Taylor Jenkins Reid’s hugely hyped up novel, Daisy Jones & The Six, comes after the success of her 2017 hit, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Both play with an interview format, spanning the ups and downs of hugely successful celebrity icons. Daisy Jones & The Six follows the eponymous character, Daisy Jones, as she joins forces with rock band The Six to become one of the biggest groups of the 70s. Fuelled by sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll they embark on a rip-roaring career with a killer album and a sold-out tour to boot. But following one of their best shows, and at the peak of their success, they suddenly disband with no explanation, leaving fans heartbroken and bewildered. Decades later, the band and those close to them open up about what happened with Daisy Jones & The Six.
We love broken, beautiful people.
And it doesn’t get much more obviously broken and
more classically beautiful than Daisy Jones.
Taylor Jenkins Reid has herself said that Fleetwood Mac was part of her inspiration for the book. It seemed fitting then that I unintentionally picked this up during the midst of a real Fleetwood Mac week for me. It happens occasionally that they are all I’ll listen to for days on end, and I started Daisy Jones & The Six during one of these phases, which really added to the atmosphere of the book. The 1970s-era setting was quite understated, which I actually preferred. I think if it had been emphasised too much it could run the risk of being stereotypical or parodical.
The book has an unusual structure; the narrative is told through a series of interviews, interspersed with context from the interviewer-narrator at the beginning which later peters out as the characters become more familiar. When I first heard that the book was structured like this I was a little skeptical about how much I’d enjoy it, but I actually loved it instantly. It felt really fitting to the narrative; I read the whole book whilst imagining a documentary, with the narrator’s comments as a voice-over during archive footage or something. It really worked for me, and I hope the TV adaptation incorporates the interview format as it contributed so much to my enjoyment of the book. I liked how it also added a layer of uncertainty to the narrative, as some characters would recall an event in an entirely different way to another, so you could never quite be sure what happened in some instances.
I enjoyed learning about all of the characters, though the enormous focus on Daisy and Billy meant that some were a little less fleshed out than I would have liked. The book also felt like it was a lot more about Billy than it was about Daisy, which is fine, but having her as the titular character and a depiction of her on the cover made me expect that she would be centre stage, but she definitely had to share the spotlight with Billy. Maybe this was done to reflect the dynamic in the band? Either way, it actually made a bit more sense when I got to the end and a few things were revealed.
I definitely think Daisy Jones & The Six lived up to the hype but it didn’t quite measure up to Evelyn Hugo for me. Still a fantastic read and one I’d highly recommend if you’ve enjoyed other TJR books, or have an interest in this musical era.
Rating: 4 / 5 stars