Reincarnation Blues
A magically inspiring tale of a man who is reincarnated through many lifetimes so that he can be with his one true love: Death herself.What if you could live forever—but without your one true love? Reincarnation Blues is the story of a man who has been reincarnated nearly 10,000 times, in search of the secret to immortality so that he can be with his beloved, the incarnation of Death. Neil Gaiman meets Kurt Vonnegut in this darkly whimsical, hilariously profound, and wildly imaginative comedy of the secrets of life and love. Transporting us from ancient India to outer space to Renaissance Italy to the present day, is a journey through time, space, and the human heart.

Reincarnation Blues Details

TitleReincarnation Blues
Author
FormatHardcover
ReleaseAug 22nd, 2017
PublisherDel Rey Books
ISBN0399178481
ISBN-139780399178481
Number of pages384 pages
Rating
GenreFantasy, Fiction, Humor, Science Fiction

Reincarnation Blues Review

  • Robin Hobb
    July 15, 2017
    First, the Caveat: I got this book for free, as an ARC. I don't think that affects my opinion of it, but I like to be transparent. I also met the author, who seems to be a very nice fellow!The following is NOT a negative comment. Don't read it that way.This is not the sort of fantasy book I write, nor the kind that I most often read. I could also say that of A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle, or Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Both are books that have well earned their p First, the Caveat: I got this book for free, as an ARC. I don't think that affects my opinion of it, but I like to be transparent. I also met the author, who seems to be a very nice fellow!The following is NOT a negative comment. Don't read it that way.This is not the sort of fantasy book I write, nor the kind that I most often read. I could also say that of A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle, or Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Both are books that have well earned their places on my permanent shelf. This is the tale of Milo, and his 10,000 reincarnations on his quest toward Perfection and escaping the wheel of reincarnation. The reader is given small tastes or summaries of some of his reincarnations. Others are more detailed. Some are from the distant past, others take place in the far future. In some Milo is a pretty nice fellow, or tree or other being, and in a few, he's not someone I'd like to spend time with. Interspersed with his tales of reincarnation, we see Milo in the afterlife, lingering with Suzie. Suzie is someone he has come to know well, for she is the Death that comes for him at the end of each of his lives. (I don't count this as a spoiler as it is on the back cover of the book, and is also explained very early in the tale.) As their relationship warms, Milo becomes ever more eager to escape his reincarnations. But perfection is always one bad decision away. The tale abounds in pathos and bathos, for as we know that each impending death will be the door to another reincarnation, it is hard to view them as tragic. The author knows there is humor in the dark, and does not hesitate to invoke it. The book is written in little sections that make it the sort of tale where one reads 'just a few more' and steps out of the story 100 pages later. If you are tired of medieval quest stories or tales of brave grim dark warriors or clever young women with swords, this just might be the palate cleanser you need. This is a stand alone book, due to be published in August 2017
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  • Megan
    June 30, 2017
    [Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley for review purposes.]Wow. Just wow. I have had my share of duds from NG lately, and was not prepared to be so blown away by this one.Milo has lived 9,995 lives and only has 5 more left to achieve Perfection or be sent back to nothingness. No more lives, no more existing, just nothing. He's also in love with one of the Death characters, who goes by Suzie. He's determined to achieve Perfection in his last five lives, but doesn't rea [Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley for review purposes.]Wow. Just wow. I have had my share of duds from NG lately, and was not prepared to be so blown away by this one.Milo has lived 9,995 lives and only has 5 more left to achieve Perfection or be sent back to nothingness. No more lives, no more existing, just nothing. He's also in love with one of the Death characters, who goes by Suzie. He's determined to achieve Perfection in his last five lives, but doesn't really want his life with Suzie to end.I enjoyed the little snippets of past lives we get between the "big 5," because they give you an idea of what Milo has experienced and done in his previous 9,995. But these last five, oh boy are they incredible. Well, most of them are. #3 isn't amazing, but the rest certainly are.I said in my updates that the first of the five lives (beginning in chapter 10 - yes, it does take 10 chapters to really get going) was one of the best things I've read all year. It's true that this first life we experience was something emotional and powerful for me. I was reminded slightly of Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles when I read it, it was just in the vibe of the story for me. Hard choices and all that. At the end when Milo ends up back in the afterlife, we find out why he did not achieve perfection in that life. Yep, it was definitely not perfect. But he tried.Life #2 begins in chapter 14, and it's definitely a doozy. There's a lot to unpack here and Milo *almost* gets it. Of course, we know that he's not going to make Perfection with three lives to go. There has to be a reason we start at life 9,995 and it's because yes, it takes all five for us to see where Milo ends up. Life #2 is brutal in a way I never expected. Milo is subjected to pain and dehumanizing terror before he manages to turn things around, and it's hard to read. But it's an important lesson on how much a human can take, especially one nearing the end of his chances.Life #3 follows four chapters later, and there's something wrong with this body's brain. We see it immediately, and it's sad and a little scary. Again, he gets close - not nearly as close as in the last two lives, but he starts down the path. Unfortunately, yet again, he doesn't make it.Life #4 - This one was kind of bland. We start to see Milo getting there, and in the end you think maybe he did make it. He did something that made so much sense, but still... Life #5 - This is the one that felt most epic and gut-wrenching. The sheer amount of brutality that Milo and the people around him endure in order to bring about a more lasting peace... By the end of the (very long) chapter, I was a wreck. Did he achieve Perfection? And what does Perfection even entail once you're through those golden Sun Doors?It's hard for me to review this without spoilers. I don't want to talk about Suzie's relationship with Milo too much because I feel like the entire thing is about spoilers. Suffice to say, I liked what happened and how it ended. It was a surprise, at least (their relationship and its consequences, not whether Milo achieved perfection - I thought that would be a given from the start).There were some faults with the book, namely the dialogue and the way it skips around in time in the last chapter with no real delineation or anything (I blame formatting for that one), but I found myself overlooking almost all of my problems in favor of the overarching story and appreciating it solely based on how breathtaking it was. There were a lot of hard things to swallow, the terror and hardships that Milo and most of the people around him experienced, but it was so worth it. Even his time in the afterlife between lives was interesting and compelling. There are some elements of dystopian SF in here, some historical fantasy, but overall it's just a great read. Highly recommended.
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  • Jessi ♡
    July 6, 2017
    i, too, want Death
  • Amy Neftzger
    July 12, 2017
    If Douglas Adams wrote a fiction novel on reincarnation, I suspect that it would read a lot like this one. There are bits of dry humor interspersed with gleanings of wisdom from Milo's 10,000 lifetimes, as Milo discovers things about himself, the gray areas between right and wrong, and understanding the human experience. During this journey Milo also discovers the love of his lifetimes, who ironically turns out to be Death (who prefers to be called Suzie). Funny, insightful, and entertaining.Not If Douglas Adams wrote a fiction novel on reincarnation, I suspect that it would read a lot like this one. There are bits of dry humor interspersed with gleanings of wisdom from Milo's 10,000 lifetimes, as Milo discovers things about himself, the gray areas between right and wrong, and understanding the human experience. During this journey Milo also discovers the love of his lifetimes, who ironically turns out to be Death (who prefers to be called Suzie). Funny, insightful, and entertaining.Note: I was given a free ARC of this title by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jill
    June 19, 2017
    I was certainly intrigued when I saw a starred review in Kirkus for a book about reincarnation where Death, one of the main characters, is also known as Suzie. This set the tone for the entire wild ride for me. Milo has 5 lives left out of his limit of 10,000 to reach perfection, and he is in love with Death, a.k.a Suzie who he only meets in-between lives. There is never a dull moment, and while both Milo and Suzie are guilty at times of conversations more likely attributable to teenagers than t I was certainly intrigued when I saw a starred review in Kirkus for a book about reincarnation where Death, one of the main characters, is also known as Suzie. This set the tone for the entire wild ride for me. Milo has 5 lives left out of his limit of 10,000 to reach perfection, and he is in love with Death, a.k.a Suzie who he only meets in-between lives. There is never a dull moment, and while both Milo and Suzie are guilty at times of conversations more likely attributable to teenagers than the wisest souls in existence, I really had fun with the book. This is not literary fiction, my usual genre, but I enjoyed the creativity of this book. There are beautiful moments:"Living in the ocean was half-dreamlike, an act of worship without the complication of gods.""The universe twisted around and flipped her out of there, reminding her, in its way, that she was Death, not Rain or Mercy." There are both very touching moments (oh - the whale!) and times where I laughed out loud, and I look forward to reading more from Michael Poore.
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  • Ryder Author Resources
    June 23, 2017
    Anyone who knows me even slightly will tell you I’m all about Zen, if you can’t figure it out for yourself in the first five minutes of conversation. In both my professional and personal social media, I often share quotes, proverbs, teachings, and things I’ve learned that have helped me let go of suffering. And now I can share this beautiful, hilarious, and heartbreaking book.Michael Poore’s Reincarnation Blues is full of cosmicly perfect contradictions: glorious, insane, ridiculous, divine, fra Anyone who knows me even slightly will tell you I’m all about Zen, if you can’t figure it out for yourself in the first five minutes of conversation. In both my professional and personal social media, I often share quotes, proverbs, teachings, and things I’ve learned that have helped me let go of suffering. And now I can share this beautiful, hilarious, and heartbreaking book.Michael Poore’s Reincarnation Blues is full of cosmicly perfect contradictions: glorious, insane, ridiculous, divine, fragmented, and undeniably whole. At heart it’s a simple coming-of-age love story, but because our protagonist, Milo, takes ten thousand lifetimes to get where the universe wants him to go – and from the viewpoint of the afterlife, linear time is a human construct, so we bounce around past, present, and future as he tries to get it right one more time – the novel is also remarkably complex. It moves from ridiculous to sublime and back, again and again, and I can honestly say I both laughed and cried while reading. Sometimes both at the same time. Because even the sad bits were beautiful, particularly toward the end. I don’t want to spoil anything, but it can be summed up by one quote I absolutely love:“Maybe you couldn’t get people to stop being predators, but you could get them to stop being prey.”In some ways, the novel is less a novel than a collection of fairytales for grown-ups, around a central idea – the power of choice – with the same (but different every time) protagonist. In Milo’s journey to find a way to be with his true love while also attaining “perfection” so he can stop being reincarnated and avoid oblivion, we see him at his best and worst, exalted and lowly, selfish and compassionate. Poore excels at making every moment of the book do triple or quadruple duty: every life adds something to Milo’s overall progress, shows us who he is in a wide variety of circumstances, illustrates human foibles as well as the human capacity for greatness (also in a wide variety of circumstances), and is wildly, uniquely entertaining. Poore’s style is a joy to read, at times playful and sleek, at others muscular and somber, but always graceful and nuanced. I’m a picky reader when it comes to sentence craft, and I never once was pulled out of the story by an error or awkward construction. I’d offer blessings on the author’s head for that alone, but he also managed to create characters I loved and cared about while telling a terrific story and sharing some lovely but never preachy philosophical insights.Krishna devotees believe they can pass on good karma through food that’s been prepared with love and spiritual awareness, and that’s how I think about Reincarnation Blues. People may read it just for the captivating story, but whether they know it or not they’ll be soaking up spiritual goodness with every word.I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Jennifer
    June 30, 2017
    I saw a review somewhere that described this book as a "light summer read." In my opinion, that is inaccurate. This book is quite funny at times, quite touching at others, and quite disturbing every once in awhile. That's because it's about the human experience and what it means to live a life (and, hopefully, to live it well.) The reality is people are messy and complicated and sometimes cruel to each other, but they can also be loving, selfless, and wise. Our hero, Milo experiences all of thes I saw a review somewhere that described this book as a "light summer read." In my opinion, that is inaccurate. This book is quite funny at times, quite touching at others, and quite disturbing every once in awhile. That's because it's about the human experience and what it means to live a life (and, hopefully, to live it well.) The reality is people are messy and complicated and sometimes cruel to each other, but they can also be loving, selfless, and wise. Our hero, Milo experiences all of these things in his many lifetimes, and its through that lens that we can learn a little about ourselves and the life we've been given. Like life, this book doesn't serve up a "beach read" smooth and pleasant ride. It gives us an honest one, and that's what makes it, in my opinion, so much more than a "light summer read."I've also seen a review that took this book to task for it's understanding of religious philosophy. I'd challenge that review as well. I never once assumed that this book was telling us THE truth about the afterlife, Buddhist philosophy, or heaven. It is telling us A truth. If you're willing to accept that truth for a little while and go along for the ride, you may find this book enjoyable. If not, this book will likely bug you. Basically I felt like reading this book was akin to spending time with a wise elder who has many epic stories to tell. There are some types of people who are happy to wait for those types of stories to unspool because they understand it will make the payoff more satisfying and it will likely reveal some interesting truths. Other types of people would be bored to tears, antsy for an immediate payoff and some cool action scenes to combat boredom while they get to it. This book would appeal more to the former type of person. One quibble before I go. I didn't enjoy the ending of this book. I'm still giving it all the stars anyway because my beef was more with the choice the author made, not his ability to write about that choice.Thanks to the author and NetGalley for granting me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kim
    July 22, 2017
    What a curious book. Milo has lived nearly 10,000 lives and is still trying to achieve what is known as Perfection. With each new life Milo is sure that this time he will finally figure out the secret to reaching perfection yet inevitably messes it up again and again. This isn't just a tale of an old soul attempting to learn a lesson. This is a tale of morality, love, loss, pride, meditation, family, depression and basically everything. Poore touches on most topics within this novel. The mistake What a curious book. Milo has lived nearly 10,000 lives and is still trying to achieve what is known as Perfection. With each new life Milo is sure that this time he will finally figure out the secret to reaching perfection yet inevitably messes it up again and again. This isn't just a tale of an old soul attempting to learn a lesson. This is a tale of morality, love, loss, pride, meditation, family, depression and basically everything. Poore touches on most topics within this novel. The mistakes Milo makes are strangely easy to relate to while still being pretty far fetched. The details may be fantastical but the story is one that is familiar to all of us. Poore takes such care with the details here. Each life that Milo lives is like a story in itself, but put together they make up a charming tale. I have been fretting about turning 40 soon and oddly Milo's story soothed a bit of this age related anxiety. Maybe I will come back as a lazy cat or a wombat. This life is just one in my story.
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  • Lindsey Pasieka
    June 25, 2017
    I got this book at BookCon in NY and had NO IDEA what it was about. A nice young man shuffling us into line said it was an "in-house" favorite, so I went for it. Michael Poore had a HUGE grin on his face and was so nice while signing my copy!I'm so glad I got in that line, because I absolutely loved reading Reincarnation Blues. The thing that really struck me is how much I cared about each of Milo's individual lives. Poore has an incredible way of sewing dozens of stories together so that you fe I got this book at BookCon in NY and had NO IDEA what it was about. A nice young man shuffling us into line said it was an "in-house" favorite, so I went for it. Michael Poore had a HUGE grin on his face and was so nice while signing my copy!I'm so glad I got in that line, because I absolutely loved reading Reincarnation Blues. The thing that really struck me is how much I cared about each of Milo's individual lives. Poore has an incredible way of sewing dozens of stories together so that you feel like you are learning along with Milo's soul. Not to mention, the breadth of the character styles, life events, timelines, and literal WORLDS is astounding.Suzie is, of course, fantastic. She's really the opposite of Death from other books (Like The Book Thief), in that she is not a removed, stoic "universal." Instead, she is intimately connected with Milo and with her own complex emotions. The scenes that reveal her "life" story experiences show a Death that is shockingly human. This book was nothing like I expected and all that I could have hoped for. Truly looking forward to seeing more from this author. :)
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  • R.S. McCoy
    June 10, 2017
    I snagged this book at BookCon last week. It was one of many free books being given out that day, but unlike most of the books I passed at BookCon, this is one I actually really wanted. Reincarnation is one of my absolute favorite fantasy concepts, and I've had a reincarnation story on the back burner for nearly five years now. (I can never seem to figure out how to get it right.) So at BookCon, I was stoked to not only receive this ARC copy of Reincarnation Blues, but to meet the author (who is I snagged this book at BookCon last week. It was one of many free books being given out that day, but unlike most of the books I passed at BookCon, this is one I actually really wanted. Reincarnation is one of my absolute favorite fantasy concepts, and I've had a reincarnation story on the back burner for nearly five years now. (I can never seem to figure out how to get it right.) So at BookCon, I was stoked to not only receive this ARC copy of Reincarnation Blues, but to meet the author (who is just the nicest guy) and get my book personalized and signed. Score all around!Ignoring my epic TBR pile (I think it's pushing fifty books, yikes!), I eagerly dove into Reincarnation Blues the first chance I got. This story isn't really a story, but like the movie Inception, is lots of stories within each other. The main character Milo is one of the oldest souls, and has lived 9,995 lives at various times (past and future). While he lives as a human, he doesn't remember his other lives except as instinct or wisdom, or sometimes, a supernatural power allows him to remember glimpses. But he never remembers Suzie. Each time Milo dies, he is greeted in the afterlife by Death, or one of them. She likes to be called Suzie. Over the course of their thousands of interactions, Milo and Suzie have fallen in love, and now face the difficult decision of how to proceed once Milo maxes out his lives at 10,000. They decide he must achieve Perfection, though it's extremely difficult. Throughout the story, Milo is dipping in and out of human lives, some kind of funny, some kind of sad. Some are horrific and some are really interesting and enlightening. We get to see snippets of his past lives and his memories of Suzie and glimpses of starships and colonies on various planets. It would be easy to get lost in all the changes in time, characters, and location, but Poore manages the shifts with total ease and elegance. Milo's voice is distinct and interesting, and each new life he lived was a joy to read (especially the one with Kim and Libby--I'm never going to get over it). Each story and lifetime was crafted with such skill, it was a glorious thing to unfold. Reincarnation Blues is by far one of the best reads of 2017 and I am so much better for having read it. (Though I now know I will never pull off a resurrection tale to match Poore's craftsmanship...)Reincarnation Blues will be released August 22nd. Be sure to grab a copy. I have a feeling it's going to be one of the biggest books of the year!Read my review on my blog: http://bit.ly/2rinoKG
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  • Annie
    July 20, 2017
    Milo has had many chances to get it right—almost 10,00 to be exact. One would think that he’d be able to get it right and achieve not just perfection, but Perfection. At least, that’s what his definitely not gods think. In Reincarnation Blues, by Michael Poore, we see Milo on his last chances to live a perfect life. The only problem is that Milo isn’t ready to move on. He’s in love with Death (who prefers to be called Suzie) and they get to be together after every incarnation. What’s the point o Milo has had many chances to get it right—almost 10,00 to be exact. One would think that he’d be able to get it right and achieve not just perfection, but Perfection. At least, that’s what his definitely not gods think. In Reincarnation Blues, by Michael Poore, we see Milo on his last chances to live a perfect life. The only problem is that Milo isn’t ready to move on. He’s in love with Death (who prefers to be called Suzie) and they get to be together after every incarnation. What’s the point of perfection if it means leaving the person he’s loved for millennia behind?Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review consideration.
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  • Katherine
    July 26, 2017
    What a unique, fun, and witty book! I'm always excited to read something new and this one has unique pouring from it. Death is a woman named Suzie and everyone gets 10,000 lives to get "it right" and achieve perfection. The little pieces of wisdom sprinkled throughout the book were wonderful and I loved the humor. I'll definitely be reading more of Michael Poore books! Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for the ARC.
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  • Laurie
    July 20, 2017
    In this tale, souls get 10,000 chances to reach perfection. If they achieve this, they go into the great cosmic soul forever; bliss, but with no individuality. If they fail, they are obliterated forever. Most people manage it in significantly fewer than 10,000 lives. Not Milo, though- Milo is at 9,995 and it’s not looking promising. Milo knows this- at least between lives, he does. During the resting period between lives, a soul is fully conscious of all their lives. In Milo’s case, two spirits In this tale, souls get 10,000 chances to reach perfection. If they achieve this, they go into the great cosmic soul forever; bliss, but with no individuality. If they fail, they are obliterated forever. Most people manage it in significantly fewer than 10,000 lives. Not Milo, though- Milo is at 9,995 and it’s not looking promising. Milo knows this- at least between lives, he does. During the resting period between lives, a soul is fully conscious of all their lives. In Milo’s case, two spirits (deities? Avatars?), Ma and Nan, aid (mostly by harassing) his journey to perfection. Also with him between lives is one of the many avatars of death, Suzie. Suzie and Milo are in love. They want to find a way to stay together. Also, Suzie wants to stop being death and open a candle shop. We follow Milo through a number of his lives. Lives can be as anything; trees, kings, cats, pirates, slugs, slaves, male, female, poor, rich, whatever. He comes *close* to perfection, but somehow always screws it up at the end. The lives are pretty interesting; short tales of near perfection in a prison, turning around the human race on a different prison world where the Water Cartels run everything; and tiny tales, a page long or less, of marching in Selma Ala., and hiding a cache of Polish pornography from the Nazis. Some tales of being not so nice a person. He also has adventures between lives, too- the afterlife is quite a busy place. The whole book is a collection of short stories, with Milo (he tends to keep that name throughout) as the star of them all. Some parts are horrific, some are very funny- his style reminds me of Christopher Moore (and, at times, of certain periods of Robert Heinlein’s work)- but for some reason, Milo never seems to take anything seriously. It made it a little difficult for me to really feel for him. Suzie isn’t around enough to make a real connection with her. I really enjoyed the book- it’s a lot of fun!- but for some reason I just can’t make it five stars. Four stars out of five.
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  • Amanda
    July 6, 2017
    I received this book from NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine in exchange for my honest review. The idea of this book is unlike any other that I have read before. You are reincarnated until you reach perfection and you get 10,000 tries at it. We follow the main character Milo through a few of his lives as he tries to reach perfection..... sometimes. While other times he lives his life as carefree as he wants. After each death he is welcomed into the afterlife by Death. Milo I received this book from NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine in exchange for my honest review. The idea of this book is unlike any other that I have read before. You are reincarnated until you reach perfection and you get 10,000 tries at it. We follow the main character Milo through a few of his lives as he tries to reach perfection..... sometimes. While other times he lives his life as carefree as he wants. After each death he is welcomed into the afterlife by Death. Milo just happens to be in love with Death, which slightly complicated things. Death isn't just one being, there are many and he is in love with one named Susie. Milo only has five lives left to reach perfection and Susie tries to help him come up with ways to obtain perfection so he isn't lost forever. The writing can be confusing at times and I had to re-read sections several times and even then I just gave up and kept reading. Most of the time it had very little to do with the main story so nothing was lost, but it was annoying. Also, the use of words by Milo during certain time periods were not accurate. I could see this explained away as the past lives speaking through him since time was not linear. Here is a quote that I did not like, ""Enough," said Ma, sounding tired the way only fat people can." Seriously. Sounding tired as only fat people can?????? Oh, boy... Anyways, when I wasn't re-reading sections, I flew through the book and always wanted to pick it up to see what Milo was up to and see how and if he was going to reach perfection. The ending was not what I expected. I am not sure if I am disappointed about that or that the ending was actually better than I what I had imagined. I can't decided if I liked the ending or not. Overall it was a solid book but there are too many things that I would want to change about it to give it a rating of anything higher than a 3.
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  • Nancy
    June 22, 2017
    Eastern metaphysics meets science fiction in Michael Poore's Reincarnation Blues, a highly-inventive, tragicomedic tour of human life and the afterlife. Milo is an old soul, the oldest, in fact. He's used up almost all of his 10,000 lives and has yet to achieve Perfection, although he's often gotten close. Perhaps what's holding him back is love for Death, or Suzie, as she likes to be called. Suzie is one of the incarnations of death that collects souls and meets them in the afterlife. Suzie and Eastern metaphysics meets science fiction in Michael Poore's Reincarnation Blues, a highly-inventive, tragicomedic tour of human life and the afterlife. Milo is an old soul, the oldest, in fact. He's used up almost all of his 10,000 lives and has yet to achieve Perfection, although he's often gotten close. Perhaps what's holding him back is love for Death, or Suzie, as she likes to be called. Suzie is one of the incarnations of death that collects souls and meets them in the afterlife. Suzie and Milo hit it off immediately and are friends for his first 1,000 visits to the afterlife, but after that, they are lovers. (The afterlife, it turns out, has a lot in common with daily life, like eating, sleeping, working, and having sex.)Time is not linear, and reincarnating souls can live in any time in history. Old souls like Milo go back and forth and sometimes experience their past lives as voices in their heads. The reader is treated to many of Milo's lives, a few in great detail, which is where you can just feel author Michael Poore flexing his imagination. He's clearly thought far into the future, and some of Milo's lives are mini dystopian novellas. (Happily, the overall arc of history is positive.)This may be the most original boy-meets-girl story I have come across, and I quite enjoyed it. It would have been nice, although less honest, if life weren't so often violent and painful, but alas, we are not treated to Milo's happiest lives in any detail. Well-written, humorous, and engrossing, Reincarnation Blues should entertain readers willing to delve into speculative fiction with a touch of mysticism.
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  • Nicholas Howard
    July 23, 2017
    Though I received a digital galley of this book as a part of Penguin Random House's First To Read program, it did not influence my perception Michael Poore's writing.I was intrigued initially by the title of this book because it sounded like a short story collection but was surprised by the description summary, which in a way it was. I was strongly reminded of a favorite book, On A Pale Horse by Piers Anthony, as I read through Reincarnation Blues due to the different take and focus on mortality Though I received a digital galley of this book as a part of Penguin Random House's First To Read program, it did not influence my perception Michael Poore's writing.I was intrigued initially by the title of this book because it sounded like a short story collection but was surprised by the description summary, which in a way it was. I was strongly reminded of a favorite book, On A Pale Horse by Piers Anthony, as I read through Reincarnation Blues due to the different take and focus on mortality and conceptual higher powers that Mr. Poore described. As the different lives of Milo played out through the book I was caught up in the emotion that each evoked within the depths of darkness and struggle that he endured trying to reach Perfection and reunite with Suzie. While the underlying story threaded through, many chapters could stand alone as short pieces as my first impression led me to believe about the book. Many times throughout this story, I found myself laughing out loud at some witty exchange or one liner that caught me off guard. Overall it was a satisfying, funny, well paced book that I will be recommending to friends. In addition, I enjoyed this book so much that I intend to check out Mr. Poore's other works and purchase a physical copy of Reincarnation Blues upon publication for my personal library and future reading.
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  • Amanda
    July 17, 2017
    This book is different, it's unlike anything I've ever read before, which is a good thing. It is an amazing and mesmerizing story that was hard to put down. I absolutely loved this book and couldn't wait to get to the end to see everything that happened and how it would end. It has so many different things: reincarnation and multiple lives, a love story, divine oneness with the universe, achieving growth and perfection, selfless love, making a difference in others lives, peace and meditation, mo This book is different, it's unlike anything I've ever read before, which is a good thing. It is an amazing and mesmerizing story that was hard to put down. I absolutely loved this book and couldn't wait to get to the end to see everything that happened and how it would end. It has so many different things: reincarnation and multiple lives, a love story, divine oneness with the universe, achieving growth and perfection, selfless love, making a difference in others lives, peace and meditation, moral stories, and humor, and darkness, and light, and what it means for the main character to finally get it right after living ten thousand times. I seem to be on a streak of picking really awesome five star reads here lately and this one deserves five stars for sure. Highly recommend, especially if you like reading about reincarnation, living multiple lives, and having a love affair with death herself. I especially loved the story Milo told of the lesson of Jonathan Ya Ya, I think it's a very valuable lesson we all need right now! I received an advance copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This was the first book I have read by this author. I will have to check out his other work because I really liked his style. He took an offbeat subject and combined it with magical realism to create a fictional masterpiece in my opinion.
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  • Laura
    July 12, 2017
    Milo is on his 9,995th life and pretty happy with the love affair he enjoys with Death (aka Susie) in between lives. Unfortunately, he finds out that he must achieve Perfection before he hits 10,000 or else be consigned to walk the long sidewalk into Nowhere (yes, it really is a sidewalk). A brash, authority-defying, hero (even the Universe and the Oversoul don’t get to tell him what to do), we join Milo on his adventures through multiple lives and the progression of his love with a Being outsid Milo is on his 9,995th life and pretty happy with the love affair he enjoys with Death (aka Susie) in between lives. Unfortunately, he finds out that he must achieve Perfection before he hits 10,000 or else be consigned to walk the long sidewalk into Nowhere (yes, it really is a sidewalk). A brash, authority-defying, hero (even the Universe and the Oversoul don’t get to tell him what to do), we join Milo on his adventures through multiple lives and the progression of his love with a Being outside of reality. Poore weaves science fiction and historical stories into the vignettes of Milo’s many lives. He expounds on philosophies of economics, politics, love and the great mysteries of the Universe - all simplified into bite sized nuggets. He has fun with some pretty bizarre characters and silly yarns with very little point (at one point, Milo finds himself the love interest of a very sloppy camel). Still, plenty of big themes: What makes life worth living? What does it mean to be in love? When do you go along with the Universe and when do you tell it to shove it?Fans of Kurt Vonnegut will find a similar style and creativity. Definitely a male voice and I think men may enjoy a bit more than women.
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  • Matthew
    July 3, 2017
    I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.Resurrection Blues blew my socks off. It blew them off, chewed them up, spat them out, and then stomped on them, kicked them around the house (which is a difficult thing to do, kicking socks), until my socks were laid to rest in the dirty clothes hamper in the back kitchen.This was surprisingly aggressive for a novel to do, but this was a surprising novel. I was expecting a fun, lighthearted romp, but I got something that was fun, lighthearted and ju I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.Resurrection Blues blew my socks off. It blew them off, chewed them up, spat them out, and then stomped on them, kicked them around the house (which is a difficult thing to do, kicking socks), until my socks were laid to rest in the dirty clothes hamper in the back kitchen.This was surprisingly aggressive for a novel to do, but this was a surprising novel. I was expecting a fun, lighthearted romp, but I got something that was fun, lighthearted and just so, so, so jealousy-inducingly good. It's a love story, a parable, a shaggy dog story. I thought Milo and his ten thousand lives were a brilliant story, his love affair with Suzie touching and incandescent. Michael Poore dances along a tightrope of humor, weighty topics, and absurdity like the very best of Christopher Moore's A-game, Tom Robbins, David Mitchell, or Kurt Vonnegut. He takes elements of the spiritual, science fiction, and good, old down and dirty humanity and smashes them all together in a brilliant book. I could have spent another couple lifetimes reading about Milo and his quest for Perfection.
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  • Carissa Peck
    July 23, 2017
    I loved the light and breezy way in which this story unfolded. Chapters upon chapters weren't spent given backstory... it simply happened. And while told in a relatively linear fashion, future and past time seem to intersect. This story was a paradox in a way. It was a quick and fast light-hearted read that had me giggling outright throughout the novel, but also stop to think about the very nature of my own existence. This is the perfect book to take with you on vacation, or settle into at night I loved the light and breezy way in which this story unfolded. Chapters upon chapters weren't spent given backstory... it simply happened. And while told in a relatively linear fashion, future and past time seem to intersect. This story was a paradox in a way. It was a quick and fast light-hearted read that had me giggling outright throughout the novel, but also stop to think about the very nature of my own existence. This is the perfect book to take with you on vacation, or settle into at night. Since so many of the chapters cover different lives, it is almost as though I am reading an anthology of stories rather than one complete novel. Yet, the stories, as unconnected as they seem, never stray far from the story's bigger picture. And seeing his lives overlap upon one another (and settings are repeated, or characters re-mentioned) made me feel like I was watching a Pixar film and looking for Easter eggs.I was lucky enough to get this book as an ARC to read and review, but the review is 100% my own.
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  • Samantha Myers
    July 1, 2017
    I received an advance copy of this via Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine in exchange for an honest review. Oh, wow. I don't really know where to start with this one. I thought Poore took a really interesting concept (and one that may have been done a bit as of late) and turned it on its head and created something really gorgeous and unique. The premise is simple enough. A boy has only 5 lifetimes left (out of 9,995) to get close to the perfection the universe wants him to I received an advance copy of this via Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine in exchange for an honest review. Oh, wow. I don't really know where to start with this one. I thought Poore took a really interesting concept (and one that may have been done a bit as of late) and turned it on its head and created something really gorgeous and unique. The premise is simple enough. A boy has only 5 lifetimes left (out of 9,995) to get close to the perfection the universe wants him to have but at the same time we're treated to the tale of Milo and Death (or, Suzie). I think in every lifetime Milo goes through he learns something and gains something via knowledge in exchange for the time he has with Suzie. I'm not going to spoil the ending but this book was wonderful, non linear, and interesting in a way that made me want to reread this multiple times to see if the experience was different each time.
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  • Leighkaren
    June 25, 2017
    Amazing wonderful and marvelous. Everything you always wanted to know about the meaning of Life!The book is a little Tom Robbins, a little Christopher Moore, and this guy Milo! Milo is our hero, and has lived almost 10,000 lives when we find him. He's in love with Death, aka Suzie. A highly unusual situation. He also enjoys living his lives. However, he's not doing this just for his health, so to speak. He's living to reach Perfection. Spiritual Perfection. Lives are for learning lessons; someti Amazing wonderful and marvelous. Everything you always wanted to know about the meaning of Life!The book is a little Tom Robbins, a little Christopher Moore, and this guy Milo! Milo is our hero, and has lived almost 10,000 lives when we find him. He's in love with Death, aka Suzie. A highly unusual situation. He also enjoys living his lives. However, he's not doing this just for his health, so to speak. He's living to reach Perfection. Spiritual Perfection. Lives are for learning lessons; sometimes the same ones more than once. The idea is, once we've learned all our lessons, we reach Perfection, like The Buddha, and get to shed these mortal coils to join with all the rest of the souls, back to the Whole from whence we came, the Oversoul. Problem is, Milo likes being a human and likes all the issues that come with that. He only has one more shot to get it right; his 10,000th life. Wait until you see what happens!!
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  • Tonya
    July 1, 2017
    I had high hopes going into this read: Not many tackle the subject of reincarnation, let alone the pursuit of enlightenment, via a story. I thought maybe Poore could one-up Jane Roberts' Education of Oversoul Seven trilogy. But this book was structured more like Waiting for Godot. The snippets of the thousands of lives we're treated to could be meaty stories in their own right, and bouncing through time and space in the first half of the book never sucked me in the way I'd hoped.Since I received I had high hopes going into this read: Not many tackle the subject of reincarnation, let alone the pursuit of enlightenment, via a story. I thought maybe Poore could one-up Jane Roberts' Education of Oversoul Seven trilogy. But this book was structured more like Waiting for Godot. The snippets of the thousands of lives we're treated to could be meaty stories in their own right, and bouncing through time and space in the first half of the book never sucked me in the way I'd hoped.Since I received this book as part of my NetGalley membership, though, after a two-week hiatus, I tried again.The second half of the book didn't quite pay off, but I was glad to have finished. The frame story construct of the love affair with Death (AKA Suzie) shows how even advanced souls can be stupid about some things. Committing to love come what may, though, has unanticipated consequences that gave me a happy enough ending to have made reading it worth my time.
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  • Liesl
    July 25, 2017
    Unlike anything else that I've ever read. Poore presents an intriguing take on reincarnation crossed with a unique romance. I didn't end up loving the story, but there is a lot about it to like. It was hard to get into the tale at first due to the non-linear structure that allows for much jumping around in time. I became more engaged during the generous passages devoted to Milo's last lives and his dogged quest for perfection; a couple of these could have spawned their own individual novels. The Unlike anything else that I've ever read. Poore presents an intriguing take on reincarnation crossed with a unique romance. I didn't end up loving the story, but there is a lot about it to like. It was hard to get into the tale at first due to the non-linear structure that allows for much jumping around in time. I became more engaged during the generous passages devoted to Milo's last lives and his dogged quest for perfection; a couple of these could have spawned their own individual novels. The humor sprinkled throughout doesn't always fit within each time period, but often helped to lighten the mood. I was left with much food for thought upon finishing, and am glad that taking a chance on a book that I normally wouldn't pick up ended up paying off in this instance.Thanks to the First to Read program for providing me with an ARC of this title.
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  • Joe Jones
    May 2, 2017
    How many lives would it take you to live the life you were meant too. To achieve perfection. 10,000 chances are what the Universe gives us. Most make it in far fewer attempts. Milo is not most people. Plus, there is an added problem. He is in love with Death, aka Suzie. With only a handful of lives left he needs to figure it all out or face oblivion. Along the way, the author has fun illuminating the absurdity of life and how we live it such as including an island where all the inhabitants take How many lives would it take you to live the life you were meant too. To achieve perfection. 10,000 chances are what the Universe gives us. Most make it in far fewer attempts. Milo is not most people. Plus, there is an added problem. He is in love with Death, aka Suzie. With only a handful of lives left he needs to figure it all out or face oblivion. Along the way, the author has fun illuminating the absurdity of life and how we live it such as including an island where all the inhabitants take their names from the book I Want My MTV. He also gives us a love story for the ages as Milo and Suzie tempt fate when they try to be a couple. By the time we reach an ending we knew was coming we realize all along it was not the finish that matters, but instead is all about the journey. And what a journey it is!
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  • Kim McGee
    May 25, 2017
    Milo has lived many lives but he is just about out of them. Every time he is reborn he tries to live a better life than the one before then death grabs him (death just happens to be his girlfriend). The challenge is to achieve perfection which it turns out, is really tough. Death is tired and wants to retire but it turns out that this is difficult as well. This very witty book helps us look at human shortcomings and laugh about them. We are imperfect but some of us try hard to overcome, just lik Milo has lived many lives but he is just about out of them. Every time he is reborn he tries to live a better life than the one before then death grabs him (death just happens to be his girlfriend). The challenge is to achieve perfection which it turns out, is really tough. Death is tired and wants to retire but it turns out that this is difficult as well. This very witty book helps us look at human shortcomings and laugh about them. We are imperfect but some of us try hard to overcome, just like Milo, and we always want what we can't have - like Death for a girlfriend. Unique and witty , this story makes you think about how you should live your life and your search for a soulmate and if you are lucky enough to be like Milo and Suzie and find each other then the road is clear. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.
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  • Audrey
    June 25, 2017
    I enjoyed a lot of this book, especially its humor, and the story of its central character fighting suffering and exploitation over lives and lifetimes—in between living relaxing lives of very little purpose. It has a lot going on, which is both a strength and a weakness. Obviously a book about a soul living thousands of lives is going to be varied, but I would say its weakness is a tendency to drop narrative threads too often, even important and interesting ones. Another weakness is its own con I enjoyed a lot of this book, especially its humor, and the story of its central character fighting suffering and exploitation over lives and lifetimes—in between living relaxing lives of very little purpose. It has a lot going on, which is both a strength and a weakness. Obviously a book about a soul living thousands of lives is going to be varied, but I would say its weakness is a tendency to drop narrative threads too often, even important and interesting ones. Another weakness is its own confusion about what, exactly, Suzie/Death is and what that means—one of the threads that's dropped without a trace is a sort of Milo-as-Persephone thing, and as the book goes on Suzie becomes less godlike and more like a pretty ordinary woman who doesn't like her job, losing a lot of what initially made their relationship interesting.
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  • Linda
    July 12, 2017
    Reincarnation does it exist? Well Milo got informed he is running out of reincarnations. Who would think that is even possible? If he doesn't reach perfection before he reaches his 10,000 life he will go into the nothingness. He doesn't want that and neither does his afterlife girlfriend who just happens to be death. What is perfection you might ask yourself well Milo would like to know that as well? So get ready to see what reincarnation is like and let me tell you it isn't all fun and games. S Reincarnation does it exist? Well Milo got informed he is running out of reincarnations. Who would think that is even possible? If he doesn't reach perfection before he reaches his 10,000 life he will go into the nothingness. He doesn't want that and neither does his afterlife girlfriend who just happens to be death. What is perfection you might ask yourself well Milo would like to know that as well? So get ready to see what reincarnation is like and let me tell you it isn't all fun and games. See what a relationship with death is like and find out if Milo will reach perfection.Not my favorite but an interesting read. Read it and let me know what you think.
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  • Erin
    July 4, 2017
    Snagged this ARC at the Nebula Conference and I'm glad I did. Poore's telling of Milo's 10,000 lives is imaginative and tender-hearted. Nearly two weeks after reading it, I'm still thinking about Milo, Suzie and a life lived in service to "balance." There were one or two world building questions I had--if people are reincarnated as animals, who/what are the animals in the waiting place between lives--but they didn't get in the way of my immersion in the story. And Poore's vision for the future i Snagged this ARC at the Nebula Conference and I'm glad I did. Poore's telling of Milo's 10,000 lives is imaginative and tender-hearted. Nearly two weeks after reading it, I'm still thinking about Milo, Suzie and a life lived in service to "balance." There were one or two world building questions I had--if people are reincarnated as animals, who/what are the animals in the waiting place between lives--but they didn't get in the way of my immersion in the story. And Poore's vision for the future is as bleak as it probably should be at the moment, but there is also an optimism about love and resistance that charmed me.Well worth the read.
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  • Erick
    July 6, 2017
    I adored this book and could not put it down. It's one story, made up of many small stories, but in the end they tell one simple, beautiful and amazing tale. In reading it, I tried to compare it to something I'd read before but struggled. It is unique and special. The only other story that felt somewhat familiar in my memory was "The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August." The comparison isn't true though. This story is much larger in scope and much more intimate in the relationships it creates.Th I adored this book and could not put it down. It's one story, made up of many small stories, but in the end they tell one simple, beautiful and amazing tale. In reading it, I tried to compare it to something I'd read before but struggled. It is unique and special. The only other story that felt somewhat familiar in my memory was "The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August." The comparison isn't true though. This story is much larger in scope and much more intimate in the relationships it creates.The best way to read this book is to not question where its going but just enjoy the journey as you follow where it leads.
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  • Dani
    July 3, 2017
    (Thanks for signing at 2017 BookCon in NYC!)I was 40 pages into this book and my first comment was "This is fucking brilliant."And it was, all the way through and beyond.The sheer idea of this and its execution, the characters, the webs of stories, Suzie and Milo was just. It was incredible. Seriously, seriously incredible. I couldn't put it down, and now that it's done, I feel like I've left something in the pages but gained something back from it. I can't wait to re-read it, and re-read it aga (Thanks for signing at 2017 BookCon in NYC!)I was 40 pages into this book and my first comment was "This is fucking brilliant."And it was, all the way through and beyond.The sheer idea of this and its execution, the characters, the webs of stories, Suzie and Milo was just. It was incredible. Seriously, seriously incredible. I couldn't put it down, and now that it's done, I feel like I've left something in the pages but gained something back from it. I can't wait to re-read it, and re-read it again, and again, and again, etc.Thank you so much for all the hard work you put into it!
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  • Jennifer
    July 22, 2017
    I received an advanced copy of this book through Penguin's First to Read program. I really enjoyed this book. The humor intertwined quite nicely with the metaphysical material. The story presented a thought-provoking presentation of the order of the universe, juggling beautifully both the philosophical nature of life with the grittier details. Poore had me laughing, crying, and pondering in equal breaths. My only gripe is that some later parts of the book seemed to drag a bit. Overall, Poore wil I received an advanced copy of this book through Penguin's First to Read program. I really enjoyed this book. The humor intertwined quite nicely with the metaphysical material. The story presented a thought-provoking presentation of the order of the universe, juggling beautifully both the philosophical nature of life with the grittier details. Poore had me laughing, crying, and pondering in equal breaths. My only gripe is that some later parts of the book seemed to drag a bit. Overall, Poore will certainly be an author I reach for in the future.
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  • Emily
    April 25, 2017
    Poore is good, he loves a long game (like from the beginning of time to the end of time.)Milo is a very wise man, he has a lifetime of experience behind him, ok well like a LOT of lifetimes of experience (9,994 to be exact) and he remembers everything (or so the voices tell him). Yeah you could say that Milo really knows what life is all about. The only problem is that he is in love with death, well particularly HIS Death (Big D- death) she's called Suzy and she's the only thing he cares about, Poore is good, he loves a long game (like from the beginning of time to the end of time.)Milo is a very wise man, he has a lifetime of experience behind him, ok well like a LOT of lifetimes of experience (9,994 to be exact) and he remembers everything (or so the voices tell him). Yeah you could say that Milo really knows what life is all about. The only problem is that he is in love with death, well particularly HIS Death (Big D- death) she's called Suzy and she's the only thing he cares about, which is a shame because he's running out of time. Quite literally, you only get 10,000 trips around the sun to figure out Perfection and join the Universe or else. As in OR ELSE you go where the sidewalk ends. But Milo is a legend in his own way and no one wants to see him fail least of all Suzy. What would you do for love? Well Milo has done it all, but he's running out of chances to get it right. Once again Poore takes readers on an epic, hilarious, touching exploration of love and all of it's side effects, sit down buckle in and get ready for one hell of a read!
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  • Lisa Wright
    April 15, 2017
    Death and life. Milo has been through it nearly ten thousand times and he is no hurry to stop because every time he dies he gets to see Suzie (aka Death.) But it turns out that you only get ten thousand tries to get life right and now Milo is running out of time (and lives.) This is a wild ride: hilarious and profound full of joie de vivre and joie de deces. I loved it!
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