blues, Crooked River Burning) before he was selected as part of an exhaustive search conducted by the great Mario Puzo's publisher to carry the formidable literary torch that is the Godfather saga.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Tallahassee, Florida
Date of Birth:
November 24, 1961
Place of Birth:
Bryan, Ohio
Education:
B.A., Miami University, 1983; M.F.A., George Mason University, 1987
Website:
http://www.markwinegardner.com

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