Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid is a book I’ve been seeing people rave about for a while. So, when I spotted it in my local bookstore, I just had to get it. I loved The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by the same author and was super keen to read this book.
Daisy Jones & The Six chronicles the rise of a band of the same name in the seventies and the creation of their stand-out album before the band part and go their separate ways forever. The book is told in interview transcript format with multiple narrators — from band members to people associated with the band and music industry telling their side of the story. I found this format slightly jarring at first but then adjusted to it and found it easy to read. The whole book was like reading one long Rolling Stone article.
The main players/narrators in this book are Daisy Jones and the band members who make up The Six. Daisy is a drug taking IT girl who writes songs and dates many famous men. Until she gets the chance to become a recording artist in her own right. She’s a character who is hard to pin down. Every one is mesmerised by her star quality, but it’s difficult to really get to know her. She’s smart, talented, strong, sassy and spontaneous with terrible taste in men.
The Six are a band who rise up the charts, led by brothers Billy (lead vocalist) and Graham (lead guitarist). Along for the ride are keyboardist Karen, drummer Warren, bassist Pete and rhythm guitarist Eddie. As with every band, there are clashes of personality and underlining issues the help form part of the plot. Billy is undoubtedly the star of the Six but has personal demons to overcome from booze to drugs to trying to stay faithful to his wife, Camila.
When the band’s record label decide to partner them with singer Daisy Jones on an album, tensions in the band mount. The book chronicles their creation of what will become a classic album and all the highs and lows that happen behind-the-scenes. Daisy and Billy clash from the start, but there’s no doubting that they can make beautiful music together.
At times, you forget that Daisy Jones & The Six are a fictional band. This book makes them seem so real. I was intrigued by their story and eager to find out what would lead to them breaking up. Taylor Jenkins Reid brings the 70s and the American music scene alive. I’d love to see this made into a movie or TV series.
But as much as I enjoyed this story as a whole, I didn’t really connect with the character of Daisy Jones. I would have liked to have known more about why she was the way she was. Apart from having absent parents, I don’t really know why she battled with the demons she did. Also, I liked characters like Karen with small parts better than characters like Billy. I thought this was a great read but I loved The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo more. After reading two books by this author, I’m keen to pick up more of her books in the future. She’s a fantastic writer!
I would love it if this book came with audio tracks of the songs in the book. That would have been amazing! I’ve also heard that the audio book is fun to listen to.
Verdict: Daisy Jones & The Six is a must-read book for anyone who loves music and stories about tortured artists.