From Publishers Weekly
In his fair-to-middling sophomore effort, Nathan (Gods of Aberdeen) resurrects Elvis Presley--or a bloated old man named John Barrow who wants to be the king--and follows him from his suburban Buffalo, N.Y., hideout to Memphis, Tenn., where he hopes to find and liberate his estranged, illegitimate granddaughter, Nadine Emma Brown, recently reported as missing. Though the quick narrative slips into "the old man's" point of view at irregular intervals, most of the narrative is channeled through the perceptions of Ben Fish, the 21-year-old anthropology major Elvis hires to drive him cross-country. Ben is reeling from the death of his father and the loss of his "hot" girlfriend, and goes along for the promised ,000, which will fund his dream of moving to Amsterdam. The duo's adventures--brawling with the biker gang Hell's Foster Children, competing in Elvis impersonator contests, visiting hillbilly oracles--are entertaining, but it's the old man's battle with his ailing body, pain pill addiction, and legacy that will leave readers wishing for more from a novel that travels too much through the light terrain of Ben's insubstantial struggles with growing up. (Jan.) (c)
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Ben Fish has recently graduated with a degree in anthropology, undying love for his high-school-aged ex-girlfriend Jess, who broke up with him six months ago, and no plans for how to spend his summer. To avoid another season working a dead-end job at the local mall, he responds to a newspaper ad from one John Barrow, who is looking for a driver on short notice. John hires Ben to drive him to Memphis, 900 miles away, in search of his granddaughter Nadine. Their trip quickly turns into a capriciously epic journey as John, who claims to be, and for all purposes seems to actually be, Elvis Presley, takes them on detours to fight with biker gangs, visit an oracle, and save a hooker named Ginger from her one-eyed pimp. Nathan presents the reader with several fantastic characters in this rollicking, adventurous tale. Readers will pore through this fast-paced, adrenaline-filled novel and eat up the fantastic dialogue that brings Elvis back to life in a new, deliciously lascivious way. --Julie Hunt