I do love the sound of 2020. It has a lovely ring to it. It’s also the year that Father Gums will turn 100. However, that will be May. Right now, it’s time to kick off the first Six Degrees of Separation meme of the year. This meme for those of you who don’t know it is explained in detail on our meme host Kate’s blog – booksaremyfavouriteandbest.
I’m starting this year the same as I did last year, that is, with Kate choosing a book I haven’t read. Indeed I haven’t even heard of Taylor Jenkin’s Reid book, Daisy Jones and the Six, which is a novel about the rise and fall of a fictional 1970s rock band.
For my first link, I’m sticking with the theme of rock music, and choosing Nigel Featherstone’s novella, The beach volcano (my review). However, Featherstone’s novel, while featuring a successful rock musician – Canning aka Mick Dark – is not so much about Canning’s musical career as his return home after a long absence for his father’s 80th birthday, intent on getting answers to some longstanding family secrets and, thus, resolve underlying conflicts.
Featherstone’s Canning returns home because he wants to improve his relationship with his family, and father. Not so for Édouard Péricourt in Pierre Lemaître’s The great swindle (my review). Severely wounded in World War 1, and the son of a dominating father, he flat refuses to return home to resolve those unresolved conflicts!
And here, sticking, unusually for me, with content, I’m going to link on something a bit tenuous. Édouard Péricourt was so disfigured in the war that he wears increasingly bizarre but often beautiful masks rather than let people see his face. Masks feature in Julian Davies’ novel Crow mellow (my review), but via a masked ball that takes place in a country house/bush retreat where artists are staying with their patrons and admirers.
Crow mellow belongs, then, to a sub-genre known as country house novels. While you couldn’t call my next link a country house, exactly, but the characters in Charlotte Wood’s The natural way of things (my review) are all stuck together in a sort of labour camp in the country somewhere. No masked-ball fun there!
The natural way of things won the Stella Prize in 2016. The 2015 winner was a sort of country house novel too, Emily Bitto’s The strays (my review) which is about an artist’s colony in Victoria, inspired by the Reeds and their Heide group. Yes, I know I’m stretching the country house friendship a bit, but why not?
So, where to from here? How about another book which was inspired by artists, albeit of a different type? Dominic Smith’s The electric hotel (my review) was inspired by the silent film pioneers of the early twentieth century. Its protagonist, Claude Ballard, is fictional, like Bitto’s Trenthams, but it does directly reference real artists as well, such as the Lumière Brothers and Thomas Edison.
So, a different sort of chain for me because all the main links are content-related (with an additional link between Wood and Bitto on the Stella Prize.) Interestingly, I’ve realised that most of the books deal with artists of some sort – painters, musicians, filmmakers, and mask-makers. Four of my six authors are male, which is not common for me, and all of my linked authors, except Pierre Lemaître, are Australian (albeit Smith now lives in the USA). Oh, and all are set post 1900.
And now, my usual questions: Have you read Daisy Jones and the Six? And, regardless, what would you link to?
38 thoughts on “Six degrees of separation, FROM Daisy Jones and the Six TO …”
No, I haven’t. I hope The Electric Hotel has Edison as the nasty so-&-so he was ..?
As clever as ever. 🙂
Yes, in fact, he does, M-R! And, thanks!
A very good chain! You’re not missing much for not having read Daisy Jones and The Six! Reading didn’t help my chain all that much, I still wandered around and around:
Haha, Theresa – thanks for that reassurance. I’ll come visit yours (when I take a break from my AWW round-up preparation!)
Ahhh! A big job there, no doubt!
Yes, complex because I have a genre and a sub genre, but I’m used to it now!
I always look forward to yours!
Oh, I hope this will be worth it!
Hi Sue, I too haven’t read Daisy Jones and found it difficult to make links. Though my first link was easy as it went to a children’s book of mine Daisy the Cow. Stumped for awhile I then followed with other characters named Daisy.. Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald;, Daisy Miller by Henry James; Daisy/Nicole in the Testaments; Princess Daisy Judith Krantz: and concluding with Coda by Thea Astley – Kathleen speaks to her dead friend Daisy.
Ah, well done Meg. I had certainly forgotten about Kathleen’s dead friend. This was a challenging one, wasn’t it.
You don’t need me to tell you that of course I haven’t read it…
(and BTW, for once, not a single novel in my chain).
Haha, no I don’t, Lisa. I’m glad I’m not the only one who had neither read nor heard of it!
Ha! I am not alone!
Not in any sense ! 😀
No I haven’t read it. I always lose the thread of these things, but regardless happy New Year Gummie.
Happy New Year to you Guy. You’ll be interested to know that I ordered another Donald Westlake for my son for Xmas but apparently I’ll be waiting a long time for it, if indeed at all it returns to stock.
That’s a shame. Which one?
Oops, I meant to reply to this yesterday. It’s What’s so funny? Do you know it? Can you recommend any particularly over others, given my son particularly likes humour.
Great list here – and almost all Australian authors! I’m really looking to read more Australian authors, so I’m going to bookmark this post as reference. Yes, I’ve read Daisy Jones, and I really loved it. One of my favorite of 2019. And my chain is also different than previous chains! You can find it here https://tcl-bookreviews.com/2020/01/04/6degrees-of-separation-for-january-4-2020/
Oh yes, Davida, I usually do mostly Australian, but this time it was even more than usual. I’m glad if it has resulted in your bookmarking it for reading recommendations!
I think you and Theresa are the only two commenters so far who have read the starting book. I’ll come check out your chain.
Your links work for me! I have not read Daisy Jones, but I think my first link would probably be to one of Patti Smith’s books and then from there, who knows?
Ah yes, Patti Smith would be good. I have one of hers, but haven’t managed to read it – yet!
Great chain! I’m actually impressed you haven’t heard of Daisy Jones! The blogs I follow have been bursting with reviews of it. So far, I am still on the fence about it, though.
Thanks stargazer. That’s funny. Either the majority of the bloggers I follow haven’t reviewed it, or, possibly, it hasn’t registered. I think though that if several of them had, it would have registered?
Very true. We probably follow different type of bloggers. Do you mostly read Australian blogs? Perhaps Daisy Jones isn’t as popular in Australia?
Interesting and creative connections as always. I really want to read Daisy Jones and the Six. I am a rock fan and I tend to like rock themed fiction. I may read it soon.
I’d love to see your review. It’s style sounds up my alley, actually.
I have not read Daisy Jones and the Six. I don’t think I’ve read any novels with a pop group at the center.
But why be shy? Jump one is to Anthony Burgess’s novel Enderby, in which a group, Yod Crusey and the Fixers, makes an appearance. Jump two is to The Complete Book of Running, a book that conveyed enthusiasm for running but curiously little practical information about it: the author was the American Jim Fixx. Jump three, still more arbitrarily, is to Parade’s End by Ford Madox Ford: Chevrolet enthusiasts used to maintain that “Ford” was an acronym for “Fix or Repair Daily”. Jump four is to Raymond Chandler Speaking, in which Chandler maintained, pace Eric Partridge, that the term “flivver” (US slang for a car in so-so condition) properly applied only to Fords. Jump five is to Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim, for Jim initially appears as the agent for a ship’s chandler. The final jump is to John Crowe Ransom’s Collected Poems, for one of the better poems is “Conrad in Twilight”.
Excellent as always, George. So glad you weren’t shy. Love the jump from Fixx to Ford. Very clever, made me smike. BTW I have been given two acronyms for Fords… The one you shared plus Found on Road Dead. That said we enjoyed our little Ford Escort when we lived in the US. Hmm… Escort… Now, what could THAT link to!
Great chain. I do very much like country house novels and your Crow mellow is intriguing. Surprised my library system doesn’t have it. Will have to keep my eyes open.
Oh, I’m so glad Constance that that book has interested you. The problem is that it was published by a very small independent publisher here in Australia, Finlay Lloyd. I reckon you should ask your library system to order it! The book is a riff on Aldous Huxley’s Crome yellow, which makes a good argument for it, I reckon.
Yes, ‘country house’ makes TNWOT sound a little more friendly than it actually was, but they link easily on account of the Stella 😀
The Electric Hotel was a bit of a let down for me (compared to The Last Painting…) and while I didn’t rave about Daisy Jones like some readers, I thought the interview structure of the book was interesting and well-executed – it’s a light, beach read but not more than that.
Thanks Kate … I thought it was a cheeky link to TNWOT, but I like to be cheeky.
I do like the sound of Daisy Jones because of that form.
Your books sound so good. I want to read them all. Daisy Jones and the Six in 6 degrees
Thanks Anne… I’m impressed the they all interest you.
I haven’t read Daisy Jones and the Six either, and so my chain was loosely based on what I read in the synopsis. I like the direction you went with you chain! Thank you for sharing.
Thanks Literary Feline. I’ll come read yours.