I have a confession to make. When I first got sent this book late last year I hated it. I received an early digital copy without the artwork and because of the structure and format of the book I found it incredibly hard to get my head round all of the characters and keep it straight who was who in the band etc.
It was only when the good people at Penguin Random House sent me a physical copy of the book – complete with the fabulous cover art, check it out! – that I decided to give it another go. Well that, and the fact that the lovely followers on my Facebook page decided that was the next book for me to review!
Set in Los Angeles in the 1970’s this is the story of pretty much every band at the time. A hedonistic whirl of excessive everything: alcohol, flesh and just about every drug known to man at the time.
Initially I found it quite difficult to get used to the style used by Taylor Jenkins Reid. The author has gone for a “vox pop” approach where the entire story is told in the form of a conversation with the band, their management, partners, friends etc. When you get to the point where you can “hear” the different voices you know that you are in deep. These voices are normally contradictory in their recollections of the same event which only adds to the realism.
And Daisy will do that to you. It all feels so real. The descriptions of the song writing process, the melodic influences, the pressures of fame… The Six could be any band threatened with imploding due to internal strife. By the end of the book you’ll be looking them up on iTunes to see if they really did exist or not.
It makes me quite hopeful for the 13 part mini series Reese Witherspoon is producing for Amazon. If they can get it right with the artists and the music (like Lady Gaga in A Star is Born) it will be a sight to behold.
If you are looking for a work of fiction that is a wholly immersive trip through the vagaries of the music industry in the 1970’s then look no further. You’ll be right there on the Sunset Strip with the Six. Warts and all. Ultimately not always the most satisfying experience but it is the closest thing you can get to actually being there.
Supplied by Net Galley and Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review.
UK publication date: Mar 7 2019. 368 pages.
Prolific reader, enthusiastic theatre and movie-goer and ex-Olivier Awards judge who spent twenty years working in the music industry in London. I love sharing my favourite books with friends - nearly always spoiler-free as I hate reading a synopsis of the whole book in other reviews.