The King and Dr. Nick by George Nichopoulos, M.D.

March 8, 2010 | By | 1 Comment

Elvis gave a superb performance that night, but the big story reported by the press was that he had split his pants. That was not uncommon. Elvis often “split out” because of the extended leg stretches and karate kicks in his routine. For some reason, the media preferred the “fat and forty” hook for their news stories. They had been using it that year since his fortieth birthday on January 8 as if it were some big scoop. That’s how Elvis ended 1975. He again achieved what no one before him ever had, only to be mocked for his imperfections.

The King and Dr. Nick, p. 95

Synopsis (provided by Thomas Nelson): Dr. Nichopoulos spent a decade with Elvis on the road and at Graceland, trying to maintain the precarious health of one of the world’s greatest entertainers. But on August 16, 1977, he found himself in the ambulance with Elvis on that fateful last trip to the ER and eventually signed the death certificate.

From that day forward, Dr. Nick became the focus of a media witch hunt which threatened his life and all but destroyed his professional reputation. Now, for the first time, Dr. Nick reveals the true story behind Elvis’s drug use and final days—not the version formed by years of tabloid journalism and gross speculation. Put aside what you’ve learned about Elvis’s final days and understand for the first time the inner workings of “the king of rock n’ roll.”

Review (mine): This book was different from what I originally expected. I was thinking that it would be a lot of anecdotes about the life and death of Elvis that only those closest to him knew about. There was a great deal about the still mysterious death of Elvis, but not as many behind-the-scene anecdotes about his life as I had hoped. Over half of this book is about medical practice, challenges when dealing with a celebrity patient and the author’s attempt to clear his name in the wake of being made scapegoat in the death of Elvis.

The reader can easily empathize with Dr. Nick.  He is portrayed as a compassionate man who did his best to help Elvis as much as he could. I have no reason to believe that Dr. Nick isn’t telling the truth and it is awful to read about all that he went through (e.g. defamation, media witch hunts, the loss of his license and livelihood, etc). Dr. Nick also aims to reform and portray a more accurate image of Elvis. I sincerely hope that this book will clear up the misconceptions about Elvis as well as Dr. Nick.

Summary: This book ends up being more about the life of Dr. Nick than the life of Elvis. I found it to be dry for the most part and would primarily recommend it to people with an interest in the life of Dr. Nick as well as hardcore Elvis fans. To a lesser degree, I recommend this book to those interested in seeing how living a life of fame and stardom isn’t all it is often cracked up to be.

Rating: 3/5 (More for hardcore Elvis enthusiasts than the casual fan.)

This book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson. To learn more about or purchase on Amazon, click here.

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  1. Jen D. says:

    The grass is always greener on the other side.

    …Except maybe in the desert.

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