Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Recommendation: Breathers: A Zombie's Lament - S.G. Browne

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In BREATHERS: A ZOMBIE'S LAMENT, zombies are being brought back to life. When recently deceased Andy is given a new life, he can't start where he has left off.

Zombies are social outcasts, parents and children fear them alike. Andy doesn't do anything with his life and doesn't really see a point. When his parents send him to a self-help group for zombies, he meets fellow zombie Rita. As he gets to know her, there suddenly seems to be a point in living. Together, with a help of the friends they meet in the self-help group, they try to get back to normal life.

What intrigued me: Is this really a question? Zombies being resocialized? This is awesome!

Andy and Rita are probably the weirdest couple I’ve ever read about. Zombies falling in love isn’t such a new concept, but writing about un-romanticized, decomposing zombies is another thing.
I love that the characters aren’t pretty or pleasant to read about, they’re corpses, and therefore probably not a neat sight. I loved that the novel didn’t try to make zombies cuddly and nice like in Warm Bodies. They’re vicious, if their potential is unravelled. I just love these two characters and it’s fun to read about them - until the cruel ending that left me somewhat speechless.

It’s so interesting to read from the perspective of a social outcast that is hated everywhere he goes just because he is what he is. Of course, the novel is basically social critique, but in an entertaining way and combining zombies with that is always a way to keep my attention. 

The plot advances very, very slowly. The meeting with the anonymous undead are just long-drawn-out and absolutely not interesting to read about. I feel like the novel is longer than the story demands and as a reader I just felt cheated about the ending. I’d read a second novel but I fea the story ended here for Andy and his friends. It’s just really unsatisfying to root for characters for threehundred pages and then see them go down like this, as if they accomplished nothing. Again, probably a plot device but it left a bitter aftertaste. 

The humoristic touch, the slowly unwrapping love story, it just fits. Browne writes a bit dorky, with the odd bad joke every few pages but it’s pleasant. I was entertained but still kept an eye on the page numbers, so a few points deducted there. 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

Yes, yes, yes. If you love zombies, you’re going to love this. If you love light fiction and urban fantasy, you’re going to love this. Of course, this is n groundbreaking work that’s going to leave you there thinking about social injustice, but it’s a fun read and I really enjoyed it.
Especially the bad jokes.

Additional Info

Published: March 3rd 2009
Pages: 310
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Genre: Adult / Paranormal
ISBN: 9780767930611

"Meet Andy Warner, a recently deceased everyman and newly minted zombie. Resented by his parents, abandoned by his friends, and reviled by a society that no longer considers him human, Andy is having a bit of trouble adjusting to his new existence. But all that changes when he goes to an Undead Anonymous meeting and finds kindred souls in Rita, an impossibly sexy recent suicide with a taste for the formaldehyde in cosmetic products, and Jerry, a twenty-one-year-old car-crash victim with an exposed brain and a penchant for Renaissance pornography. When the group meets a rogue zombie who teaches them the joys of human flesh, things start to get messy, and Andy embarks on a journey of self-discovery that will take him from his casket to the SPCA to a media-driven class-action lawsuit on behalf of the rights of zombies everywhere."
(Source: Goodreads)

What's your favorite zombie novel?

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