Just why was Elvis all shook up? According to clinical psychologist Peter Whitmer, Ph.D., the King suffered as a "twinless twin," and was forever tormented by the death of his infant twin brother, Jesse Garon Presley. Some of the conclusions in this hefty psychological analysis of Elvis may raise eyebrows, as will some of the odd nuggets of information Dr. Whitmer offers, but even readers who take this book with a healthy dose of skepticism will have to admit that it's an interesting and offbeat look at a life that, 20 years after it ended, remains a perennial object of fascination.
From Publishers Weekly
The central argument of this dicey Elvis bio (which, at least in the galley, misspells Presley's middle name throughout) is that the defining moment in the King's 42 years was the death at birth of his twin brother, Jesse. That psychological wound, contends clinical psychologist Whitmer (When the Going Gets Weird, about Hunter S. Thompson), shaped Elvis's life. Perhaps; but what is certain is that this book has personality problems of its own. While Whitmer hews doggedly to his central thesis, he is, ironically, at his best when the text reads as a straightforward life and times, offering detailed accounts of such subjects as rural Southern culture, Elvis's film career and his lurid decline. When the book returns explicitly to its main theme, however, it seems too insistent, even grasping; an argument about Elvis's androgynous appeal is backed up by no less an authority than Phyllis Diller. Ultimately, readers' responses to this book may depend on whether they believe that this author, or anyone for that matter, can accurately diagnose the psychopathology of someone he's never met, and whether they find illuminating or foolhardy such statements as: "To fully understand the emotional turmoil Elvis would suffer throughout his forty-two years, it is necessary to begin in utero...." While more nuanced and compassionate than Albert Goldman's hatchet job, this bio hasn't usurped Peter Guralnick's more rounded and better-written Last Train to Memphis as the definitive portrait of an American icon. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.