Book Review: Daisy Jones & The Six


Hey – what’s up – hello. I hope you all are doing well, Today’s video is gonna be interesting because I am coming off of having been ill for the past week and we also have 30 mile an hour winds blowing outside and it’s blowing the roof, quite literally, of the building across from mine off and onto the ground. So there is a loud clanging noise that I’m gonna do my very best to talk over but if you notice it in the background, that’s why! So our friends at Penguin UK very kindly sent us copies of Daisy Jones & The Six for review, by Taylor Jenkins Reid, and I am so glad that they did and I greatly appreciate it because I really, really enjoyed this book. Taylor Jenkins Reid is the author of a number of other books, perhaps most prominently here on booktube: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, which has received a lot of praise. This is the first book of hers that I have read, and based on my enjoyment of it I am quite interested in checking out the rest of her work. Daisy Jones & The Six is a work of fiction that feels like you are reading the transcript of a real-life 1970s rock and roll documentary. The author of the transcript in the book, which is different from Taylor Jenkins Reid, presents an oral history of the work that they as the author have done to try and piece together the story of the rise in fame of the band Daisy Jones & The Six, and then also how and why they abruptly broke up in the summer of 1979. So, like I said, this is presented as an oral history, which means you’re not reading sort of a traditional narrative style type prose, it’s not presented that way. It is instead presented as you’re reading transcripts of interviews with band members, family members, friends, other people, managers who were influential and instrumental in the lives of these people in the band during the time that the story is set. And their perspectives are sort of cut and pasted together by the, the story’s author to show you the constructed narrative that the interviewer wants to present to you over the many years that followed band. And it’s really well-executed, the format illustrates the idea that the book espouses: that everyone’s memory is different, everyone remembers the same thing differently, and sometimes the truth is not always the same for everybody that was involved? And I really liked the the changing of voice that happens on every page that presents this idea. I enjoyed the different tones of voice and how you really got the strong emotions of each person, or about an event, or a topic that come through in the writing on every single page. You can feel them strongly with every voice: and so you get someone who’s angry, and someone who is super high, and someone who is perfectly happy with the situation, and someone who’s in control. You get all of those feelings really strongly on almost every page. And with that I also really like the changing of tenses on occasion? It doesn’t happen very often But most of this book is told in the past tense because it’s someone saying, “Oh, this happened to me, it was this way.” But occasionally someone will slip into present tense or something else and it really lent a real authenticity to the writing for the style that it was trying to convey. Because the story follows So many people over so many years, there’s a lot to learn about many of the folks in the story. That being said I became really invested in the wellbeing of a few like Daisy, Karen, Graham, and I guess Billy, by default, who I didn’t really enjoy as a person, but he absorbs so much of the time in the novel. There’s so much to learn about all of them and it feels compounded because you’re getting other people’s perspectives on individuals in a way that you might not from a story that’s told in a more traditional format. So you’re getting sort of both sides of the story as well as a lot of recollection and reflection. And recollection and reflection are different, they’re different ideas that are really easy to layer, and I think that Taylor Jenkins Reid has done a really good job of balancing those two ideas here. She lets her characters show you a lot of themselves, and show you a lot of their fellow characters, to get you interested and invested. That part of this book is really, really successful. The story itself is really enjoyable particularly if you’re someone who’s interested in that sort of California, rock ‘n’ roll party culture of the 1970s. As someone who didn’t live through that time period, it was really interesting for me to read about, especially since it’s such a vibrant setting that’s totally inextricable from the plot itself. Which really serves the pacing of book as well? So not only is the setting intriguing but it’s also functional which is a very clever trick to pull off. Knowing from the beginning that this band splitting up was probably going to be the climax of the story I was really looking for the rest of the plot to build that anticipation and that wonder about who was gonna be involved in how it was gonna happen. And I felt like the book really did that well. The anticipation was really well-built, but when I got to the exact moment where that happened in that section of the story, I kind of left feeling a little bit let down? Almost as if I was expecting something a little bit more explosive than what was written. Something that felt more like it merited the underlying tension that was present throughout the book. I didn’t really feel like the writing of that moment and the shift in — of the writing in that moment really matched the build-up to it very well. And what happened in that section in some of the details there also then went and changed the way that I interpreted the rest of the story that I had read: like all of the story leading up to that point? And like, good on you Taylor Jenkins Reid, if that’s what you were trying to do, throwing me for a loop there? Because it definitely worked. But it also led me to then finish the book with some feelings and questions that I wasn’t expecting to have and they weren’t necessarily, like, negative feelings and like, really unfinished, unanswered questions? But just like, I had a feeling that was not as, I guess, excited as I had felt for the rest of the book leading up to it. Overall. I really enjoyed this book, I gave it four-and-a-half out of five stars. It’s really a pulsing, like, colorful plunge into 1970s California that is constructed in such a successful way that I certainly recommend it, I have already recommended it to a couple different people I know. I understand it’s going to be adapted, I think, into a miniseries by Reese Witherspoon, which is gonna be really interesting and I’m super intrigued to see that when that’s released. So leave your thoughts on this story in the comments below especially if you have strong feelings about the way that it’s presented, I’d love to read people’s feelings about that. As always, thank you so much for watching, I hope you’re having lovely weeks and lovely lives, and we’ll see you very soon!

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Daisy Jones & The Six

  1. Your review made me realize that I had made a mistake not choosing this book as my March BOTM. Great news I can still go out and buy it. The initial descriptions of this book did not pull me in. Your review did. Thanks for being informative without spoilers.

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