Daisy Jones & The Six


Clancey Benfer, Writer

The Tik-Tok sensation Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid has recently been released as an Amazon Prime TV show. It’s been said that the TV show is the story that the novel avoids telling outright. If you know nothing about the show or book, I’m here to tell you. 

The book takes place throughout the 1970s and is loosely inspired by Fleetwood Mac, following a fictional band called The Six. It’s told in an interview format by most of the band members, friends, and other people involved with the band. Daisy Jones is an aspiring artist who grew up in LA. With neglectful parents, she gets involved with drugs and the music business at a young age. While sneaking into shows and parties, she discovers her love of writing and performing music, but struggles to garner the fame she desires 

Across the country, the Dunne Brothers are working hard in Pittsburgh to get discovered. Eventually, they change their name to The Six and move to LA, where they land a record deal. Over a period of years, The Six release two albums and go on tour. They gain some traction but are catapulted into fame when they release a single with the spirited Daisy Jones, garnering them national attention. Because of the fame, a reluctant Billy Dunne–lead singer of The Six–invites Daisy to join them for their third album. Billy is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, so he struggles when he is around Daisy. After butting heads, the pair really connect while songwriting. They release their album and head out on a sold-out world tour. Halfway through the tour, the band breaks up and offers no explanation to the public as to why. 

I read this novel a few days before the show came out so I could decide which was better: the book or the TV show. In the case of Daisy Jones & The Six, I think the show will turn out to be better than the book. The novel was easy to read and it was easy to keep track of the different characters. It’s a good length and well-organized in nine different parts told across the span of a decade. The band’s rise and fall to stardom was really interesting, and the writing was humorous. It was also easy to sympathize with the characters. I admire the way that Reid writes about addiction and love in this book too. 

Despite all that, it was missing something. I realize that since this story is told through an interview taking place in the present, the narrators are all unreliable. Characters won’t say everything that happened, so have to read between the lines. Still, I think a lot of the tension and passion that Reid was trying to display between Daisy and Billy is not there. Their relationship is one of the main conflicts of this book. I think there should have been more in the novel about this relationship, even if it’s not directly stated by a character. 

In contrast, Billy and Daisy’s relationship is on full display in the TV show. I like the idea that the same story is being told in two different mediums, with both existing in the same creative universe. The book is what the band members “say” happened, whereas the show is what actually happened; however, the show hasn’t finished yet, so my judgment may be too early. I rate this book 3.5 stars, though I’ve heard people enjoyed it more when they listened to the audiobook. I recommend this book to someone who’s interested in an entertaining story about love, drugs, and rock & roll.