Key West Chris Rehm is the epitome of the town which he so obviously loves and knows so well.
Rehm is a songwriter and singer of songs. On any given day or evening he can be seen somewhere around Key West performing with his partner singer-songwriter Dani Hoy in their band the Shanty Hounds.
He is an author and a bar owner. Moreover, his knowledge and love of his tropical island village are significant highlights of this highly entertaining, informative, and thought-provoking book.
Since I know him as a friend, I can detect a fair amount of him in this book and story. I can just hear Rehm himself spouting his gems of beer-enhanced wisdom, facts, figures, and tidbits of trivia and history vicariously through his characters.
As a friend, I am doubly surprised to feel that I am reading the work of a classic author and not someone I know so well. However, that is Chris’s talent.
The characters are alluring and well-developed — one gets to feel like Mark Straight, Glades, and Blackheart are friends that one has known for years.
The descriptions and informative narrative asides paint such vividly detailed and enlightening pictures that one becomes transported to the many street scenes, clubs, and sights of Key West past and present.
There is a strong sense of the effects of the passage of time and readers will wistfully imagine the lives of the hamlet’s previous inhabitants while being curious as to where the protagonist will end up next.
Where does it all lead? Who is this Arthur character and why does he know so much about time travel? How will Mark manage his temporally-challenged relationship with Glades? Rehm even draws legendary Key West resident Hemingway into the story in such a way that one can feel the great man’s presence.
As educational as it is entertaining Time Traveler is a compelling read for anyone who is curious about, has a love for or a history with Key West.
Pick up a copy and then just try to put it down!