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Losing Graceland: A Novel
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Losing Graceland: A Novel

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  88 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
An irreverent tale about a recent college grad, a mysterious old man who may be Elvis, and a perilous road trip that could lead to the old man’s final comeback.

When Ben Fish responds to an ad that reads “Driver Needed Seven Days Excellent Pay No Druggies, Drunks, or Felons,” it’s because of the money ($10,000) but also to get away from his dead-end life. He has just gradua
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 4th 2011 by Broadway Books (first published December 16th 2010)
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Road Trip
182nd out of 315 books — 199 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 261)
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Simon M
Jan 11, 2011 Simon M rated it really liked it
"Pretending Elvis was alive was a hell of a lot harder than pretending he's dead."

In Nathan's second novel, he's written a shorter, more spare story, yet it still carries the emotional wallop of his first (and, in some ways, surpasses it). The plot is straightforward: A young man (Ben Fish) takes a job as a driver for an old man (John Barrow) who may or may not be Elvis Presley. They're heading to Graceland in search of the old man's missing granddaughter. So it's a road trip novel, and a coming
Jan 05, 2011 Victor rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeanie Golebwieski
Dec 27, 2010 Jeanie Golebwieski rated it really liked it
Note: This review is based on an ARC.

Not at all what I expected. It was sort of road-trippy (emphasis on trippy), sort of coming-of-age, with some terrific dialog and just enough bizarre twists to keep me guessing. The old man who claims to be Elvis in this story gets much of the attention, but his young companion--Ben Fish, just out of college--provides the emotional drive. Ben's been dumped, he doesn't know what he wants to do next, and so he finds himself on a journey with the King (at least,
Mar 26, 2011 Christy rated it it was amazing
I won this books from the goodreads giveaways. I thought the summary sounded interesting: the concept of Elvis still being alive and living among us on a heroes journey to save his granddaughter who was kidnapped. So as soon as I got it from Mr. Nathan, I got started reading, and it surely did not disappoint.

Elvis puts out an ad in the paper for a driver to take him to find his kidnapped granddaughter with a pay of $10,000. Of course Ben Fish accepts, but is wary of his decision. On their way th
Jan 05, 2011 Ariel rated it it was ok
While this book never quite gelled into fist-pumping "YES, I LOVE IT!" territory for me, it was an enjoyable read. Despite the light, wacky premise (aimless college graduate takes a job driving an old guy who may or may not be Elvis from Buffalo to Memphis) it's clear from the writing that the author has spent a lot of time doing capital-L capital-W Literary Writing. This was both a treat (the descriptions of the old man's body popping and creaking are impeccable) and a drag at times, as I felt ...more
Mar 05, 2011 Jesse rated it really liked it
This book is a great read. Very nice flow and tempo. The characters are very well developed with plenty of strengths, weaknesses and personality. A wonderful book to keep with you to get in a chapter or two. I would recommend this as a weekend/beach book cause its an engaging book that becomes a quick read.
Within the pages is a little bit of everything that is classic America with road trips, first loves, biker gangs, union strikes, and Elvis impersonators.
It all starts out when a young college
Aug 20, 2012 Angela rated it liked it
I liked it but the ending was very disappointing for me. I mean what happen to (view spoiler) ...more
Rainbow Fluffnstuff
Feb 12, 2014 Rainbow Fluffnstuff rated it it was amazing
LOVED IT. It's a quick and light read. Not so light to make it fluffy. It's very entertaining. I'm giving it 5 stars because I have a lot of Elvis crap - thank you Loonie. I will admit that I kind of related to Ben and sometimes still do - I still wander the earth wondering what I am supposed to be doing and I didn't just finish college.
Jan 17, 2016 Diane rated it liked it
Shelves: family, death, elvis
I enjoyed the story but am still really undecided about the truth of the characters. The big premise surrounded the authors idea about sadness & how people are attracted to it. It was rather random how the two iindividuals connected, but (doesn't that happen in life) but I enjoyed the road trip & the adventures they shared.
May 29, 2011 Dan rated it it was amazing
"Losing Graceland" is like other great art in that it works on many levels. On the one hand, it's simply a great read. While reading it, I hadn't slept more than four hours straight in about a year, and even so, it kept me up at night. The story is that good. And the writing itself is beautiful; reading it was like eating caviar in bed. On the other hand, without being clunky or indulging in obtrusive, shoe-horned digressions, the novel deftly addresses deeper themes of ambition, fame, hero wors ...more
Apr 29, 2011 Robert rated it liked it
The following is a Firstreads Winner review:
Elvis has left the building. And is now taking a road trip with a college student as his driver. Searching for his illegitimate granddaughter, who according to the tabloids has been kidnapped. A strange journey filled with some good humor this is an entertaining read. Is the old man in the story really Elvis? Well that seems to be the proverbial $20 question. I liked the book as it was an unusual piece of fiction that defied gravity and could not find
This took me back to my first intro to the King. He was on the Ed Sullivan show. I was giving my first born son (now 57) his 9 pm bottle and watching TV at the same time...and there he was: Elvis, gyrating away while every girl/woman/whatever in the audience was screaming to raise the roof! I had heard of him but this was the first time I saw him and the famous hip-action that caused parents all over to boycott him as "sinful"! Shows where their minds dwelt!
Danielle Dion
Jan 17, 2016 Danielle Dion rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Feb 23, 2011 Diana rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Vivid descriptions, particularly the crumbling nature of each character's mental state, although it seems unreal that every one is so damaged and willing to let their aimless lives fall into a destructive spiral due to the mystical charm of a drugged out, aging Elvis. Despite the coda, I don't really believe any of the characters really grow or change, either. Somewhat dissapointing.
Mar 23, 2011 Meghan rated it it was ok
I LOVE the premise of this book, and I got swept away by Elvis mania at certain parts. However, it's narrated by an 21-year-old male, and his frequent musings on his 17-year-old ex got to be a bit much (nevermind his time with a 20-year-old prostitute). I would have loved it with more Elvis, less ick!
E.D. Martin
Apr 13, 2011 E.D. Martin rated it really liked it
"There's people put on this earth to rescue others from their pain, but those people can never truly love the ones they rescue."

"People said you can't help a man who won't be helped; no such thing, a man who won't be helped. He just needs someone to hold his hand until he's ready for salvation."
Shannon Baas
Jul 04, 2011 Shannon Baas rated it liked it
This was an interesting but weird book. Ben has been hired to take a man who thinks he's Elvis to find his long-lost granddaughter. They have some weird adventures including meeting up with a motorcycle gang and the various women they meet. Warning, there is some sexual content.
Feb 04, 2011 Erik rated it it was ok
I picked this book up on the recommendation of a friend, because his friend, a native of Boston, NY had written it. I loved the premise of the story, a cross country road trip with an old man that may or not be Elvis, in hiding after his supposed death.
Read It Forward
So fun. Can't wait to share this with all the road-trip-loving Elvis fanatics in my life (yes, I have more than one). Michah Nathan is ridiculously talented, not a surprise that he won the 2010 Saul Bellow Prize in Fiction.
Amy Louise
Aug 21, 2011 Amy Louise rated it liked it
Good, dark fun. I liked Ben Fish (even when he was being a bit pathetic), and I loved the old man (especially while he was wooing women and dominating Elvis impersonation contests). And the quirky writing is just right.
May 13, 2013 Scott rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Pretending Elvis was alive was a hell of a lot harder than pretending he's dead."

I wish there was more in this book than one really good quote. I'm sorry to Micah, but I just didn't enjoy it.
Mar 14, 2011 Mokieblylk rated it it was ok
pretty decent, i was expecting it to be a lot better. Elvis (i think) was pretty darn funny. His driver(Ben) was the typical college grad that was heading nowhere, nothing too special.
Dec 21, 2011 Brenna rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this. It was a quick read and a very interesting premise. What would Elvis be doing now if he faked his own death? Who knows?
Sloan Hills
Mar 22, 2011 Sloan Hills rated it it was amazing
I developed a silly crush on both Ben and the old man. Very, very good book.
Mar 11, 2011 Paula rated it liked it
Silly, but fun to read. Maybe I'll go to Graceland one day :)
Jan 31, 2011 Yaron rated it it was amazing
Dirty and fun...just the way I like it. Great read.
Beth Applebaum
Feb 24, 2011 Beth Applebaum rated it it was amazing
I like Elvis. A lot. I liked this book. A lot.
Margo Williams
Apr 16, 2015 Margo Williams rated it really liked it
A fun read, and cleverly written.
Janet Miller
Jul 21, 2013 Janet Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Great premise and an enjoyable read.
Keri ♠
Apr 19, 2011 Keri ♠ rated it really liked it
Will write a review shortly.
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Best-selling novelist, frequent contributor to Vanity Fair, Paris Review, et al.
More about Micah Nathan...

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“Young girls live in mythology.Their music, their moves, their relationships. Heartbreak makes them feel grown-up. Nothing a young girl wants more than to feel grown-up, and she'll lay waste to anyone for the taste of a broken heart.” 8 likes
“...first they ignore you, then they make fun of you, then they fight you, and then you win.” 3 likes
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