Monday, March 5, 2012

“If you've never been in a dumpster coated with industrial waste while someone stabs you with a piece of sharpened rebar, then you probably wouldn't understand.”

Breathers:  A Zombie’s Lament – S. G. Browne
310 pages

Genre:  Zombies; Humor

Summary:  What comes to mind when you think of the word “zombies?”  If you’re anything like me, it’s probably “eww, gross” or “absolutely terrifying.”  Andy, a new zombie, would disagree.  He may be undead, but he has feelings, too!  Poor Andy has been alienated from everyone he knows, and is treated with scorn and contempt wherever he goes.  The only solace he can find is during his weekly sessions with other zombies who are just like him.  Will Andy ever get the respect in society that he hopes for?

Review:  I’ve never really been interested in zombies in the past, but looking at some of my more recent book selections would show that they have become one a subject that I like to read about.  While I found the majority of Breathers to be rather engaging and fun, especially the first two-thirds of the book, the latter third didn’t really float my boat and it left me with a mediocre taste in my mouth.  It wasn’t bad, but I’m not sure I’d sample it again.

Let’s start with the good:  the humor!  Breathers was unquestionably laugh out loud funny, and I’m sure the other customers in my favorite coffee establishment were looking at me like a crazy person as I was almost spitting my coffee out from laughing too hard while reading this.  Perhaps this book is best read alone so you can fully relish in the funny nuances without people thinking you belong in a padded room.  The whole concept of a zombie support group was incredibly funny, and the quips and one-liners therein were witty and on-point.

Browne also did a great job with the characters.  While I found Andy to be whiny and kind of annoying most of the time, I really liked the other zombies that Andy was friends with.  The villains (Andy’s parents, general society, etc) were really well done, and it was quite easy to hate them because they wouldn’t even give Andy and his friends a chance to fit into society.

Breathers began losing steam, however, towards the last portion of the book.  I’m not sure if I was just getting bored with the whole plot in general by that point or what, but I finished it out of a sense of duty, hoping it would get back to the awesome that it was in the beginning and middle.  Unfortunately, in my opinion, it didn’t get any better.

If you enjoy zombie stories, or if you just need a good laugh and don’t mind dark humor, you might like Breathers.

Rating:  3/5

Other Books by S. G. BrowneFated, Lucky Bastard (set to be released in April, 2012).