Do-overs: what everyone who’s ever made a questionable decision in life would like the option of executing. In Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore the do-overs of some of Milo’s ten thousand lives are explored as he tries to reach Perfection.
Milo is generally a wise soul, having a multitude of experiences to call upon from his thousands of reincarnated lives. In each life, he works his way closer to achieving Perfection and moving to a different sort of afterlife through attaining immortality and earning the ability to be with his love, who just so happens to be Death (and prefers to be called Suzie). After Suzie makes a life altering decision that takes her out of Milo’s immediate reach, Milo endeavors to be his best, most loving, and most selfless self in the few remaining lives before his ten thousandth life and final chance to reach Perfection in order to be with her again.
Written with plenty of dark and dry humor, the novel encompasses many different types of lives between the past and the future (both near and far), with the lives portrayed demonstrating both the banal and unique qualities of life that can be easily and universally understood. There were lots of small snippets from previous lives Milo lived to bridge the gap between the longer narratives of his time living on Earth and living in the afterlife, which seemed a bit like filler material, but also provided further context to some of the decisions Milo continually makes in his reincarnated lives. Some of the shorter transition stories were repeated throughout the text with minor details slightly differently presented, which felt like a repetition error but also oddly works to evoke a sense of deja vu, which has been believed by some to be a moment of reliving something from a previous life.
Overall, I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars.