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Daisy Jones & The Six: A Novel Hardcover – March 5, 2019
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“This stylish and propulsive novel, presented in the form of an oral history, explores the ascent of a (fictional) hard-partying, iconic 1970s rock band. It reads like the transcript of a particularly juicy episode of VH1’s ‘Behind the Music.’”—The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)
“Daisy Jones & The Six is just plain fun from cover to cover. . . . Her characters feel so vividly real, you’ll wish you could stream their albums, YouTube their concerts, and google their wildest moments to see them for yourself.”—HelloGiggles
“[A] juicy tell-all-style page-turner.”—Bustle
“Evocative . . . brilliant.”—Romper
“Prepare to fall for Taylor Jenkins Reid’s newest novel, Daisy Jones & The Six.”—PopSugar
“Reid’s novel so resembles a memoir of a real band and conjures such true-to-life images of the seventies music scene that readers will think they’re listening to Fleetwood Mac or Led Zeppelin. Reid is unsurpassed in her ability to create complex characters working through emotions that will make your toes curl.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Reid delivers a stunning story of sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll in the 1960s and ’70s in this expertly wrought novel. Mimicking the style and substance of a tell-all celebrity memoir . . . Reid creates both story line and character gold. The book’s prose is propulsive, original, and often raw.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“An insightful story.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Reid is a stunning writer whose characters are unforgettable and whose stories are deeply emotional. . . . Her most gripping novel yet.”—Emily Giffin, author of All We Ever Wanted
“Reid’s writing is addictive and all-consuming. Filled with passion, complexity, and fascinating detail, Daisy Jones & The Six felt so real, I had to remind myself that it was fiction.”—Jill Santopolo, author of The Light We Lost
“From the very first page you know this book is something special. Taylor Jenkins Reid brings insight and poetry to a story that’s utterly unique and deeply authentic, one that transports you to world of seventies rock—with all its genius and temptation and creativity—so completely it feels like you’re there.”—Katherine Center, author of How to Walk Away
“Raw, emotive, and addictively voyeuristic, Daisy Jones & The Six is imbued with the same anguished heart that fuels the very best rock ‘n’ roll. Like my favorite albums, this book will live with me for a very long time.”—Steven Rowley, author of Lily and the Octopus
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
At least, that's what I've learned this week.
In this novel, an intriguing concept - an oral history of a legendary 70s era musical act featuring a magnetic singer - is meekly executed. The characters (including said "magnetic" singer) lack character, and there is little suspense or drama. The journey of Daisy Jones & The Six is serendipitous rather than dramatic. Unfortunately, serendipitous tales are tedious reading. Standard rock scene tropes (the drugs, the groupies, the excess brought by fame) are dutifully trotted out, but there is very little here that feels authentic or grabs one's attention.
I'm not sure why there is so much enthusiasm for this novel. Frankly, I'm reminded of recent news stories reporting that many "user reviews" posted to online marketplaces and review sites are actually fabricated (think marketing) pieces. At very least, most of the hyper-enthusiastic Amazon reviews appear to be from readers who were given advance copies (and so have an incentive to over-hype what they receive). Either or both of these is a plausible explanation for the 4.5 star rating here on Amazon.
In any case, I found this novel unremarkable - a 2 star work at best.
Let me start with how realistic this book felt. You will probably think I am dumb, but I honestly forgot this book is a fictional book about a fictional band. It is told so vividly and accurately that I went and googled Daisy & the Six. I kid you not. I am not ashamed to admit it. I totally did!
The format of this book is completely different that any other book. It did take me a minute or five to get used to it, but once I did, there was no stopping those pages from turning. I can't see this book told any other way. It was perfect for this story. And the why it was told this way does reveal itself towards the end, which made the story even more profound.
These characters. I was worried because of the way Reid was telling the story that I wouldn't be able to connect to any of them. I was wrong. I connected to these characters so deeply. I didn't want their story to end. I wanted everyone to have unicorns and rainbows by the end. I was totally invested in them throughout the entire book.
I want to address something about this book and early reviews I have seen. I don't do this often, hardly ever, but I feel the need to point some things out. I have seen some mark this book with triggers. Let me be clear, there aren't actual incidences where any form of a trigger warning would be necessary. This book is about a band in the 70s and 80s. If you know anything about that time, especially about bands in that era, it was sex, drugs, and rock n roll. This book depicts those things vividly, but not in detail. Does the book mention they do drugs? Yes. Does it mention promiscuous sex? Yes. Does it mention sex and females of questionable age? Yes. Notice I used the word mention. There aren't details. There is a depiction of what was going on in that time era. So, if you see reviews that make you leary, I would take them lightly.
I think this book will be a top book of the year for me. I know, it's early, but this book is THAT good. I can't give it enough praise. I truthfully cannot think of a negative thing to say about it.
I love, loved, LOVED every page and it’s already a contender for Top Ten of 2019 for me – and 2019 hasn’t even begun. Here are some of the reasons why:
It’s REAL – the good, the bad, the ugly: As someone who truly “came of age” in the 70s, this book really caught the vibe. The book captures a time before sound-effects-gone-wild dominated the music industry. Taylor Jenkins Reid captures the atmosphere superbly.
It’s INSIGHTFUL: These are characters who are passionate about their music, their lives, and each other. They yearn, they love, they bleed. They experience the push and pull between the lure of temptation and staying on the right path. They don’t always succeed, but wow do they try.
It’s INTELLIGENT: This isn’t the same hashed-over story of a band’s meteoric rise and plunge back to earth. Billy Dunne is an artist with issues, sure, but he’s also a person who survives despite his instincts. “My instincts said to run toward the chaos. But my better brain sent me home to my woman.” Daisy Jones is a gorgeous pill-popping immensely talented singer, but she’s also an artist with a complicated inner life and a yearning for a man she cannot have. Every single band member comes alive in this book.
It’s EMOTIVE: There were scenes and lines that made me sit there and cry. Or laugh. Or cheer. As a character-driven reader, I look for characters that could step outside the pages. I felt as if I knew these band members.
It’s ORIGINAL: The fictional book is set up like an oral history compiled and edited from conversations and transcripts, with a surprise at the end. Not only does the author invent a band but also the story behind it – and there’s even a playlist that accompanies it.
I can go on and on but I’ll end this review with two words: Read it! I promise, you’ll be hooked.
Top international reviews
It did pick up pace towards the end, but I felt that nothing really happened other than the almost non-verbalised relationships between Daisy and the guy whose name I am struggling to recall
Firstly the writing is strange. It reads more as a script than a regular book. I can see why Amazon have snapped this up for a TV series as the Book is ready to go. The prose is set as a series of interviews years after the events retelling the story of the band. The interviews are stitched together to create the story arc. To begin with this is a jarring negative but actually makes the book incredibly easy to read (I flew through it).
Another negative aspect is the characters are a little cliché. cool diva star, controlling / flawed band leader, aloof bassist, wacky drummer, difficult lead guitarist, etc etc. If I would have predicted the characters I would have got most spot on. However, the characterization is incredible. These characters leap out the page fully formed and you feel you know them, half way through you are invested in most of them.
I am a fan of music and the era, so maybe I was an easy sell. But I found the narrative thrilling. The description of the music writing, the songs and the performances were great. The scene where the album cover is photographed was almost visual.
Look don't pick this up and expect anything deep, meaningful or high-brow. But it is one of the best quick diversion reads I have ever read. My only regret is that there was not an accompanying soundtrack, now THAT would have been great.
Written in an interview style and being about a successful band could make it hard to engage with emotionally, but wow does it do just that. You very quickly forget the style and fall for the various characters, and for me not the main ones necessarily in Daisy and Billy, I really liked some of the other band members and hangers on. You get sucked into all of their stories, how they viewed the same events very differently and rush through the pages as you desperately want to find out what happened.
Easily one of my favourite books of recent times that I’m recommending to all my friends. The only annoying thing is that I can’t now listen to their music or go to a concert...I felt the band was so real by the end that I almost googled them anyway!
There isn't a plot. Take four or five seconds to imagine a pretty girl joining a band and there, you've already imagined all the nuances that this book has to offer.
There isn't any interesting writing to speak of - in fact, the interview style becomes grinding after a few pages, let alone several hundred pages of scarcely-drawn characters who all have the same voice.
The most telling detail of the quality within these pages is the glowing review on the back cover from noted literary critic and public intellectual Edith Bowman, who notes, "I thought all the characters were real." That is presumably to be taken literally and says all that we need to know about the target audience, given that poor old Edith once struggled to understand the complex metaphor at the heart of Rhianna's "Umbrella", moaning, "Why would she offer someone to stand under her umbrella? It just doesn't make sense!"
This isn't literature, it isn't fun and it isn't entertaining.
Would I read this format if it were a real band? Possibly - because the payback is in the details, when you suddenly find out stuff you didn't know about a group you love. Also, when you know that the author worked incredibly hard on their meticulous research it's so much easier to respect what's been written. But when the group is sheer fiction, that there is no research, that the people never lived, never wrote and never sang, then that's just not going to happen.
There are good points. The women are mostly strong characters who tend to stick up for themselves and..............OK, I can't think of anything else.
How many times do we need to read about talent discovered, developed and swiftly destroyed through the abuse of drugs and power? I didn't even find the addiction angle all that interesting. How the heck did this Daisy character not overdose? How did she still stay beautiful and perky-breasted and not wreck her voice? Sadly, I found I didn't really care about any of the characters, except perhaps Billy's lovely wife.
Yet another massively overhyped book. I really should stick to my instincts and stay away.
The writing was something I'd never seen before: the author getting the story as an interview with the characters. It made the story so much more compelling to read. I think that may be how I got through it in a day.
It was a joy to read.
For the first time in a while, I've finally read a book that I unfortunately will describe as... overhyped. My first Reese's bookclub pick I haven't loved. I've struggled to find what to say about Daisy Jones and The Six, and I think this problem is due to the lack of impression it made with me.
Its an easy breezy read that had its fun moments but wasn’t exactly exceptional. I can't help but feel the amount of praise this has gotten is due to its unusual method of narration, the fact its a Taylor Jenkins Reid book and it inspires nostalgia for those who love the rock 'n' roll scene of the 70‘s.
I felt the band dynamic and all of their interactions were well developed. It was effortless to get immersed in the creative stages of making the music and enjoying the lyrics. I liked that the author allowed an element of foreseeability in what was coming in the near future, so in the words of one of the characters: ”the writing was on the wall.”
This created an atmosphere of urgency to know what happened, how it all went wrong, which kept me hooked until the end.
But honestly… I didn't personally feel like any of the characters were likeable. Nobody really stood out to make this book awesome. I've seen people commend the female characters for knowing their worth, and I appreciated some strands of that, but there wasn’t enough to recover their lacklustre foundation/development.
The characters oozed morbidity toward life, which wasn’t enjoyable and ultimately made the bulk of the book unsatisfying.
The transcript narration style hindered deeper connections to the overall story and the characters. When any real chance of investment was happening, I was too distracted by the large amounts of "he said", "I said", "then he said" and "I said"... It's literally written like general day-to-day dialogue where someone is verbally telling you what happened between 2+ people, and the repetitive use of "said" becomes tedious to read over and over again. It was genuinely like this on most pages. Would I have enjoyed this more as an audiobook? Possibly.
Daisy Jones and The Six was an interesting story I enjoyed reading, but it didn't enamour me. I'd recommend readers give it a go, but bear in mind that the narration style may be challenging for more reasons than one (I’ve attached a picture of the transcript narration style), and that sadly, I do feel this is a book that has not lived up to the hype it's been given.
Buy this book and sit and enjoy it. It takes you on a wondrous ride of being a rock star in the 1970’s.
It is vivid and emotive - totally recommended.
The Fleetwood Mac similarities are obvious, and perhaps a FM biography would have been better, although listening to other people's crazy drug hell stories is actually quite dull.
For a title character, Daisy Jones herself is quite thinly fleshed out. She's clearly the manic pixie tripping dream girl bastard lovechild of Stevie Nicks and pre-sobriety Florence Welch, and as infuriatingly predictable in her chaos as addicts tend to be. I have a feeling that What Daisy Did Next would be a much better book (especially if That Thing at the end (sorry, no spoilers from me) came to pass.
It’s all about dialogue but in the dialogue you find the story building, and the descriptive that I love is conjured in the mind not on the page. From the tension between Daisy and Billy Dunne on the stage to the shooting of Aurora album cover, I felt like I was there. Capturing the memories and seeing it unfold before my eyes.
Fleetwood MAC songs were running on a chain through my mind. So good that I even took the plunge to get the audio version and I hate audio more than I hate books that are all about the dialogue.
Taylor Jenkins Reid has become a fast favourite.