Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The King and Dr. Nick

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

My first Thomas Nelson book review for the year has me divided. It turns out I am extremely interested in Elvis, but not so much in Dr. Nick, his famous doctor. I guess I am too young to recall any of the hoopla that surrounded Dr. Nick shortly after Elvis Presley's death in 1977. He was blamed for the death, and dragged through courtroom drama to defend himself against the accusations.

The first half of the book reveals an inside look at Elvis' life and lifestyle in the decade leading up to his death, during which time Dr. Nick was his personal physician. Barring the sometimes elementary writing style, ("I think Elvis' real goal in "horsing around" was so that we would not notice he really was not great at racquetball." "He really was not great"? How does this line get into adult literature?) the topic was enjoyable and well laid out. Elvis was a fascinating character. And he had some issues. Some of these issues were with legal drug use. And although Dr. Nick was found "not guilty" legally, I did think that he could have been more careful in how he treated Elvis. I think he got swept up in helping Elvis maintain the grueling schedule and lifestyle he had carved out for himself.

The second half of the book chronicles the media attack against Dr. Nick and the ensuing courtroom battles. I lost interest here. The book got bogged down in the minuscule details of evidence and dragged on forever. And, I found that I didn't care too much how the story would end. I had no emotional investment in Dr. Nick.

So, the first half is worth the read, but the second half didn't do it for me. That's why I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

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