Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Series: –Rating: 5/5
Date of Publishing: March 7th 2019Genre: fiction
Publisher: Hutchinson / Penguin Random House / Ballantine BooksAvailable: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Number of pages: 358Author’s website: http://www.taylorjenkinsreid.com

Quotes of the Book

Camila: I think you have to have faith in people before they earn it. Otherwise it’s not faith, right?

Daisy: It was such a rush singing like that. Singing a song that I felt in my heart. Words that I had written that were all mine.
I watched the people at the front of the crowd listening to me, hearing me. These people from a different country, people I’d never met in my life, I felt connected to them in a way that I hadn’t felt connected to anyone before.
It is what I have always loved about music. Not the sounds or the crowds or the good  times as much as the words – the emotions, and the stories, the truth – that you can let flow right out of your mouth.
Music can dig, you know? It can take a shovel to your chest and just start digging until it hits something. That night, singing that, just reaffirmed  that I wanted to put out an album of my own songs.

Billy: … I wouldn’t have come up with something like that, Which is what we all want from art, isn’t it? When someone pins down something tat fels like it lives inside us? Takes a piece of your heart out and shows it to you? It’s like they are introducing you to a part of yourself.

Simone: … But at some point, you have to recognize that you have no control ovr anybody and you have to step back and be ready to catch them when they fall and that’s all you can do. It feels like throwing yourself to sea. Or maybe not that. Maybe it’s more like throwing someone you love out to sea and then praying they float on their own, knowing they might well drown and you’ll have to watch.

 

Blurb

Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six: The band’s album Aurora came to define the rock ‘n’ roll era of the late seventies, and an entire generation of girls wanted to grow up to be Daisy. But no one knows the reason behind the group’s split on the night of their final concert at Chicago Stadium on July 12, 1979 . . . 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 ‘n’ 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.


Personal notes

I’ve started to lose the joy of reading recently. I’ve been hearing about Daisy Jones & The Six for a few months now and I’ve got my copy waiting for me to read it, but I had other obligations to fulfill first. I finally got to my breaking point and decided I needed to read something off my shelves, something without expectations, something just for fun. And I knew this was the right time to pick this book. 


Song of the Book

Probably not the best possible choice, but today as I was listening to this song, I started thinking of Daisy Jones & The Six. Also, PCH is mentioned once in the book, ha! Also, it kind of sums up Billy’s feelings I think.


Review

That I had high expectations for Daisy Jones & The Six is an understatement. On the outset, this book had everything I could wish for: sex, drugs, rock and roll and drama. Did it deliver? Let me just put it this way: this is one of the best books I’ve read this year, and I had the privilage to read a few great ones. Maybe it’s because I’ve read this at the right time, or because it’s been a while I devoured a book in only a couple of days. Whatever the reason, Daisy Jones & The Six just hit all of the right buttons for me.

I think I frist heard about this book when Emma reviewed it. We tend to have similar opinion of books and she wrote a pretty glowing one. I knew that I had to read it. At the other hand I was a bit wary, because it’s written in a unusual way and I was afraid it won’t held my attention. Boy, I was wrong. As strange as it sounds, but the format – it’s not written as a classic novel, the story is told through the characters like the author was interviewing them and we get the events told with their words – what makes it much more personal and intimate. There is no filling, not a line or word out of place, no flourish to distract the reader from the main focus: the characters and the music. Daisy Jones & The Six‘s story comes alive through the memories of the band members and a few person who were close to them.

It’s really hard to believe these people are enterily fictional. They felt so real, and complex that I felt like if I could walk down the streets of L.A. – especially the Strip – I could run into them, talk to them, and listen to their music. I wish so bad that I could hear all those songs that are featured in this book. Imagining them is just not really the same.

It probably won’t come as a great surprise, but I’m a sucker for movies – and books – about music, about bands, about rock and roll. Movies that show the darker side of the business – how draining and stressing a tour is, how an album is made, how much artists struggle with mental health issues, addictions and life in general. Almost Famous is one that comes to mind, or A Star is Born more recently. Seeing these people up on the stage every night, giving their best, we easily forget that they are human too – they have a life, family, problems just like everyone else. They battle their own demons while they bare their own souls in their songs. Daisy Jones & The Six can portray all these things. We learn about Daisy’s childhood and self-destructing ways, about Billy, who tries to keep his life and band together. He is the kind of person who wants to do everything alone, who is the genius in the band and although he has good intentions, he tends to forget about the fact that other people might have feelings or ideas. He wants to control everything, and while every band needs a strong leader, he is more like a dictator. Of course things aren’t that simple, as I can see things from his POV but can also understand the bitterness coming from the others, even Graham in the end, his brother who always backed Billy. 

I really liked those parts where we see Billy, Daisy and the others in the studio. As Billy and Daisy slowly figures out how to work together to make it work. One of my favorite Hungarian TV programme is the one where a famous Hungarian singer/comedian gathers four people to create a song: a song writer, a lyrics writer, a producer and a singer. These people don’t know about each other, they only know a small part of the song they are working on, until one day when everyone did their part and the draft version of the song is done, they all meet in the studio to work things out. It’s fascinating and I learned about making music watching that show. There are compromises, a lot depends on which person which scene comes from, what are their preferences, how much they are out of their comfort zone. Daisy and Billy go through something similar, but we also get the whole picture regarding their background, their life, their struggles. As well as the others around them, who are affected not only by Daisy and Billy’s action but by their own issues as well. 

I honestly don’t know if I like Daisy or not. She is like a force of nature, she gets whatever she wants, se is a bit entitled, has self-esteem issues and has a hell of a lot talent for singing. Billy comes from a totally different world – he and his brother formed a band really early, weren’t rich and had to work hard to get where they are. Despite their differences and dislike for each other, they also have a lot in common – their passon for music, for song writing. They are the different halves of the same coin and when they meet, the world collides. It’s exhilirating, emotional, and dreadful all at once. You can just keep reading because you don’t have any other choice, even if you know what awaits at the end. You try to scream at them, to threaten them, to warn them, but you can’t do that. You just helplessly sit at the sidelines, turning the pages like a madman, unable to take your eyes off of the events. Even when you don’t want anything else but to close your eyes and pretend it’s not happening. 

Daisy Jones & The Six is one hell of a tour of emotions, life and music. I don’t think a book ever made me tear up by page 38. And those were even happy tears!! Honestly, I just loved everything about this book from start to finish. It’s not happens every day that my extremely high expectations are met and I fell in love with a book everyone else seems to love. Just… go for it. Give this a read if your love the ’70s, rock and roll or just music in general. You won’t be disappointed. 

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