Ahoy there mateys! Okay so I didn’t love this book. Hear me out. I picked up this book a couple of times, started to read it, and then wasn’t feeling it. So I kept returning it to the library and going back on the never-ending hold list. I felt bad about this because I adored the author’s book the seven husbands of evelyn hugo.
I was going to give up on it but didn’t only because I kept reading all of these reviews about how good the book was. Finally I read a crew member’s review (don’t remember who) who said the audiobook was the way to go. So I decided to see if that improved the experience any.
And aye, the audiobook production is absolutely stellar. I thought the voice acting was awesome and enjoyed the interviews being played out in that format. It helped me get through the book. And aye, the writing was also excellent. So what was the problem?
The darn characters. In the author’s other book, I didn’t always love Evelyn Hugo but I did find her story to be fascinating and compelling. She was a complicated woman with flaws. However, in this book I kinda despised them all. Daisy Jones was a selfish, whiny twit. Billy was a different kinda selfish. I did appreciate his struggle to be sober. I did not appreciate his ego and ridiculous behavior when it came to Daisy (and frankly everyone else). So I didn’t really like the two main protagonists in the story.
As for the rest of the band, the other male members were basically interchangeable and boring. The grumbly one, the brother, and I (seriously) can’t really describe the other two. The drummer maybe? The only band member I loved was Karen Karen and ye certainly didn’t get enough page time with her. I mean seriously why couldn’t she have been the main character? Though I also did enjoy Billy’s wife, Camila, and really thought she could have done much better. Her presence in the novel was the shining thread that held the book together. But in general, all the characters (besides Camila) felt kinda flat.
I also didn’t like the interviewer plot twist. I didn’t like the interviewer plot twist in evelyn hugo either. Lame. That said, I did like the ending of the book in terms of where the band members ended up. That was the best part of the book for me.
The writing style did make it seem like a “real” portrayal of a band from the era but I am the WORST person to judge that. While I like music, I don’t like listening to live bands and I don’t care at all about the artists themselves other than being glad they gave me good songs. Much like with authors and actors, I prefer not to really know about the real people. And from what I have seen of musicians from that era, they all seem like rich, selfish, stupid, whiny, egotistical people. And I really don’t like drug addicts. Too many in me family.
Aye, I know some wonderful people that happen to be actors and I hear about nice, kind authors from the crew fairly often. So there must be lovely musicians out there too. But for me Daisy Jones and the Six was basically a band full of what I consider the worst sort of behavior and ethics. Rape, destroying property, drug use, etc. should not be glamorized in me world. Fame and money do not justify bad behavior. In fact, I usually think fame is stupid. Though I would enjoy being rich.
So while I am glad I finished this book, I can’t say that I actually liked it. I could appreciate the writing and the audiobook production values but was glad when it was over. I still think the author is talented and will be reading more of her work. Arrr!
Side note: Immediately after finishing the audiobook, I found Matey KayCKay’s lovely review in me inbox which actually sums up the problems of the book very nicely. A quote is referenced below but ye really should read the whole thing. It even has a Pros and Cons list!
I’m a bit disappointed in this book, to be honest. I love the author’s other books and I will continue to read her future work, but I was expecting something way more exciting and fun here! Nothing really happens in the book – Daisy joined The Six, they wrote songs, they performed together, they fought, the played mind games, they acted immaturely, they cheated, they lied, they did drugs, they broke up, the end. The story felt directionless and I just can’t get past the self-destructive behavior, the superficial emotional nonsense, and the general flatness of this story. It wasn’t enjoyable.
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . 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 and 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.
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Previous Log Entries for This Author
the seven husbands of evelyn hugo (Curiosities of the Deep – Historical Fiction)