Losing Graceland: A Novel
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Losing Graceland: A Novel

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3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  71 ratings  ·  28 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...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 4th 2011 by Broadway Books (first published December 16th 2010)
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Simon M
"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...more
Victor
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeanie Golebwieski
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,...more
Christy
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...more
Ariel
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
Jesse
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...more
Angela
I liked it but the ending was very disappointing for me. I mean what happen to (view spoiler)...more
Rainbow Fluffnstuff
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.
Dan
"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
Robert
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...more
Lorraine
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!
Diana
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.
Meghan
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 ...um... 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
"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
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.
Erik
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
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.
Scott
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.
Mokieblylk
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.
Brenna
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
I developed a silly crush on both Ben and the old man. Very, very good book.
Paula
Silly, but fun to read. Maybe I'll go to Graceland one day :)
Yaron
Dirty and fun...just the way I like it. Great read.
Beth Applebaum
I like Elvis. A lot. I liked this book. A lot.
Margo Williams
A fun read, and cleverly written.
Janet Miller
A Great premise and an enjoyable read.
Keri ♠
Will write a review shortly.
Elvita
Dumb book.
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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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