From Library Journal
Sammon (who edited Splatterpunks: Extreme Horror, St. Martin's, 1991) adds to 1994's swollen Presley publication list (e.g., Good Rockin' Tonight, LJ 11/15/94; The Ultimate Elvis, LJ 4/15/94; Reel Elvis!, Taylor, 1994) with this collection of 32 fiction and nonfiction pieces by both well-and lesser-known authors. All the stories had to meet two criteria: "Each entry must include Elvis Presley in some way, shape, or form, and Elvis must be dead." Insights provided by Roger Ebert, Joyce Carol Oates, Clive Barker, Lou Reed, and the sagacious Greil Marcus are sometimes interesting, but the real fun lies in the wickedly twisted short stories from the crime and horror fiction crowd. Among the best are Joe R. Lansdale's "Bubba Ho-Tep," complete with Egyptian hieroglyphics, and Nancy Holder's cannibalistic "Love Me Tenderized or You Ain't Nothin' But A Hot Dog." While not everyone's bowl of chili, this three-alarm anthology will offer some ironic entertainment for Elvis fans and detractors alike.Barry X. Miller, Austin P.L., Tex.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
A tribute to Dead Elvis that ranges from campy and fun to morbid and strange, from inventive and clever to weird and just plain dumb. Sammon (editor of Splatterpunks, 1990, etc.) collects stories and essays with two simple guidelines in mind: Elvis must appear in some way, shape, or form, and Elvis must be dead. This means that serious critiques like Lou Reed's sadly sentimental ``Damaged Goods,'' which questions Elvis's sense of self, and Greil Marcus's somewhat underdeveloped assertion that ``Elvis was less a recognizable symbol [like Madonna or Sinead O'Connor], than a symbol of recognizability'' in ``Someone You Never Forget'' are interspersed with a wide range of fiction. Some stories, like Victor Koman's ``The Eagle Cape,'' in which he saves a young girl from her abusive father, feature Elvis as a powerful centerpiece. Others turn him into a meaningless walk-on. In Del James's ``Backstage,'' a heroin-abusing member of a famous rock band checks out in the middle of a lovemaking session with a groupie and everyone from Morrison and Hendrix to The King step in to finish what he started. Too often we're left imagining Sammon saying, ``Just stick him in there somewhere and I'll put you in the book.'' Among the better entries is Harlan Ellison's ``The Pale Silver Dollar of the Moon Pays Its Way and Makes Change,'' the somber story of Jessie Garon, Elvis's twin brother, who, in this story, didn't die at birth and is responsible for the many Elvis sightings. Among the worst is Joe R. Lansdales's ``(Bubba Ho-Tep),'' which spends too much time on The King's hard-ons. Though old curly lip remains an enticing phenomenon, too much bad writing leaves the reader all shook up and itchin like a man on a fuzzy tree. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.