Emily May's Reviews > Daisy Jones & The Six

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
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it was ok
bookshelves: historical-fiction, 2019

I know many people loved this book, and it's not as if I don't see why, but this choice of narration just really didn't work for me. I found Reid's The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo absolutely riveting from the very first chapter, but I thought the decision to write this book entirely in interview transcripts made it really boring and emotionless.

Daisy Jones & The Six is essentially a band documentary transcript. I'm sure most of you have seen a band documentary before. Former band members, their managers, and their friends are all interviewed, and the screen switches between them speaking and images/footage of the band in their prime. This is like that, but without the images to accompany it. Members of The Six, their acquaintances, and Daisy herself, recount the history of the band's rise and fall.

I just… nothing interested me. I didn’t care when they were bickering about how song lyrics should go. Or when they were talking about the sex and drugs lifestyle. They just fly around, play gigs, do drugs, all while Daisy is being a brat and Billy is cheating on his wife. They are the only two characters of interest and they both irritated me.

Perhaps it is because this is a perfect example of what they say a writer shouldn't do: all tell, no show. I mean, that's the nature of having it be an interview transcript. The characters just talk about their experiences, and it all felt very cold and detached. I wasn't immersed in the story; I wasn't experiencing it.

I actually kept reading because the book seemed like maybe it was building to something good. It all feels like its leading up to a shocking climax at their last concert, but even the mystery surrounding that was unsatisfying for me. I was expecting something more juicy and exciting.

Oh well. I do think it had a bit of a cool 1970s LA music scene vibe going on. The whirlwind of sex, drugs, rock'n'roll and all that. But it wasn't enough for me. I think the story would have been far more compelling written in the author's usual style. She seems quite good at writing about strong feisty women who get caught up in a vicious industry, but that didn't come across as well here.

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Reading Progress

March 13, 2019 – Shelved
March 15, 2019 – Started Reading
March 17, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 190 (190 new)

message 1: by Meg-Anne (new) - added it

Meg-Anne I loved the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and was so excited to read this. It was a total disappointment unfortunately

Emir Ibañez Sorry in advance for my english lol
Unfortunately, this one's going to be a hit or a miss. Not for the story itself but for the way it was written. I liked it A LOT up to the ªrevelation". It wasn't as shocking or interesting as it was supposed to be, I mean... the story was REALLY GOING THERE we all wanted to know THAT and then nothing. Anyway... Reese Whiterspoon is producing a limited series adaptation for Amazon. I think that this book was written specifically for that format.

Janis Skoczylas I think that this a book that people either love or hate. If the interview format doesn't work for a particular reader, that reader isn't going to like it. I personally enjoyed the gossipy feel of the interview, and I actually enjoyed this much more than The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

I do kinda agree with the "all tell, no show" critique. I've had the same criticism of one of Reid's prior novels. But I generally find her stories so compelling that I overlook her tendency to tell her readers, rather than show them.

Read Cute (◕ ˬ ◕✿) Nooooo, I can't believe you didn't like this! It's my fave Reid book so far, and I was iffy with Evelyn Hugo. Reid just has this easy way of preaching in her books and turning everything into an Oprah episode with her philosophocal asides. I find the interview and the all-tell actually works in her favour here, because the character asides don't seem as out of place and jarring.

Nicole R I am a big audiobook fan (they have made me almost enjoy my long commutes!) and, for me, this book is 10x better because of the narration. I can’t imagine “just reading” this one without the ensemble cast and the amazing production that not only brings the story to life, but makes it feel like a VH1 documentary.

If anyone is interested in this book and does audios, I 100% recommend going that route!

Joana Sousa I was so disappointed in this book (especially as Taylor Jenkins Reid is one of my favourite authors) for the exact same reasons, thank you for putting my thoughts into words so perfectly!

Hely It reads like a rock n roll doc. I enjoyed it. But I can see your point. The only thing I didn't like was this one bit in the very end but I don't want to spoil it for anybody else here.

Emily I whole heartedly agreed

Bonnie I was also disappointed with how detached this read but kept going because I thought there was a big twist coming up too. I should've quit. I gave it 3 stars but 2 stars is far more accurate now that I think about it.

message 10: by Mel (new) - added it

Mel Thank you for saving me the money.

Kelly Hemminger I didn’t realize the format of the book until I received it in the mail as my Book of the Month. I am interested to see how I like it.

message 12: by Rebecca (new) - added it

Rebecca Oh, that’s a bummer. I really like TJR but I don’t know how I’d feel about the transcript format. I may take Nicole’s suggestion above and try this on audio though.

Emily May Nicole R wrote: "I am a big audiobook fan (they have made me almost enjoy my long commutes!) and, for me, this book is 10x better because of the narration. I can’t imagine “just reading” this one without the ensemb..."

You know, I did wonder if this would work better on audio. It definitely seems like it would give it more life. The book feels like it was written to be spoken out loud. I personally find audio difficult to concentrate on, which is why I mostly avoid it, but for audio fans that might be the better option here.

message 14: by Lavins001 (new)

Lavins001 I felt the same way. I couldn't pass the first chapter.

Annmarie Agree so disappointed :(

Kacie I listened to this on audio, and I think its the only way to experience the book. And YET -- I felt the same way you did. Couldn't care about the characters. All tell, no show. No interaction. Sigh

Andrea Burk I loved it as an audiobook.

Claudia I am currently listening to it on audible and the narration is outstanding! Sounds like a play more than a book. Definitely better than reading it.

anastasia Yeah i think this book based on its format is best in audiobook version

jasmine the audiobook is a whole lot better. :)

Preeya How sad! I trust your reviews heaps so will read it with this valuable info in mind!! Thanks Emily ☺️

message 22: by Pugsie (new)

Pugsie Thank you, I was pondering back and forth whether to read this or not. Now I won't. I wouldn't have enjoyed it.

message 23: by Katy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Katy I felt exactly the same about the big 'reveal' at the end. I was expecting some huge shocking event that occurred and what you get is just nothing. You could see that coming a mile off if you didn't already know the band splits.

Jennifer Schreiner I completely agree! I am trudging my way through this book, and I just can't connect, don't find it interesting, and hate all the "telling" and no showing. I really enjoyed Evelyn Hugo, and this one is a big disappointing. I don't understand the hype AT ALL.

Laura Nasoulinh I have it on hold at the library so I will see how I like it. I'm glad I'm one who reads before I buy.

Telola I listened to the audio book. It has a full cast which was great. It made it a good story but not incredible. If you can't get through the book I recommend the audio version. I think it saved the story for me.

message 27: by Jen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jen The audiobook was amazing, but I 100% agree with your review, I think I would have felt the same if I read it and didn’t listen. The ending was just blah, all this build up for that? Disappointing.

Grant You hit the nail on the head for me! I didn't feel any connection to these characters really, certainly not the same way I did in Evelyn Hugo, and I think it's because of the testimonial/documentary writing style.

Mary Beth The audio was excellent. Since there are different narrators for the people, I think that gives real voice to the interview style. I couldn’t stop listening. I also read an interview with the author about the book. That had me intrigued.

Ilena She’s currently writing an 80s surfer book and I’m here for it! Great review. Some of what you state resonated with my own thoughts of the book. And same! as to Evelyn Hugo. That book was fantastic. I still gave this one 4 stars though because as detached as I felt, the story still moved me somehow.

Melissa Riddle Your review is spot on.

message 32: by Ashley (new) - added it

Ashley Stark Thank you!! I’m 60% done with the book and I’m bored. I don’t know if I want to finish it or not.

message 33: by Charlotte (new) - added it

Charlotte I decided to DNF for similar reasons, and I just didn't think the ending was going to make it worthwhile. I can see why people enjoyed this book, and is it ever a fast/easy read because of the formatting, but it's definitely not for everybody. But I am still looking forward to reading Reid's next book!
Enjoyed reading your review :)

Kristin Laura Thanks for writing this review so I didn't have to. You summed it up perfectly.

message 35: by Carol (new) - rated it 1 star

Carol I abandoned it about 12 pages in. I think this format and narrative style just isn’t for me. I’ve loved all her other books, so I’ll just wait for the next one. :)

Christine I felt just the same. I really wanted to like this novel but was ultimately left unmoved.

message 37: by Angela (new)

Angela I’m glad there are others with my same thoughts. I’m only on page 60 and I’ve not enjoyed anything so far. While the format is unique, the narrative just isn’t for me.

message 38: by Jenn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jenn Try the audiobook. It has a full cast, and sounds like a documentary. It's amazing to listen to.

Gretchen Felt the same way.

Marcie Rosen I’m on page 19. I keep telling myself to stick with it, but I’m honestly bored with the interview format.

message 41: by Wendy (new) - added it

Wendy Champagne Mullen Totally feel the same way. I want to finish it but it's a struggle.

Corey Urick I listened to the audiobook. I think it helped keep it a little more interesting that way. I'm sure actually reading it would have felt really boring, but the audio production helped keep it fun.

message 43: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly So glad I'm not alone. Great narration on Audible but with five hours to go I think I am about to bail. I love the 70's. I love music. I just don't care about these people. So boring.

Kristie James Agree, I’m going to finish it for the same reasons you did. It is boring, like reading a screen play of just the narrative. I felt no connection to the characters.

Danielle LaMancuso Try the audiobook! It makes a world of difference. The cast of narrators are fantastic. I can see where reading it on the page could fall flat listening to the audiobook was great!

Emily May Danielle wrote: "Try the audiobook! It makes a world of difference. The cast of narrators are fantastic. I can see where reading it on the page could fall flat listening to the audiobook was great!"

I can understand this, but I feel like it should have been marketed that way. I can't do audiobooks, unfortunately, so I would have passed. It is more like reading a screenplay, as Kristie said.

Heather I wish I had just read a real band story. I listened to audiobook and the only narrator I really liked was Karen. Story never got really interesting.

message 48: by Mary (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mary Yes!!!!! This is exactly how I felt about this book.

message 49: by Karlijn (last edited Mar 30, 2019 01:56PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Karlijn Honestly, I can see why you might not like it. I normally do not comment on reviews, they are after all opinions, which everyone is entitled to.

I, however, disagree with your comment that it is "all tell, no show".

I really enjoyed it myself, actually, especially the format. In the Author's Note the narrator says: "the truth often lies, unclaimed, in the middle". I think that this is at the core of the novel. The interview-format works extremely well in this aspect.

We have a lot of competing accounts of events, and you as a reader are left to determine what is actually the 'truth'. It is not all tell, we are in fact given competing or incomplete versions of the story at hand. The characters also show us their own versions of what is happening.

I think it is well-written and it challenges the reader to decide who they want to believe. You might not always like or enjoy a book, but that does not mean it has no merit. I think this novel knows how to invoke nostalgia but also knows how to twist that. It has unreliable narrators and plays with issues of memory and life-writing.

Melissa The only reason I picked it up was because of Reese Witherspoon book club. I debated on getting it through my book of the month and i'm glad I got it at the library. I just didn't like the format. Maybe listening to it it would be better but it wasn't for me

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