Friday, October 6, 2017

Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore

This book.  Seriously loved it.  It came at the right time. It's been sitting in a stack of books for a month or so, I can't believe I managed to hold off as long as I did before I grabbed it and settled in for a good read.  

Equal parts humor, sentiment, reflection, and whimsy, Michael Poore's novel about one man's 10,000 lifetimes was such an enjoyable reading experience. Milo is a character that will stay with you long after you've finished the book.

So Milo has lived 9,995 lives; in the life he has just recently departed, he's eaten by a shark, after having an otherwise pretty good day.  He's back on the other side, meeting Death--a woman named Suzie (she prefers that to "Death") and falling back into their love affair.  Yes, Milo and Suzie have been lovers for centuries.  Suzie isn't all that happy being Death, and tempts fate by quitting.  

Meanwhile, Milo has only 5 lives left to reach perfection/get it right/know all the answers in order to become one with the cosmic soul.  It's what every soul aims to do.  Milo has become well known on the other side because it's taken him so very, very long to reach this state--and if he doesn't get it right very quickly, he'll be shoved off the cosmic sidewalk into nothingness.  Every other soul has managed to figure it out long before their allotted 10,000 lives, but Milo just can't seem to get it right.  He's come close, but then blows it.  

Whether you believe in reincarnation or not, this is a refreshing and humorous look at just how hard it is to get life right.  Getting it right means many things to many people, but when we boil it down, it's all about being a good, kind, unselfish person, and putting others before ourselves.  Milo's adventures aren't just linear; he looks into a river, picks a life that will help him achieve perfection, and dives into that new life.  It can be in India thousands of years ago, or 1920's America.  It can be in the future, on another planet after Earth has been ruined by the human race. All lifetimes are happening at the same time. His lives are sometimes short, sometimes long; uneventful, or full of pain.  All his other previous lives, however, are a voice in his head, helping and nudging him to make the right choices.  Yes, he is wiser in the process, but his human qualities can take over, and ruin what was a pretty good life. Milo is funny, wise, curious, rueful, determined, and a bit of a lazy ass.  He reincarnates as men, women, animals, insects; black, white, red, yellow, other worldly.  Sometimes with wealth,sometimes very poor.  Sometimes healthy and strong, other times with physical limitations.  The universe is throwing everything at him and giving him every chance to get it right, but dang it all Milo!  He keeps ruining his chance.  

I absolutely loved this book.  Thinking about it, I realize it leaves me with hope. Hope that there is something bigger than all of us, and we are all working towards perfection--not in our physical world, but in our souls.  I don't plan on spending 10,000 lifetimes to find it!  

6/6 for a fantastic look at life, death, the great cosmic wheel, and how we can get it right.  Laugh out loud, poignant, and thoughtful.  Fans of Neil Gaiman, Christopher Moore, and Terry Pratchett will enjoy this novel. I hope Michael Poore keeps writing!

Available in hardcover and ebook.

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