Let me start by saying I absolutely loved this book. As someone who grew up listening to classic rock from the 60s and 70s, I was immediately drawn into the story of an up-and-coming rock band trying to make it big in the LA music scene.
|Title||Daisy Jones & The Six|
|Author||Taylor Jenkins Reid|
|Publication Date||March 5, 2019|
Where to Purchase
The Book’s Unique Format
One of the first things that struck me about Daisy Jones & The Six is its unique format. Rather than being written in a traditional narrative style from one perspective, the book is structured as an “oral history” compiled from interviews with the band members and others involved in their career. This gives the story an intimate, conversational feel, like you’re sitting around listening to friends share memories from decades ago.
At first, I wasn’t sure how well this format would work for a full-length novel. But Reid pulls it off brilliantly, using the varied perspectives to build suspense and allowing different versions of the same events to unfold gradually. The structure also mimics the experience of hearing a band’s story unfold through interviews and documentaries, which was an apt choice for this fictional rock epic.
Let’s get into the heart of any good story: the characters. Daisy Jones herself is a phenomenal creation – at once reckless and vulnerable, talented and troubled. As a girl, she was kicked out of school for having sex with a teacher. As a teen, she prowled the darker corners of the Sunset Strip. But from the moment we meet her, it’s clear she has that elusive “it” factor. Daisy has the kind of raw charisma it takes to enthrall audiences and infuriate bandmates.
The members of The Six are equally complex. Billy Dunne, the brooding lead singer, is haunted by past mistakes. Guitarist Graham Dunne struggles with trust issues and inferiority complexes. Yet the bonds between the bandmates feel so real, you’d think you were reading the story of a real group from the 70s.
I have to admire Taylor Jenkins Reid’s ability to write such resonant characters in this unusual format. She had to convey nuances and chemistry purely through dialogue and “interview” snippets. The result is some of the most compelling character development I’ve seen in recent fiction. I felt like I knew Daisy, Billy and the rest personally by the end.
The Height of Rock n’ Roll Hedonism
Of course, what would a story about a rock band in the 70s be without sex, drugs and rock n’ roll? The characters in Daisy Jones & The Six live in an intoxicating cloud of groupies, alcohol and cocaine. They fight, sleep around, get high and live a life many teenage fans romanticized. But while Reid doesn’t shy away from depicting the hedonism of the era, she also reveals the loneliness and emptiness beneath the surface. The lifestyle ultimately leaves Daisy and Billy searching for meaning in fame and numerous partners.
This nuanced approach meant I didn’t come away feeling like the book glamorized self-destruction. Instead, it captured the dizzying thrill of success and excess alongside the dark side many musicians grapple with. The book manages to be gritty and glamorous all at once.
And then, of course, there is the music. Since this is a novel, readers don’t get to actually hear the songs by Daisy Jones & The Six. But Reid’s descriptions capture their magical allure so well, you feel like you’re right there listening to the band explode onto the scene. I could practically hear Daisy’s raw, sexy vocals mixing with Billy’s angsty wail, the lush arrangements surging in my ears. Passages describing their creative process and the alchemy that happens onstage gave me chills.
I would love for someone to record an album of original songs “written” by the fictional band from the book. Because Reid makes you believe in their talent in a way that transcends actual music. I got emotionally invested in the band’s career as if they were a real part of rock history.
The Depiction of 70s Rock Culture
Beyond the main characters, I also enjoyed the immersive depiction of the 70s rock scene overall. Reid includes funny, vivid anecdotes from producers, roadies, groupies and more who encountered Daisy and The Six along the way. These vignettes paint a thrilling picture of the glittery, gritty, over-the-top world the band moved through. The book captured the drug-fueled parties, chaotic backstage antics, and larger-than-life personalities that surrounded the music scene.
I do wish Reid had included a bit more detail about the historical context and real bands that influenced Daisy Jones & The Six. A few references to actual events or albums from the 70s would have grounded the story a bit more for me. But the fictional world the author crafts is still endlessly entertaining to get lost in.
I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just say the ending left me feeling emotionally satisfied, if a little sad. Reid ties up the central mysteries and relationship arcs in a way that feels believable and fitting. Not every question is answered, but like real life, you have to read between the lines. I may have shed a tear or two!
Overall, as you can probably tell by now, I loved this book. It’s one of those absorbing reads you can’t stop thinking about long after you turn the last page. I became totally invested in the lives of these fictional rockstars. So if you’re looking for a juicy, heartfelt story packed with drama and emotion, I can’t recommend Daisy Jones & The Six enough. Whether you’re a fan of music history, gripping family sagas, or sensational fictional memoirs, this book delivers. It’s definitely going down as one of my favorite reads this year.