Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid is a novel about the rise and fall of an iconic seventies rock band who produced hit music, but was best known for their sudden, infamous breakup. While every member of the band and their closest supporters are given a storyline, the novel highlights the two lead singers: Daisy Jones and Billy Dunne. From the beginning, Daisy’s free-spirited, rebellious nature wreaks havoc on the life of Billy, a musician who is trying to find a balance between being a family man and a rock n’ roll icon. Both characters see themselves as the reason for the bands success; however, the story raises the question of whether their narcissistic tendencies and combative natures lead to the bands ultimate demise, or if their clashing relationship was the key to the band’s success.
The innovative narrative structure of the novel is striking. The story of the band, Daisy Jones and the Six, is told through a sequence of interviews, which creates a storyline through a disjointed conversation between the interviewer and the subjects. Many emotional appeals and dramatic revelations occur within these interviews. As the reader, it feels as if one is eavesdropping in on a very personal conversation happening between friends, which makes the relationship between Daisy and the members of The Six seem even more honest and complex. The way they all describe the occurrence of different events in their lives is simultaneously organic and unreliable. Everyone remembers what happened a little differently, but each description makes it feel as if the reader is in the room with the band during every notable moment. This narrative structure allowed the reader to gain a greater understand of each character’s personality in less pages than would be necessary if each of their stories were written in fully fleshed out prose.
Obviously, this book is filled with as much sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll as you would expect from a novel about the 1970’s, yet, rather than completely glamorizing their past lives, the band gives a raw portrayal of their struggles, as well as their successes. The story deals with subjects like addiction, infidelity, and loss. Despite bad judgement and seemingly irreparable mistakes made by almost every character, they all have something in them that make’s one empathetic towards their actions. It is easy to root for every single character to do well, except maybe every single one of Daisy’s boyfriends. The bandmates and friends all shared a common love of music and truly craved happiness. They felt human and relatable, something fairly unexpected from members of a famous 70’s rock band.
This book is hard to put down; in fact, it can be devoured it in just one sitting. The characters are authentic, and the music on the pages feels so real—even though you never get to hear it out loud. Reid, the author, put so much detail into the lives of and relationships between every single character, as well as the music featured throughout the stories, leaving no stone uncovered. It’s apparent that meticulous planning had to go into writing this novel. The interwovenness of the characters’ lives, the secrets they all kept, and the lyrics quoted by the members throughout the story are all so intricately detailed and perfectly wrapped up into what became Daisy Jones and the Six.
If you need another reason to read this book, Amazon Prime Video is currently working on a thirteen-episode miniseries starring Riley Keough as Daisy and Sam Claflin as Billy Dunne. While there seems to be no word on the release date, or barely any on production for that matter, it’s on its way. You must read this book soon, and maybe you can even follow it up with Reid’s other notable book, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.