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Reincarnation Blues: A Novel by Michael…

Reincarnation Blues: A Novel

by Michael Poore

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I thought this novel was going to aim for a sort of charming, storybookish tone, à la Neil Gaiman. I was surprised by how emotionally gripping it turned out to be. There’s some quirkiness and light humor sprinkled throughout (with one very funny scene near the beginning), but it’s mostly a serious look at life and suffering. Several independently-strong stories are stitched together into one good larger narrative, and supernatural and science-fictional elements are blended effectively. Of the books I’ve read this year, this is one of my favorites. ( )
  brokensandals | Feb 7, 2019 |
The novel unfolds with Milo dying after being eaten by a shark. Dying is nothing new, Milo has died 9,994 times before. According to this novel, we have 10,000 opportunities to reach Platonic perfection and become one with the cosmic soul. Most don't need 10,000 opportunities; however, Milo is finds perfection too loosely defined to achieve it. However, you have only 10,000 chances and Milo is nearing the end. What happens if one doesn't meet perfection no one knows but all don't believe that it is good. He has only five additional tries to get it right.

Each time Milo dies, he is reincarnated as another person or other living organism depending on how well he lived his previous life. When he has not lived his life well, he has returned as a tadpole once and a bug and a tree in other lives. He can also appear at any point any the time continuum, past or future. The wisdom acquired from his previous lives are present in the form of a inner voice.

Between lives, he reflects in a form of afterlife comprised of universals, creatures who have achieved perfection. Some of these creatures are anthropomorphic universals such as death. The grim reaper, known to Milo as Suzy, loves him.

The novel reads like a series of short stories with Milo and Suzy the common thread that runs through the book. Some of the stories are humorous, others are grim, and many poignant. Overall, I enjoyed this book very much turning page after page hoping that, maybe this time, Milo would learn the meaning of perfection. A new author for me that I will pick up again. ( )
  John_Warner | Dec 28, 2018 |
I really liked this book. It is absolutely unlike anything I've ever read before. I've read one or two other books with a reincarnation element, and I've always enjoyed them. I really love how you get to read so many interconnected stories within one book. All of Milo's lives were fascinating and none left me feeling bored or waiting to move on to the next part of the story. The non-linear take on time was really unique compared to other reincarnation stories I've read, and I actually liked that it jumped from the ancient past to the distant future and anywhere in between. The amount of world-building in this book, with all its different settings and time periods, is really amazing. I also really liked the overarching plot of trying to achieve Perfection and figuring out what Perfection truly means. If the book description intrigues you even just a tiny bit, pick this one up. It's moving, thought-provoking, romantic, at times funny, and it's definitely worth a read. Thanks to First to Read for the advance copy. ( )
  carlie892 | Oct 10, 2018 |
Ah Yes - Reincarnation Blues. Its about a man who loves death, and instead of becoming perfect, only wants to spend time with his love, whom he can only be with when between reincarnations.

The book is well written. It has a strong moral aspect to it, but doesn't beat you over the head. The main character, Milo, is warm, funny, tragic, and a sort of "every man" type character. His flaws are our flaws.

Susie (AKA death)is bit different. She wants something out of her life, but doesn't know what. She loves Milo, but wants something else.

This mix of fantasy and science fiction set in a book that uses reincarnation to move the story along with different consecutive lives being in the past, as well as in the future. It can feel a bit disjointed, but its okay. The lives Milo lives are heartbreaking - he has a limited time to become perfect before he becomes nothing, so each life he lives becomes more heart breaking.

Over all, a great book with an interesting premise that manages to hit the sweet spot of books - interesting character, interesting plot, and with a morality that is part of the story, not tacked on. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Aug 4, 2018 |
I LOVE THIS BOOK! If Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams had a baby and then let Toni Morrison raise it, it would be this book. Terrible deaths, fantastic deaths, good lives, not-so-good lives, humor and heart. Fun and thought-provoking. And who doesn't love Death falling in love?

(A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.) ( )
  ouroborosangel | May 22, 2018 |
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Reincarnation Blues is more than a great love story: Every journey from cradle to grave offers Milo more pieces of the great cosmic puzzle--if only he can piece them together in time to finally understand what it means to be part of something bigger than infinity. As darkly enchanting as the works of Neil Gaiman and as wisely hilarious as Kurt Vonnegut's, Michael Poore's Reincarnation Blues is the story of everything that makes life profound, beautiful, absurd, and heartbreaking. -- Amazon.com… (more)

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