Title: Daisy Jones and the Six
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Date published: March 5th 2019
Page Count: 355
Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six: The band’s album Aurora came to define the rock ‘n’ roll era of the late seventies, and an entire generation of girls wanted to grow up to be Daisy. But no one knows the reason behind the group’s split on the night of their final concert at Chicago Stadium on July 12, 1979 . . . 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 ‘n’ 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.
This story is written in a documentary style, and I highly recommend the audiobook, where you can hear the emotion and personality in each person.
The book is structured in a series of interviews of the individual band members, going into how the Six came to be, how Daisy Jones became a sensation, and how Daisy Jones and the Six revolutionized rock and roll. While the overall story line is quite straightforward, their road to fame is riddled with problems and turmoils that arises between the members.
While I didn’t really feel the hype around the book, I was really impressed how well it was able to convey the whole story and rock-and-roll era through a series of interviews as well as how much emotion it evoked out of me.
This book took some time to grow on me. It’s more slower paced than I hoped for and spends a good portion of the book developing the characters. I found the plot building a bit dull at first, and it wasn’t until half way through the book where I finally got hooked. The writing was impressive. It felt real and raw. Each character had their own voice.
There’s so much emotion that comes into the story. I think a part of it came from the fact that I listened to the audiobook; the cast did an amazing job! I loved listening to Daisy Jones’ raspy voice that felt so down-to-earth and candid (props to Jennifer Beals!). Especially towards the end, each of the voice actors took the liberties of adding pauses and voice effects to show so much emotion in their thoughts.
I ended up giving Daisy Jones and the Six a higher rating, because the story ended up pulling more on my heart than I had expected it to. At the beginning, I had felt indifferent about the characters. But without realizing it, I became invested in Daisy Jones and Billy and found myself actually caring for them despite their flaws and mistakes.
Behind their picture perfect image, the characters were flawed, filled with their own vices and traumas. But amidst the drama and the angst comes the birth of spectacular talent and record-breaking albums; it’s what makes them Daisy Jones and The Six. Unfortunately, these very things that made their band spectacular were also the very things that lead to their tragic end. Watching the group come together and make their way to fame was amazing, but watching how the group unravel was distressing. Closing the book, I’m left with a whirlwind of emotions: frustration, anger, and sadness with a small glint of hope that Jenkins leaves us off with at the very end.
If you loved the movie Bohemian Rhapsody or are just a lover of rock and roll, Daisy Jones and the Six is the book to check out. With the booze and sex and drugs, the story’s distinctive and alluring atmosphere really brings you into the rock and roll decade.