An unapologetic look at Elvis for the second half of his life, written seemingly without an agenda. You see the weaknesses and the strengths of the man; Guralnick doesn't paint a rosy picture, but he doesn't go out of his way to kick Elvis when he's down. Probably the most balanced version of Elvis's life story that I've read. The end will always be so tragically sad, no matter who the author is, and that's why the book gets 4 stars instead of 5. Guralnick ended the book with respect and with a tribute to Elvis's spirit and his music, and with a great quote from a 1962 interview:
Well, I've tried to be the same all through this thing, you know, he declared early on. Naturally, you learn a lot about people, and you get involved in a lot of different situations, but I've tried to be the same. I mean, the way I was brought up, I've always considered other people's feelings; I've never - in other words, I didn't kick anybody on my way. I don't just sign the autographs and the pictures and so forth to help my popularity or make them like me. I do it because I know that they're sincere, and they see you and they want an autograph to take home, and they've got an autograph book, or they've got their little camera. They don't know the kind of life you lead, they don't know what kind of person you are. And so - I try to remember that. That's all. It's simple. It's just the way I was brought up [by] my mother and father to believe and have respect for other people. We were always considerate of other people's feelings.