In The Pool Boy’s Beatitude, D. J. Swykert tells the first person account of pool cleaner Jack Joseph.  However, Jack is not your typical pool cleaner.  He has a master’s degree in physics, and some rather lascivious relationships with some of his customers.  Jack understands the vast mysteries of the universe and the cosmos, but he has yet to find an answer to the questions of life, specifically his life, which seems to be quickly spiraling out of control.  He’s drinking more and more, and his wife has kicked him out, but for once in Jack’s life, it looks like something good might come from all his problems.  Can he turn things around before the opportunity passes?

Swykert writes an interesting character in Jack Joseph.  He doesn’t immediately start off as likable, as he stays in a near constant state of intoxication and is consistently cheating on his wife, but early on in the book he meets Sarah, and fall madly in love with her.  Not simply on a physical level, but also on a mental and spiritual level.  It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what it is about Sarah that Jack likes so much, but it seems to have a profoundly positive impact on him.  I initially thought I wasn’t going to like this story too much because the early parts of it are a lot of substance abuse and debauchery, but at no point does it ever become too much.  Obviously it’s there, but it’s not gratuitous.  It’s there to show just how low Jack has fallen, and how much he must overcome in order to get his life straightened out.  However, once he finally wants to start to turn it around, I actually found myself rooting for him.  It takes a significant amount of talent and effort to turn an unlikable character into one that your readers can rally behind, and Swykert manages to accomplish the feat here.

One aspect of the book that can sort of bog the story down from time to time, is Jack’s postulating on the universe.  Occasionally I would notice multiple mentions of the same idea or theory over and over again.  While these add depth to Jack’s knowledge, they also can become somewhat tedious when discussed at length two and some even three times.  It causes the story to drag in a few places.  It’s not often enough to cause a major problem with the flow, but it is noticeable.

All in all, The Pool Boy’s Beatitude was a novel that I was not initially sure I would enjoy, but as I continued to read, Jack Joseph became a fascinating character, and I found myself not wanting to put it down.  Swykert crafts an interesting character study that may not have earth shattering consequences for the world at large, but it certainly displays how chaotic and intricate the life of one man can be when confronted with a need, but not necessarily the desire, to change his ways.

You can find The Pool Boy’s Beatitude, by D. J. Swykert on Amazon at the link below:

The Verdict for The Pool Boy’s Beatitude:
4/5 – I can dig it.

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Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

Upcoming reviews:
Secret Wars Journal #4
Civil War #3 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Old Man Logan #4 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Where Monsters Dwell #4 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
X-Men ’92 #3 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
The Wicked + The Divine, Volume 1: The Faust Act


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