daisy jones and the six book review

daisy jones and the six book review

Daisy Jones and The Six Book Review

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1. Introduction

It is 1972 and Daisy Jones is your average rebellious, spoiled teenager who has everything at the tip of her fingers including beauty, sex appeal, and a singing voice destined to make her a star. At the tender age of 15, Daisy leaves school to pursue her dream of becoming a singer. Her parents are very wary of allowing her to follow her dream but ultimately give in. Daisy becomes a famous icon and the “voice of a generation,” the poster child of the seventies counterculture whose string of chart-topping hits and memorable performances at The Troubadour with her band, The Six. Daisy Jones herself becomes a legend in the world of rock and roll and a symbol of the period itself. Fast-forward 45 years, I, Eva Cunningham, had the chance to interview the members of the famous band Daisy Jones and the Six, learning their split-second discrepancies, feelings toward Daisy, and the way the band ended. Compiled together, this oral history reveals the true story of the star-making machinery and the price of fame.

2. Plot Summary

The two bands coming and meshing together was a huge social experiment as it was filled with many mishaps, and personal romance and breakups throughout the two bands. The novel has a very colorful storyline, and each character has an interesting past and future life that will eventually affect the band as a whole.

Billy Dunne and The Six have signed a new album record deal, and the record label mentioned to Billy that they needed to make a change of musical style to accommodate one of the label’s current solo singers to back up and play piano in the album track. Billy knows he does not want to have someone else on the recording to mess up the band’s style, but he knows he has to swallow his pride and accept it. That same night, Daisy Jones and Billy are both at crossroads in their life when they are both looking for musical inspiration. When they meet and spend the night with each other while listening to music and talking. After that night, Daisy is offered a chance to sing for The Six on the album track. This was the beginning of Daisy Jones and The Six.

At the same time, The Six is a very successful rock and roll band that has yet to have the breakthrough. The band is led by Billy Dunne, who is the lead singer and songwriter. Billy is mostly a responsible family man who loves his wife and kids, but Billy has his struggles that he is trying to keep away from his family. Billy is a weak man who has his moments of giving into temptations that he later regrets. This was seen by his hard drug use. The band has the skills and the musical abilities, but what the band is missing is a mysterious twist of luck that would take them to the top. This is the story of how Daisy Jones and The Six would eventually join forces and how both of their lives would be changed forever.

The novel shows the story ranging from 1950s to 1970s. This era greatly influences the setting, as well as the cultural and musical background of the story. The story starts with Daisy Jones, who is a very beautiful, young, amazing singing talent and a very troubled girl. She is the daughter of a famous painter and her dad has a very large family. But Daisy feels ignored and out of place in her family. She feels no one truly understands her or her dreams. Daisy Jones’ dream is only to sing rock and roll music, ever since she was a little girl. She feels that her voice is the only thing that she has. She constantly runs away from home to pursue her career in singing, but her attempts are always thwarted by her father.

3. Character Analysis

Billy is a very complex character. He is a person who has always been used to getting what he wants and going with his gut feeling, however, he is forced to stop and examine himself when he meets Camila. He is a person who is naturally charismatic and a born leader, however, he silently harbors feelings of inadequacy because he knows he is not the cleverest and is never good at anything. He becomes an oversensitive bully, being too harshly critical of others in order to feel better about himself and enforcing his own rules to make up for the loss of control. This behavior results in internal guilt and struggle, Billy knows that most of the band dislikes him and he finds it hard to ignore what he has become when the driving force is driven out of him by Camila. When the band actually does disband, Billy feels notably lost, his overdependence on The Six and the lack of an identity apart from being one of a band founder.

The Six: Billy Dunne: born William Burnett. Billy is the lead singer of The Six. He is a chunk of a free cannon and wild infant, who’s blessed with an remarkable voice, precise looks and a genuine passion for music. Billy lives wild and quick till he meets Camila at a celebration and fast falls for her. He reveals the excellent relationship he has ever had and it grounds him, not making tune for tour but for the life he is constructing with her. This causes a number of anger and frustration although as his tune is heavily influenced by his wild days, his new love and life does not equal good writing material. This causes lots of frustration and clashes between band members wherein songwriting becomes very tough and Billy feels on top of things of nothing. The actual demands which ruin control are when Daisy joins the band because the band’s back-up singer. Her unique beauty and voice do not go unnoticed and Billy quickly has to fight off uncontrollable feelings of attraction to her. This, combined with regular proximity confine Billy to a role he has never been in before, seeking to ignore temptation. This is something Billy is not familiar with in any aspect of his existence, he has always been a very impulsive person, doing whatever he wants when he wants. This causes a variety of inner turmoil for Billy and in the end he gets Daisy kicked out of the band as a way to try to avoid temptation by way of distance. This action is far from fruitful, however, as the band finds it clearly doesn’t work without Daisy’s voice. This, combined with the real truth Billy didn’t want to lose what he saw as a part of himself, causes him to ask Daisy back and eventually ends in Billy’s addiction to various drugs. This ultimately becomes too much and shortly before the band’s final concert, with Billy, Scarlett, and Daisy unconscious from heroin, the band decides to break up.

Camila Jones: Daisy’s mother. Camila gave up a singing career to marry a very prosperous guy and have little ones, and is set on Daisy no longer making the same mistake. She is blind to Daisy’s capabilities to do something other than making a song because of her personal fears and insecurities.

4. Themes and Messages

There are some hard-hitting themes and messages in this book that will definitely get readers thinking. One of the themes that was touched on in Daisy Jones & The Six was the effect of childhood and past experiences on adult life. This was visible with Daisy, Billy, and Camila’s characters. With Daisy, it was obvious to see that she was struggling with the decisions she made in her childhood and how they have brought her to where she is currently. This has resulted in her drug and alcohol abuse as a coping mechanism. Billy was also a character deeply affected by his past. It was revealed in an argument with his father near the end of the book that rock and roll music was everything he had. He had sacrificed going to college and taking a safer career path to find a sense of fulfillment and purpose in his life. Music was his escape from a lifetime of unfulfilling jobs to keep his family together. When his father made comments to suggest he had not been successful, Bill felt he had not achieved anything and it wasn’t until The Six had blown up and he was offered the opportunity to sign with a record label. This pushed Billy to do something that would make his father proud of him and demonstrate that he had achieved something. This resulted in Billy jumping at the chance for fame and fortune, leading him to become power-hungry and endangering his character and values. Finally, Camila had a tumultuous childhood which is something she’s tried to escape by being a good wife and creating a stable family environment. Although she does not regret meeting Billy, she knows that they are no longer the young couple who fell in love and Billy would not make the same decision again. This is a tough pill to swallow as learning about Daisy has shown Billy what he missed out on in his youth in the name of success. Another interesting theme was the power and powerlessness of women and how they were expected to behave during this time period. This was visible with Daisy and Karen’s characters. Daisy was a wild child, the camera never lied, and she wasn’t afraid to speak her truth. She openly flirted with men and wrote songs about sex and drugs, something that a woman would never be taken seriously for in today’s music industry. This was not without punishment as there was an incident near the end of the book where her inebriated state left her vulnerable and she was taken advantage of by one of the male band members. On the complete opposite spectrum was Karen. Karen always felt like she had to be good. Having been the reserved and responsible sister at home, she’d always identified with her persona as the good girl. This led to her having a hard time letting loose and embracing the 70s style rock and roll. During a fight with her husband Graham, she expressed she felt she’d never chosen anything for herself. It was always something for someone or something else. Daisy. It was known that a lot of the booking was because of Daisy and she’d taken the easy way out by acquiescing to his more ambitious plans, which led to them living a comfortable life, not something she would consider a life of luxury.

5. Conclusion

Though not broken, “Daisy Jones & the Six” is a compelling story about a young woman coming into her own in the music business, even though that story is only a quarter of the book. It is a profile of generational breakdown and is a chronicle of characters at cross purposes. It lives within the ride or die ethos of classic rock and roll and features outstanding dialogue, engaging character development, and a plot that is compelling as it is sporadic. The best and worst part about this novel is how it holds absolutely no sentiment. It is about the complete failure of relationships and is about the cold and harsh nature of truth; a truth that no one wants to hear. This comes up in Lily and the messes that the Dunne family have caused for themselves though it is best seen through the relationship between Pete and Billy Dunne. Daisy Jones does not care for herself and the only truth that she knows is how broken she and everyone else is. It is downright depressing at times, but it is often confronting and incredibly realistic. The relationships fail because the characters are either selfish, self-destructive, or intentionally deceitful. This is contrasted through the Dunne family, who manage to redeem themselves despite their best attempts otherwise.

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