Title: Daisy Jones & The Six
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Random House Audio
Spoilers? Not big ones.
Trigger Warnings: Substance abuse, Addiction, Abortion
Synopsis: 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 tells the story of a fictional 70’s rock band, from when they got together to how they split up. The story is told through interviews with all kinds of different characters.
I wasn’t sure if I should pick up this book, although everyone raves about it. But I got the audiobook on a whim to listen to while I was driving to work and boy, what a good choice.
This was my first Taylor Jenkins Reid book and now I get all the surrounding hype. Because this woman can write.
Daisy Jones & The Six is written in interview format. Which, since a lot of characters tell their version of the story, could get messy. But it speaks volumes of TJR’s writing skill that not only do we get different perspectives from the same events, we get a very real phenomenon that is people remembering things differently. Every character is an unreliable narrator. But they give you their honest view of what was happening. That’s why it feels so real.
When it comes to plot, it is pretty straightforward. This story is about how a band comes together, how the members related to each other, how they grew as people, and how the band falls apart. It’s a journey that makes you believe The Six existed. And I need their songs. I need them to be real.
I can’t remember ever reading a book where the characters feel so authentic. I know them through and through. And yes, a lot of the credit goes to Taylor Jenkins Reid’s superb writing. But the voice actors also need their share of praise, because they nailed it. The gasps, the pauses between words, the random laughs, the choked up moments, everything was perfect.
Billy is a talented man whose description reminds me of Bradley Cooper’s character in A Star Is Born. He is a musician haunted by his addiction to alcohol, drugs and that rock’n’roll life. He does some stuff he regrets and that affects him for the rest of his life.
Daisy is a mess. She doesn’t give a flying f*ck about what anyone thinks of her. She says what she wants, she wears what she feels like to, and she doesn’t apologize. Daisy isn’t afraid to show who she is and, of course, ends up suffering.
Daisy also suffers from addiction but in a different way from Billy. She loses the count of how many pills she takes because she barely notices them anymore. And that’s the big difference between both portrayals of addiction. Billy needed his vices to have fun and live, in his eyes, his best life. Daisy needed them to function.
I need to talk about my favorite secondary character though. Camilla is an inspiration. She’s strong, she’s stubborn, she fights for what she wants, and she’ll get it. But she’s also loving and supportive and understanding. She trusts with her whole heart.
The remaining secondary characters give the bit of spice this book needed to be great. You’ll hate some, you’ll like some, you’ll be meh about others, but you will feel for them.
I wasn’t expecting to love this book as much as I did. Probably because I went into it with zero expectations. But I ended up loving it and I’m so glad I picked it up.
Do I recommend it?
I recommend Daisy Jones & The Six to everyone. It’s a transversal story and, like I said a million times already, it feels real. What can you expect more from a book?