Library Journal Review
Milo has been reborn more than any soul in the universe. While he knows he is meant to be striving for perfection and an end to the cycle of rebirth, Milo likes the cycle. He also enjoys spending time in between rebirths in the afterlife with his longtime lover Suzie (also known by some as Death). But Milo is approaching his ten thousandth life, and apparently that is all you get. If he can't get it right soon, there will be no more rebirths, no more Suzie-he will be cast into nothingness. Moore (Up Jumps the Devil) gives readers vignettes of Milo's previous lives as well as his postultimatum efforts to get things right, linked together with his times between rebirths with Suzie. While there is real philosophical exploration of what constitutes a good life, there is also plenty of humor and even a tender (if unusual) love story. -VERDICT Readers will cheer for Milo, even as they watch to see where he goes wrong this time.-MM © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Poore (Up Jumps the Devil) addresses humans' relationship to the universe through a clever, personal story filled with gentle humor, wry sweetness, and perhaps even some wisdom. In Poore's setup, which owes a bit to Buddhist thought but isn't dogmatic, a person may be reincarnated up to 10,000 times in the pursuit of perfection. The narrative follows Milo, who is approaching the 10,000-reincarnation limit. His lives (and deaths) range across time and space: a prehistoric village, the traveling party of the Buddha, mundane 20th-century coupledom, radical spacefaring in a future dystopia. Between lives, the afterlife offers Milo rest, feedback from cosmic entities that manifest as cranky old women, and housing that corresponds in quality to the results of the lifetime just completed. It also lets him reconnect with his socially awkward lover, Death, whom he calls Suzie. Poore's past and future settings are sketched with only as much detail as is needed to anchor the emotional journey of his protagonist, an empathetic, bumbling everyman whose mental voice is consistently, contemporarily American. Poole aims to amuse more than to philosophize, but his ideas about human nature and the randomness of life make this more than a time-jumping farce. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Booklist Review
*Starred Review* Poore (Up Jumps the Devil, 2012) tells the moving, gloriously entertaining story of Milo, a man who has been reincarnated 9,995 times. He has only five lives left to achieve the goal of perfection in order to move beyond the afterlife, a beautifully crafted world he returns to after each of his deaths on earth, and become part of the Oversoul. To nudge him towards this goal, he has two guides, Mama and Nan; complicating Milo's quest is his love of Death, who prefers the name Suzie. The premise enables Poore to move backward and forward in time and to inhabit numerous genres along the way, including fantasy, sf, historical fiction, and dirty realism. Poore's style and imagery echo an eclectic mix of writers: Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Samuel Delany, and Kurt Vonnegut. This stunning novel is also reminiscent of Ron Currie's Everything Matters! (2009) and Mark Danielewski's Only Revolutions (2006); it shares plot elements, and all three are ultimately love stories, with Poore's grounded in the relationship between Milo and Suzie. Thoroughly enjoyable, Reincarnation Blues is a tour de force of imagination and humor and a genuinely life-affirming tale.--Moran, Alexander Copyright 2017 Booklist