Interest from outside England in ‘Treat Me Nice’ – part 1

Q What do you think about the website that reviewed your book without
reading it?

A I worry more about the reviews from the people who have read it.
There are 4 due in the next fortnight. These preoccupy me more than
the opinions of people who have not read the book.

Q Well, I have read the book several times and I still find ideas I
did not notice the first time. I am sure they will be fine. Were you
not surprised?

A Yes and No. No because I know people, including me, can be
irrational and impulsive. Yes because what surprised me was the
willingness of an Elvis fan to make the same mistake that the critics
of Elvis make. I do not like to see Elvis fans imitate Albert
Goldman. That is, judge without being curious. We know people judge
Elvis without properly listening to his record catalogue or thinking
about the influence of others. In that sense, the book justifies
itself because this is a key argument within the book. We must not
jump to conclusions based on appearance. We should also be wary of
making conclusions about the narratives that the lives of others, and
our own, are obliged to follow. The pun, I am afraid, cannot be
resisted. You cannot judge a book by the cover. Inevitably, we still
insist that we can. People have done this with Elvis since 1956. I
was, though, surprised that the website editor assumed automatically I
was not sympathetic to Elvis. The book definitely is on his side. I
can only presume that the editor has not read the original
‘Frankenstein’ novel by Mary Shelley. That means he/she has two
books to read.

Q Finally, to lighten this a little. What is your favourite joke
that Elvis made?

A It was in 1976. A girl at the front of the stage kissed him. It
turned out she was only 14 years old. Elvis walked a few steps on,
paused and looked back at the girl.
‘How old are you?’ He asked the girl again.
”Fourteen,’ she said.
‘Well,’ said Elvis. ‘You’ve got to start somewhere.’

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