Friday, May 15, 2009

New Today: A Day in the Life by Robert Greenfield

Through much of A Day in the Life (Da Capo) I kept getting the same uncomfortable feeling I got while watching Requiem for A Dream (2000), but not in a good way. There was a similar feeling of inevitable sinking and incoming tragedy. A similar feeling of wanting to shake someone and make them see.

Robert Greenfield (STP, Exile on Main Street) relates the tragic story of Tommy Weber and Susan “Puss” Coriat. Beautiful, aristocratic Londoners when they wed in the early 1960s, they are sucked into the vortex that the 60s became for many people and, by story’s end, both have been basically ruined by sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. Puss dies by her own hand in 1971 and Tommy in 2006 after decades of self-abuse.

In between the golden beginning and the ignominious end, the couple have two children -- one of whom would grow to become the actor Jake Weber -- fall in with various nefarious rock n’ rollers and just rip their golden life to shreds.

A Day in the Life reads, at times, like a novel, but like one of those torrid little romances you’d rather no one see you with. And after you finish reading? Well, I just wanted to have a shower.

A Day in the Life is not a bad book, but it’s a sad book. I’m not sorry I read it, but I’d certainly never read it again. Fans of music history and 1960s culture will feel differently, I’m sure. This book is just stuffed full of the kind of juicy tidbits that lot likes best.

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