TO BE SOMEONE by Louise Voss


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Recuperating DJ writes—and writes and writes—her memoirs.

Former rock musician and popular London DJ Helena Nicholls was on top of the world—until she fell off the stage at the UK Music Awards after a little too much cocaine. She’ll need a glass eye and plastic surgery, and her jaw’s broken. The party’s over—maybe forever. Bandaged and broke, Helena strikes up a friendship with a former friend, Toby, who’s visiting his comatose wife in the hospital. She reminisces in tedious detail about her early days in Freehold, New Jersey, where her family moved when her father’s computer company transferred him to the States. Leaving her best friend Samantha Grant behind was the hardest thing she ever did, but young Helena forged ahead, getting better grades than she ever got in England. She even joined a Baptist church, and sang in the choir—which led to a band, Blue Idea, then a signing by Ringside Records. Bewildering success soon followed, and it wasn’t long before Blue Idea was the hottest band going. But tragedy struck: Helena’s beloved girlfriend Sam was diagnosed with leukemia and couldn’t attend the band’s performances in the UK. No matter. Helena can now remember every moment of Blue Idea’s glory days, even her trite correspondence with Sam. She scribbles away, yearning for Toby, who stops by her bedside less often now that his wife has opened her eyes. A tiresome acquaintance from New Jersey arrives to talk about old times and Helena grows faintly peevish. She’s beginning to feel like the sad-sack listeners who used to beg her to play their favorite songs so they could relive a golden moment or two. Worse, she might have to play Top 40 standards on an early-morning time slot that no one will hear. In fact, Helena might never be truly cool again. Will she ever find the happiness she longs for? Will she ever shut up?

Meandering and incoherent first outing from a music business insider.

Pub Date: Oct. 9th, 2001
ISBN: 0-609-60892-4
Page count: 580pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2001