Books with Buzz : Daisy Jones and the Six

amazing quests

This summer, Adult Summer Reads: Amazing Quests takes us on a 70s rock adventure as we read Daisy Jones and the Six. Join us on Thursday, July 18 at 7:00 pm at the Civic Centre Resource Library for our Books with Buzz program, where we’ll be discussing this hot new title (and any other buzz-worthy books you like!).  

Image result for daisy jones and the six book coverDaisy Jones and the Six is a story about a fictional band, but don’t feel embarrassed if you had to google that to make sure. Reid’s latest novel is so steeped in 70s rock culturefrom shaggy hair, bangles, desert vibes, and plentiful drugs, it definitely feels real.  

If you’ve ever been the type of music fan to get caught up in a good backstory, or loves some behind the scenes drama (honestly, which of us doesn’t?), Daisy Jones has what you’re looking for. In an interview with Rolling Stone (how appropriate!), Reid speaks to her inspiration behind the fictional band, about how she “was really intrigued by that story of these two people that create this incredible, intimate art together that sounds so romantic but they’re not romantically involved.” Reid points to Fleetwood Mac and Civil Wars as examples of bands whose breakups intrigued her, which led me to recall the time in my own life when I obsessively chronicled the implosion of The Libertines. There’s something about the particular chaos and tragedy of rock bands that lends an air of romanticism and glamour, even though it is often less-than-glamourous things like drugs and jealousy that cause their downfall. Daisy Jones is proof that we are all still susceptible to that rock band charm!  

Structurally, the book is impressive. The story is told in interview format, like a long episode of Behind the Music, which means that Reid has to weave the distinct voices and narratives of several band members, managers, and friends into a defined timeline, with all the information coming directly from dialogue. At first, I had a hard time keeping track of the characters (I won’t lie, I still barely know who Warren and Pete are), since we’re just presented with a grab-bag of generic male names. But the major players are defined enough to stand out, and their complexities are what really solidify them. Daisy Jones is your boho, take-no-prisoners rock goddess, like if Stevie Nicks had Courtney Love’s penchant for messiness. It’s a behind-the-mystique look at a star who, front-facing, could just be a run-of-the-mill California dream girl. Through Billy Dunne we get the classic, Almost Famous-style dynamic of the charismatic front man capturing the public’s attention while the rest of the band plays in the shadows, and the tensions that come along with that. But Billy isn’t just a Jagger prototype—he is a family man, devoted to his wife and sobriety, a musician who has trouble letting go creatively, but one who is so talented you almost don’t want him to.   

The problem with books about music is that, even though the song lyrics are printed at the back of the book, you can’t read a song—all the descriptions of the songs made me sad that I couldn’t just pull up Spotify and listen to them. It’s sort of like if someone were to describe a painting to you. You can probably imagine something similar, but it’ll pale in comparison. However, Reese Witherspoon has blessed us with some good news! She and Amazon Studios have purchased the film rights to Daisy Jones for a 13 episode series, and Reid has confirmed that the much-hyped album Aurora will play a big role in the show. So we can look forward to hearing these legendary songs—although I don’t envy the person tasked with bringing these songs to life, since they’re positioned as diamond record-worthy 70s rock hits.  

Have you gotten a chance to read Daisy Jones and the Six yet? Join us on Thursday July 18 for our Books with Buzz program, and let us know what you think! We’ll be serving refreshments and talking books!  

Alyssia

About Alyssia

Alyssia is an Information Assistant at the Vaughan Public Libraries. Nothing makes her happier than a great book and a great cup of coffee. She loves fiction in all formats - books, movies, television, you name it - and is always on the lookout for awesome new music.

4 thoughts on “Books with Buzz : Daisy Jones and the Six

  1. That’s so great that the songs are going to be brought to life out of the book! I have to agree; that would be a tall order indeed, but if they find the right person to do it, it could be a lot of fun, too. Several of books I’ve read recently (children’s novels) include long songs/poems—long chunks of text—and I’ve very lately been wondering about that. It’s hard trying to lift that off the page when you don’t know what the melody is supposed to be, particularly if you happen to be reading aloud!

    I’ve defiantly seen this book cover in my travels, so it was great to learn some more about it. Thanks for the recommendation. 🙂

    1. I agree, I’m sure everyone who has read Daisy Jones & the Six is looking forward to hearing what the songs are like brought to life. I also just did a quick search, and there are some fan-made covers inspired by the lyrics from the novel (of course), so it’ll be interesting to see how those compare with what becomes the official version of them! I’ve also been happening across some quick snippets of songs or even just little ditties in children’s books recently that I have no idea the tune they’re set to – also for the purposes of reading them aloud, so Victoria if you have a trick for doing this, do share!

      I tend to have trouble staying focused when I’m reading in interview format, even for actual interviews with people and/or topics I’m interested in, so I’d like to see how that differs with a plot in the text as well.

      1. Oh wow, the book hasn’t even been out that long! There are already covers? That’s awesome! I’ll look those up for sure.

        As for interview format, I did find that I had more trouble than usual focusing or following along than a typical novel. Distinguishing between characters was tricky as well. But once I got into a rhythm it was ok. I have the same problem as you though, when an interview with someone I like is really long I usually just skim it lol

    2. Not gonna lie, usually when I encounter songs/poems in books that are longer than a few lines, I skip over them. I don’t know why! I feel like my attention span stops working haha. You’re right, without the melody, it’s hard to appreciate the words as a song! But I’m excited to see what they do with the songs in this book!

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