Monday, January 16, 2012

A Salty New Novel

Here's a review for Key West Story: A Novel by Rick Skwiot.  Look for this new novel on Amazon and other e-book sites.

Having a protagonist who is a writer is not easy to pull off - writers are not known to be action figures after all, but Rick Skwiot does it beautifully in Key West Story: A Novel. It helps that his writer, Constantine not only drinks rum but dodges bullets and domesticating-minded women. 
To save him from being a clich√©, Con does NOT live on a houseboat - he lives in a rental, trying to stay ahead of the utility bills - and is befriended by an Ernest Hemingway look-alike, who claims to be the real thing, and who helps Con chew over a life and a writing career gone off-course. 
"It's all that matters," say Papa Hemingway, who in 2012 is called Nick. "Without it, it's like a bad novel. No matter how fine the writing or how beautiful its moments, it never works if the core isn't solid, if it has no heart." 
To stave off writer's block induced panic, and possibly solve the paying-the-rent-problem, Con agrees to go to Cuba with "Nick" on a dubious and ill-explained mission. "A voyage of faith, Conman," his new pal tells Con about traveling and possible sunken treasure, but also about finding his best-selling writer self again. 
High seas and low surf adventures lie ahead for the writerly pair. In the end, the appreciative reader will have gotten to know several unique Key West characters, many of whom have lost some rudder power in their own lives, and all of whom find their core, their heart and their destiny, some in unexpected ways, with a salty Atlantic breeze at their backs. 

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