My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.
Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.
Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.
Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.
The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.
Daisy Jones and the Six seems as if it has been absolutely everywhere, but I was very resistant to pick it up initially. I’m a fairly stubborn person so this happens to some degree with most books that get a lot of hype surrounding them (with Reese Witherspoon championing Daisy within her book club and optioning it for TV, it seems like this book has received more hype in the short time it has been published than almost any other this year).
The other reason I wasn’t sure I’d get on with this book is I’m not a huge music person. Given the choice to listen to music or sit in silence, I pick silence 99% of the time. I use music to block out other more annoying noise, but I’ve never been one to gush over albums and listen to music as a sole activity. Daisy Jones and the Six follows one of the best bands in the world as they tell the oral history of their rise and fall, so clearly there’s going to be a lot of music chat involved.
Eventually the temptation to give it a try got too much and I picked up a copy for myself, reasoning that I knew a lot of people whose cup of tea it definitely would be and I could pass it on to them once I was finished or if I really didn’t like.
In all honesty, it took me a while to get into the story. The book is written as an oral history in the form of interviews with the band and other individuals involved in the making and breaking of the group. This involves a lot of anecdotes overlapping and in most cases outright contradiction between characters telling the same story. My enjoyment of a book is very heavily reliant on connecting with characters and it took me a while to feel like I had a grip on the main players in this book. However, once I had dedicated some solid reading time to getting used to this unique style I thoroughly enjoyed it and came to find each characters way of telling the story familiar and amusing. I’m very keen to get my hands (or rather ears) on an audio book version as I think it would work incredibly well in this format- I’m also waiting for bated breath for news on the TV programme.
For what is on the face of it a simple plot (band gets together, band gets famous, band falls apart), Daisy Jones and the Six leaves you feeling like you’ve experienced something unique. At times I forgot I wasn’t reading a real biography of a band, I was so involved within the rawness, the sexuality, talent and angst of these characters and their hopelessly flawed self-destructive natures. I must have pulled up google several times wanting to search for a character to find an image of them, or to see the album artwork before remembering it didn’t actually exist.
There was still a lot of description of how they wrote songs and put their albums together which I knew wouldn’t be my cup of tea going into it, but my goodness the rest of the story was well worth those parts of the book.
Weeks later I’m still gathering my thoughts and feelings about this book, which is a real testament to the talent of Taylor Jenkins Reid. Having read ‘Daisy Jones and the Six’ I immediately went and bought another of her extremely hyped books to try and honestly, I don’t know how I ever lived without her writing in my life.