Book Review: Daisy Jones & the Six

Daisy Jones & the Six
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Pages: 368 pages
Format Read: audiobook
Standalone or series: standalone
Where I got the book: Library Libby app
Date finished reading: May 1, 2019

Goodreads Description: 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.

My Review: I avoided all spoilers regarding this book, but it was impossible not to see the rave ratings on both Goodreads and Litsy. I decided not to wait for a hard copy and listened to it on audiobook through my local library. I could not be more happy that I didn’t wait for it.

I right away knew I was going to love the style of the book. I have always seemed to enjoy books that are told through interviews – aka World War Z, Sadie, etc. This way you are hearing a story through multiple points of view. You don’t think about chapters or anything like that, because the story flows. I wanted nothing more than to just listen to all nine hours in one sitting.

At first I was a bit disappointed that the author glossed over the effects of Billy’s drug abuse on his band members. The only heated moment between band members for the first half of the book seemed to be between Eddie and Billy, where Eddie smashed his guitar. I just felt a bit unsure of the realistic feel, but after finishing the book, I now feel like that was purposely downplayed to put more emphasis on all the issues the band would face later that led to a climatic ending. That ending was brutal and beautiful at the same time.

To go back to my love of stories being told in an interview style, I almost forgot that the book was in an interview style until it got close to the end. That is how much the story flowed. Then the narrator (interviewer) interrupts with her own personal memory of an event, and I suddenly realize that the interviewer is connected to this story in a way I didn’t realize. Maybe I should have guessed, but I didn’t and thoroughly enjoyed that surprise.

If you listen to the audiobook, be prepared to be wowed by the amazing cast of narrators that include Jennifer Beals, Benjamin Bratt, and Judy Greer to name just a few in a long list. Unfortunately, I have not read anything else that Taylor Jenkins Reid has written (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Evidence of the Affair, etc.), and I will have to rectify that immediately!

It was America. It was tits. It was sex. It was drugs. It was summer. It was angst. It was rock ‘n roll.” ~Freddie Mendoza’s description of the Aurora album cover.

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦