Robert Greenfield; A Day in the Life: One Family, the Beautiful People, and the End of the Sixties (Da Capo)

Robert Greenfield’s A Day in the Life chronicles the rise and fall of two lovers so engrossed in various self-serving pursuits that they often bordered on sheer subversion.  Susan “Puss” Coriat and Tommy Weber spent their early lives sheltered by wealthy families with the good grace of beauty to carry them well beyond their means. By the late ’60s, their indulgence in drugs and living on the edge day-to-day shifted them into a world of oblivion and reckless abandon, which led to Puss’ suicide in 1971. Weber may have lived well into the 21st century, but only after falling in and out with The Rolling Stones and despite several drug trafficking enterprises. Those around Coriat and Weber always seemed to be cast into turmoil as a result of the couple’s various fixes, but the two always tried to make good with those they loved. Needless to say, the duo lived enough for an entire family—at least, enough to fill up around nearly 300 pages.

Greenfield does his best to keep the barely believable stories connected and complete, but perhaps nearly 300 pages is still not enough. The stories—from the extravagance of the couple’s youthful wedding day to Weber’s late night attempt to board what he believes to be a pirate galleon—are fantastic though sometimes short-shrifted. Greenfield carves his way through an era of confusion—he refers to this as “a grand social experiment”—that was the 1960s.

Though the task of grounding such sensational stories to the real lives in which they’re contained is no easy feat, Greenfield does an exceptional job. The book is filled with personal letters and quotes from Tommy and Puss as well as their boys, Jake and Charley, revealing the endless love they all seemed to have for one another. Greenfield also makes sure to include insight from close friends and family, which turns an otherwise whimsical and irrational exposé into something altogether more human.

While the family may have lived on the edge of existence in a manner that most in the world could barely envision, they were still lovers, brothers, parents, and children, all of them.


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