Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Reincarnation Blues: A Novel by Michael Poore

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The pursuit of Death and Perfection go hand in hand in Michael Poore’s 2017 Reincarnation Blues. The summary begins thusly,

First we live. Then we die. And then . . . we get another try?

Ten thousand tries, to be exact. Ten thousand lives to “get it right.” Answer all the Big Questions. Achieve Wisdom. And Become One with Everything.”

If you can’t do it in ten thousand lives, you get stuck in the Nothing. Sorry!

Except Milo, our hero spends all of his lives trying to find Death, who he calls Suzie. A beautiful Universal who, like other Deaths, is there to take folks when it’s their time. Suzie and Milo fall in love over the course of his many lives and by the end commit the ultimate sacrifice not only to save each other but save the world.

What I Loved

Pretty much all of it. I devoured this book in three hours when my Kindle app said it would take 7 hours, that’s how much I loved it.  Poore writes every single chapter, Milo, and interaction between characters superbly.

The pursuit of Perfection takes Milo through ten thousand lives. He is everything from a white dude in Ohio to a cricket in China; he’s a man, woman, gay, straight, a leader of resistance in multiple futuristic dystopic worlds. Rich, poor, middle of the road, enlightened, a dolt, and everything in between, Milo is successful as a character. He truly embodies every kind of person.

What I Wanted

I think the inclusion of two other Universals, Nan and Mama, who mentor Milo in his pursuit of Perfection, are really fun. The transition from each death to his next was incredibly helpful. However, I wish we learned as much about them as we do Suzie. One of the shorter chapters about Milo could have been replaced to focus on the Universals.

Final verdict

Overall, I found Reincarnation Blues incredibly well written and think anyone into reincarnation, the larger questions of life, or a real good romance should read it. Milo and Suzie (who gets a couple of her own chapters) are both entertaining, hilarious, and sympathetic characters. The unexpected inclusion of saving the world from dystopic tyranny also works and actually makes the book doubly worth reading.


Image Courtesy of Randomhouse Publishers

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