‘Daisy Jones & the Six’ by Taylor Jenkins Reid [Book Review]

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Confession time: I started reading this book thinking I wouldn’t like it, but everyone kept talking about it so I thought I would read the first few chapters so I would have enough material to voice a somewhat educated opinion. However, it didn’t take long before I was pleasantly intrigued by the characters presented to me and writing system of Taylor Jenkins Reid.

I thought a novel written entirely in interview transcripts would trip me up but honestly, it’s one of my favourite parts of this novel. I love unreliable narration because it means some of the responsibility for figuring out what the heck is going on is on me. I acknowledge that this is an acquired taste but there’s just something engaging about hearing a set of events by one character that is almost immediately contradicted by another character’s perspective.

Even with this somewhat unorthodox narrating style, there are still some really profound moments when characters just say things that, while short and not altogether original, struck something in me:

You have these lines you won’t cross. But then you cross them. And suddenly you possess the very dangerous information that you can break the rule and the world won’t instantly come to an end. You’ve taken a big, black, bold line and you’ve made it a little bit gray. And now every time you cross it again, it just gets grayer and grayer until one day you look around and you think, There was a line here once, I think.

Daisy Jones

That being said, if the style of narration doesn’t bother you the focus on the music industry might. There isn’t any technical terminology or anything but it is the band’s entire life so if it doesn’t interest you all that’s left is drugs and sex–and pretty compelling stories about the characters adjusting (or failing to adjust) to their new lifestyle.

Image from Quim Muns

It also helped that I happen to like Daisy–I don’t think she’s a good person but she is funny and a little self-centered, which is sometimes good because she doesn’t let other’s opinions of her get to her but bad when she completely misses the chaos she’s creating in her band mates.

I had absolutely no interest in being somebody else’s muse.
I am not a muse.
I am the somebody.
End of […] story

Daisy Jones

All in all, I can understand that this book is for a specific group of readers and I just happen to be part of that group. If it hadn’t been written in this weird interview style I don’t think I would have liked it. Experiencing the voices of these characters and getting their take on events, no matter how brief, was incredibly interesting to me. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer and when writers do strange and creative stuff I’m always intrigued. But if nothing I’ve said so far has turned you off this book I highly recommend giving it a read–at least the first few chapters.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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