Comeback by Chris Limb #BookReview #Fantasy

The front cover for Comeback. The top of the cover is black with the title in thick white letters and a red microphone. The bottom is red. Black roots are coming out of the bottom of the microphone and a person is caught in the roots.

COMEBACK by Chris Limb

Unbound, s/b, £10.99

Reviewed by Matthew Johns

The front cover for Comeback. The top of the cover is black with the title in thick white letters and a red microphone. The bottom is red. Black roots are coming out of the bottom of the microphone and a person is caught in the roots.

BRIT Award-winning musician Eugenie Drummond-Calthorpe, or Genie DC as she’s known to her fans, is having a bad day. She might argue that she’s having a bad life. Thrown into pop music almost by accident, her one true love Wendi is dead, and now her male model boyfriend is dead too. She’s drunk (not an unusual state of being for Genie) and is so down that she’s contemplating jumping from the balcony of her London flat. After taking copious amounts of cocaine and some Valium on top of the vodka she’s already been drinking, unsurprisingly, she starts to feel a bit woozy and loses consciousness. Waking up, she finds herself in what seems to be a tube station, with no memory of how she got there. The station is deserted and unusually has no posters, just a tube station-style sign saying “TenarO”, which seems strangely familiar. The only thing she seems to be able to do is to get on an escalator and start going down. And down, and down, and down. The escalator seems to go on forever, and she racks her brain trying to remember how she came to be here. A former student and lover of classic literature, she soon realises that she’s entering the underworld, much as Orpheus once did.

The book intersperses Genie’s journey into the underworld with flashbacks to her previous life – telling how she met Wendi, lead singer of the band Beam, and her eventual lover, who also brought her into the world of music. It takes us through her time at school, her attempted rape at a music festival, her time at university, and how she eventually became the terminally addicted musician that she is today.

Chris Limb very cleverly combines classical Greek mythology with the modern music scene as Genie journeys through the underworld, encountering myriad figures from her past and trying to make sense of the situation she finds herself in. Limb clearly knows the music scene well and lovingly depicts it, warts and all.

At times educational and humorous, but always entertaining, this is a great read – Limb brings Genie to life on the page and, despite her many flaws, manages to get the reader emotionally invested in her life, her journey and hoping for a positive outcome for her at the end (no spoilers here!). As the cover puts it – sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll…and the afterlife. What more could you want?