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Reincarnation Blues

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  6,020 ratings  ·  1,142 reviews
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 incarnati
Hardcover, 374 pages
Published August 22nd 2017 by Del Rey Books
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Brit Anderson It's a great book and it's comprised essentially of so many unique stories that if one doesn't quite do it for you the next might. It is all important…moreIt's a great book and it's comprised essentially of so many unique stories that if one doesn't quite do it for you the next might. It is all important though and the things he learns all play in to how it ends. I'd say the life on the prison colony probably has one of the most referenced results in the book. There are certainly some dark themes there, and more to come but a thoroughly enjoyable read. (this coming from someone that hasn't picked up a single book in over a decade)(less)
Angel Hench I would seem to be in the minority here, but I think this would be fine for a mature 13 year old. There are many YA books out there right now with…moreI would seem to be in the minority here, but I think this would be fine for a mature 13 year old. There are many YA books out there right now with much, much darker themes. When there is violence and when dark things happen, it is told in a straight-forward non-gory way. This is, at it's heart, a hopeful book. That being said, i wouldn't give it as a gift. But, if the 13 year old is asking to read it - I'd let them.(less)

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3.96  · 
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 ·  6,020 ratings  ·  1,142 reviews

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Robin Hobb
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star, year-2017, arc
Reincarnation Blues is the story of Milo, or rather the many stories of Milo as he reincarnates over and over and... over again in an attempt to reach Perfection. In a variety of ways, he's fucked up every single one of the 9,995 lives he's lived thus far & now he only has 5 more tries to get it right before... well...

Also, he's in a long-term relationship with Death (who prefers to be called Suzie.)

I enjoyed this book immensely.

The concept of reincarnation has always been super interesti
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, arc
So very wonderful and imaginative and funny and sad and brilliant and beautiful.

Milo is an old soul - he has lived 9995 lives so far and has yet to achieve perfection. In fact he isn't even sure he wants to achieve perfection as he is in love with Death (or rather a Death - Suzie). This has to change when he is informed that every soul has in fact only 10000 lives to get it right or it will be erased. This short synopsis doesn't really do the book justice but it will have to suffice because I th
Mar 15, 2019 rated it did not like it
Moon nigger? 100 x 0 stars
Sh3lly (
3.5 stars

Review also found at:

Milo has lived almost 10,000 lives and if he doesn’t achieve an act of “Perfection” pretty soon, he is going to get poofed into nothingness by the universe. I mean, you only get so many tries.

Suzie is his girlfriend (who happens to be Death) of 8,000 years. They have an unconventional relationship and only see each other between his lives. But, it’s pretty epic.

Even though the story focuses on Milo and his many lives, there
Jill McGill
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm really not big on reading fantasy books, but I have to say, I really enjoyed Reincarnation Blues. I found the story to be unique, whimsical, funny, touching, and sometimes disturbing. This book was absolutely better than what I was expecting. Definitely worth the read! I'm truly looking forward to reading more books by Michael Poore.

*I want to thank Penguin's First to Read Program for the ARC of this book.
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
I mostly liked the experience of reading it... it was funny and full of good observations...but there was a definite feeling of “straight white guy wrote this”. I mean, not even one of the main lives was female?
And the big magical insight at the end was...pretty naïve at best, and actually kind of offensive.
I think you can do better.
Apr 20, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Moon nigger? -1000 stars!
Betsy Robinson
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Poor Milo has reincarnated nearly the requisite 10,000 times allowed for reaching Perfection, and he hasn’t succeeded. Add to that, with only a couple of lives left, he is also trying desperately to reunite with the love of his life, Suzie, aka Death.

This is a very complicated (see spoiler material in my last paragraph) spiritual quest book that will appeal to Buddhists, yogis, people who meditate, people to try unsuccessfully to meditate, and anybody who is working their butt off to become enl
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Are you kidding me?

As I read this book these words kept coming to mind. Are you kidding me? He did not just say that.
Are you kidding me? There is no way he is going to do that. With each new life there was a new surprise for the reader and a new frustration for Milo.
But the biggest 'Are you kidding me', came at the end of the book. I was so irritated; that I kept looking for alternative endings on the acknowledgements pages following the story. I obviously became very invested in the character
J. Dru
Oct 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
Wow. What a landslide into cliche and sexism or is it codependency? Summary: long-winded mediocre white male finds destiny in the womanlike creature who is like the girl from highschool he never dated and barely knew but held a torch for nonetheless. So basically an idea of a woman who has no identity outside of her lust for him. I can't discuss the remainder of the book without venom for including ideas like "giving" his wife to another man, using language like "cool dude" in a story set in BC, ...more
This was a unique idea and it was nice to read something very different from what I'm accustomed to. For some reason when I was around 50% finished, I started to lose interest and was not as engaged by the ending as I was at the beginning.

This is the love story of Milo and Death, although she prefers to be called Suzie. In the early chapters, I was reminded of the TV show Dead Like Me from 2004. I loved that show and was sorry it only lasted two seasons. The comparison to the book is the dark hu
Sherwood Smith
For a little over the first ten percent of this story, I thought, okay, got it, guy has lived thousand of lives and he's supposed to move on, but he's in love with typical manic pixie dream girl, this iteration of her being Death, who calls herself Suzie.

I don't like manic pixie dream girls. Most of the time their main component is their sexual attraction, which makes these Holly Golightlys endlessly fascinating to those responsive to their lure.

I found Suzie yet another really boringly quirky
Oct 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
This was the worst book I have ever read and that's not an exaggeration. I force read this because I won it in a Goodreads giveaway and I didn't want to be unappreciative. At about page 240 I just started speed reading to get it over with. Pure Masochism.

This book reminded me of a parent making up terrible bedtime stories to their little kid off the top of their head, spewing whatever nonsense and letting random silliness flow until the kid falls asleep. The only good thing about this book was t
Sep 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Reincarnation Blues is definitely an ambitious novel, taking on a high-concept premise, zany and scattered style and weighty theme - that being, what is the meaning of a life well-lived?

Milo, our slacker-dude protagonist, has lived 9,995 lives, with varying degrees of success, but mostly coasting and spending the interludes between lives with his girlfriend, Death (AKA Suzie). Trouble is, Milo's just found out there's a 10,000 life limit on this reincarnation biz and now he's only got 5 tries r
[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
Trigger warnings: rape and punishment by rape

So I am very disappointed in this book. I voted on it for book club thinking it would be really interesting and what it turned into was an MRA wet dream.

Let's start with Milo, a not very attractive slacker who has lived almost ten thousand lives without making it to "perfection." He's in love with death who of course is a beautiful woman who loves him and fucks him all the time and who, honestly, doesn't have much of a plot or personality aside from b
Ryder Author Resources
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
It really makes me sad when I read a book with an amazing premise but the execution falls flat.

This is how I felt after reading Reincarnation Blues.

Milo has been reincarnated almost 10,000 times. Each time, he is supposed to learn something existential that will allow him to be one with the universe but he fails each and every time.

When he learns he has only five more chances to make his goal before he is snuffed out forever, he has to make a choice to get it right one last time or forfeit it
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
The longer she lived in San Viejo, the more she appreciated the kind of things that went with living. Like having a window open when you slept, and grass, and tortillas. Being happy when people came to visit, and being happy when they left. The way certain things felt wonderful when you held them in your hands: a book, an ax, a baby, a beer, a big-ass pile of M&M’s.

I was worried this book might fall into the same trap that so many books about reincarnation and the afterlife succumb to—it wo
Amy Neftzger
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.

Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Maggie Migliozzi
Jan 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
15% of this book is interesting or amusing, but my eyes hurt from all the rolling they did during the other 85% of it.

The plot is like this...what if a Seth Rogan-like character kept getting reincarnated, but inexplicably always retained his personality and way of speaking. Imagine that character as a disciple of Buddha or as a sex trafficked character on a prison planet in the future. Imagine the cringe!

Have you done it yet?

There. Now you don't have to waste your time reading this.
Hayley Stenger
Mar 01, 2019 rated it liked it
What a quirky book.
The whole time I read this I was reminded of Douglas Adams' "Hitcherhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". When I was putting the book on the shelf I saw a blurb on the back I hadn't noticed before, that said the same thing. The voice was so similar, but this was a Buddhist version of that book.
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 25, 2017 rated it did not like it

It was a horrible book even without the rape, but my god. Please don't waste a single cent on this. This book holds the unique distinction of being one of only two books I have ever actually thrown away--not given away or stored, but actually trashed. Multiple rapes of a 15 year old. Just awful.

Nov 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This was pretty good, right up until the final quarter. He really, really fumbled the ball.

I want to give this two stars, but it's probably a little better than that.
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Oh, goodness, this book is so fucking cool! I'm not writing a [full] review but if you're debating whether to read this or not, please decide to read it. Unique, quirky, funny, engaging, inventive, metaphorical . . . the list goes on. Oh, and also, that cover?! LOVE!
Samantha Beard
Aug 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, owned
This review is of the ARC of Reincarnation Blues.

After a bit of a tumultuous reading experience, I am giving this book 3.25 stars. I was immediately reminded of stories by Richard Bach like Johnathan Livingston Seagull, and One. Reincarnation Blues attacks many of the same concepts and themes throughout, which I loved! I really enjoyed the messages of the book in the end, and I think most people could find something to enjoy in this story. Most of my issues with it are in the structure and forma
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-borrowed
A Fantastic Journey of Imagination

Reincarnation Blues is a fantastic journey of imagination, carrying the reader through space and time to all kinds of world and visions. Yes, there is a new age pop Zen Buddhism in it and such, but it’s a wonderful story. Like Dr. Who’s TARDIS, you never know where in space or time you’ll pop up as you read this.

It is the story of Milo, the world’s oldest soul who has lived nearly all of his 1,000 lifetimes and has yet to achieve perfection. It is also the sto
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Around the Year i...: Reincarnation Blues, by Michael Poore 1 23 Dec 02, 2017 08:56PM  

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Michael Poore’s short fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train, Southern Review, Agni, Fiction, and Asimov’s. His story “The Street of the House of the Sun” was selected for The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012 . His first novel, Up Jumps the Devil , was hailed by The New York Review of Books as “an elegiac masterpiece.” Poore lives in Highland, Indiana, with his wife, poet and activist Janin ...more
“Your soul will be canceled like a dumb TV show.” 9 likes
“Flying with Death was like being in a sleeping bag with a sensuous woman and a tarantula.” 9 likes
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