Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Its the early 70s and Daisy Jones is a major LA talent playing in small clubs and dreaming of living life to its fullest and making the kind of music she loves but she and her record label have different ideas of success. When Daisy meets Bill, they clash in a big way but together they will become epic. Daisy Jones & The Six: A Novel is a rock and roll autobiography set in the days of sex, drugs and rock and roll.
The literary circle in which I travel has been raving about this book for a few weeks so I decided to pick it up and would up reading the 336 mock rock history in one sitting. Daisy Jones & The Six: A Novel is a visual read. Framed as an oral history, it starts with Daisy, the poor little rich girl. She is a free-range child with a big talent and is broken in a way that leads her to the sort of self destruction that will lead readers to think they’ve heard the story before….because they have. In fact, I have read that this novel is a fictionalized version of Fleetwood Mac; a band about which I know almost nothing (I was only permitted to listen to gospel music growing up so my actual rock knowledge era is the 90s and Queen) so caught none of the parallels.
Overall Daisy Jones & The Six is a generic saga of decadence in the era of bell bottoms, booze and blow. There is a heavy reliance on readers being familiar with the decadence of the rock scene in the 1970s. Reid paints a very accurate feeling picture of the era. The fashion and music culture read true. Reid is no way goes for broke. She alludes to the uncomfortable, skirting around it. There’s something to be said for a lack of gratuitous self destruction but that’s the 70s, you do it or you don’t and there are ways not to celebrate the illegal. Word on the street is that the novel is becoming a movie and to translate the screenwriters will sensationalize so, in the end, discretion is not valorous.
Daisy, herself; is somewhat poorly characterized. She is an amalgamation of troubled female singers. I have seen the hand-wringing and worried “trigger” warnings. Lets be clear, a lot of what is on the page is very general. There are groupies and there are no ID checks. There’s some really questionable things but they’re glossed over. There is a saint vs whore subtext for Daisy and another female character that is perplexingly overdone in literature and discredits everyone and, really, distracts from the core story adding a tragic Janis Joplin spin without the emotional impact because it’s hard to connect with the Cliff Notes of a 70s singer. This is in no way a spoiler because I don’t know if readers; at the end, will care if Daisy wins or loses…and in this case, winning is perhaps not holding the expected definition. We know Daisy captivates because we’re told she does, it isn’t something we see.
If you’re considering reading Daisy Jones & the Six, do it because it’s getting rave reviews and I may be the lone 2 star. If you’re looking for a really interesting story of the 70s, head over to Netflix and watch When You’re Strange; a film about The Doors.