Blue Rubber Pool: Winter Read for Today's Reclusive Baby Boomers

The novel Blue Rubber Pool may have special value to baby boomers who, according to researchers at the Stanford Center of Longevity, are less socially engaged than people the same age 20 years ago, according to its author Tim Bryant.

"The study says some boomers are simply busier outside their established social circles - taking care of elderly parents, doing volunteer work or pursuing hobbies," Bryant said. "Others, empty nesters and retirees suddenly facing fewer distractions and more free time, find themselves questioning social norms left unresolved in the 60s and 70s, set aside due to family and career responsibilities. At least that's what happened to me."

Bryant says the idea for his novel came from a time he locked up emotionally and spent almost an entire summer in a $200 kiddie pool listening to a long-lost Led Zeppelin cassette. "I don't know if it was a nervous breakdown or mid-life crisis or what but my time in the pool was a Big Chill meditation covering religion, politics, subversion, capitalism, marriage, Southern culture, angst and paranoia," Bryant said. "When I finally got out of the water, I had this book, reflecting those and other issues, half written in my head. I wove it into a convoluted mystery to make it fun."

Blue Rubber Pool's main character, JT Harrington, is a shadowy, world weary South of the Border deal maker, having qualms about his work and life. Smitten by a dainty Southern belle - she's a Dawn Wells look-alike - he ships his sailboat to rural South Carolina and parks it near her parents' generations-old plantation house.

But his transition to the boonies does not go well...

His type guns are not for hunting, his type boat is not for catching bass. He likes Zeppelin, not country. Nobody surfs. A neighbor's cow keeps wandering near his stash. And somebody's watching from the road."

Blue Rubber Pool was published last week by Black Opal Books, a small traditional press in Oregon.

"As a story dealing with paranoia and angst, it's a good pick for fellow Boomers that might now be getting back in touch with themselves, but also for younger people that are probably feeling a lot of the same things we did then and still do now. It's part adventure and part therapy."

More information about Blue Rubber Pool is available online via Amazon, Barnes & Noble and BlackOpalBooks.com

More information about the Stanford Center for Longevity study can be found in the Wall Street Journal.

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