A true-life Christian thriller starring Elvis, April 15, 2006
Reviewer: Andrew Tonkin (San Francisco, CA United States)
Frankly a thrilling read! Written by a charming Christian lady from Oklahoma who spends four years attempting to reach Elvis to convince him to become an evangelic minister. (Truly, this book should have been called Tryin' To Get To You.) Her tone is humorous and self-effacing and you really end up liking the woman and rooting for her cause even if you're not a Christian.
Even though this book is all about Elvis, the true heroes are God and Mary Ann Thornton, the author. Unlike other spiritual books about Elvis, it doesn't claim that he was any kind of supernatural being but rather an ordinary human. In most E books he is the centerpiece, shining radiantly to illuminate all those around; here he's a mere mortal, adrift on a sea of sin, reaching out for God's and Mary Ann's lifeline.
Unique in my experience, because what really drives the plot are dreams, visions, randomly chosen Bible verses, and quite simply the voice of God himself speaking to Mary Ann. A representative passage, just after visting Elvis' Forest Lawn mausoleum, about a week after his death:
The morning we were to leave, I was awakened from a deep sleep to see an open vision of a black-haired man dressed in pure white raiment silhouetted in an emerald green field, gazing over a cliff toward me. In the background appeared white architecture that appeared to have been carved from pure ivory. Instantly knowing it was Heaven, I began straining for a better look at the man.
Startled by the fact that I recognized him I quickly quizzed, "Lord, is that Elvis? Can that be him? Oh Lord, you wouldn't let me see him now," doubting what my own eyes were seeing. "But... he looks different than he did here. He looks peaceful and content. His face has the same look as those angels You've let me see. Oh Lord, is that Elvis?"
In a calm, reassuring tone, the Lord patiently replied, "Yes, Mary Ann, that's Elvis. And, of course, he looks different. That's Heaven."
- Horrified at Elvis' inability to remember lyrics, mount the stage unassisted, or sense her presence in the audience, June 18, 1977: Becoming physically ill, I walked into the hall and leaned against a doorway to watch the rest of the concert while my tears flowed freely.
- After leaving her final gift with Elvis at Graceland, July 16, 1977: I left books with him every time I was near him because I knew he read books on various religions and sometimes that isn't too safe. I thought I should counteract some of it with Christian theology. Although Elvis wasn't alone in doing that. A lot of Christians read a lot of things that could lead to spiritual harm.
If even half of this tale is true, it's gotta be the greatest Elvis story ever told. A little gem. Read it.
"For the "love" of Elvis", May 12, 2000
Reviewer: Bonnie Traino (Bloomfield, New York)
"A book written with prayer,compassion,and the love of a friend who cared enough to reach out to Elvis when he was hurting the most. "Even Elvis" is for anyone who loved the man, and for those that never knew him, but wish they had. Mary Ann writes with a true sensitivity for the truth-when others have written just for profit. This book will touch your soul as 6 years of events unfold in Elvis' life and God reaches out to him with the love he had searched for, for so many years--and finally found. A book that will truly touch your heart.---Bonnie Traino
A Different Kind of Elvis Book, May 12, 2000
Reviewer: A reader
EVEN ELVIS isn't your typical "I was Elvis' best friend and confidante" tome. It isn't a book that breathlessly details everything that Elvis ever said or did. In fact, Elvis isn't the main focus of the book--Jesus Christ is. I know what some of you are thinking: "Oh, no, a religious book! ARGH!" But EVEN ELVIS isn't preachy or boring. Thornton (who's been an Elvis fan since childhood) simply and powerfully tells her story of how she felt impressed by the Lord to pray for Elvis. Four years of intercessory prayer culminated in a meeting with Elvis at the Las Vegas Hilton in December of 1976. The Elvis we see in EVEN ELVIS isn't a pill-popping pervert or a sequined saint. We see a man who desperately needed to know that God loved him and had plans for him.EVEN ELVIS is a page-turner and reads like an action thriller. It is one of the few Elvis books that won't leave you depressed when you get to the last page. EVEN ELVIS is a book that deserves a wider audience. It is a book that just may change your life.
If you want to contact Mary Ann, her email address is email@example.com.
© Rien van Houten
16 September 2007