Daisy Jones & the Six

8 CDs. Books on Tape. Mar. 2019. 10 hrs. ISBN 9781984845313. $40. digital download. F
OrangeReviewStarReid's (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo) groovy fictional documentary charts the ascent and flameout of a star-crossed 1970s rock band. Affording listeners the ultimate backstage pass, the format of this "oral history"—snippets compiled from interviews recorded four decades after the heyday of Daisy Jones & the Six—sets the stage for an outstanding full-cast presentation featuring 21 talented narrators. Jennifer Beals as mercurial party girl Daisy and Pablo Schreiber as recovering addict Billy Dunne convey angst beneath a photogenic veneer as brilliant vocalists/songwriters who, pressured into collaborating, generate magic onstage and tumult everywhere else. Judy Greer and Benjamin Bratt deliver engaging viewpoints from undervalued keyboardist "Karen Karen" and Billy's mellower brother Graham. Reid overlays sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll with aspiration and the yearning to connect, vividly depicting not only the rush of a crowd-pleasing performance but also the prerequisite creative toil and emotional cost unseen by the public.
VERDICT Music fans will be captivated, as will readers of character-driven fiction, not to mention the audience acknowledged in Daisy's Grammy speech—"all of you out there hung up on somebody or something"—that is, most listeners. Enthusiastically recommended. ["For music lovers, romance fans, and anyone who wants to feel invincible with youth, intoxicated by music, and a powerful longing for days gone by": LJ 3/19 review of the Random hc.]
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