Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Book Review: Breathers: A Zombie's Lament by S.G. Browne

Published by Broadway Books, a division of Random House

Rating: 4.5 stars

I received this book through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program

Though zombies have been roaming the earth for years, they have yet to receive the rights and proper treatment they deserve, at least according to them. Andy Warner is a recent addition to the undead, and is trying to cope with his new 'lifestyle' as a zombie. He is currently living in his parents house, despite their disdain for his zombie status and is a member of Undead Anonymous, where he meets fellow zombies and makes friends. When the group starts eating mysterious meat provided by another zombie, drastic changes take hold of them and their destiny is altered.

I can definitely see why I received this book. I love humor books, especially off-beat ones that have elements of satire embedded throughout, such as the work of Christopher Moore and Chuck Palahniuk. Breathers is every bit as funny as I would have expected and had numerous pop culture references, making it current and very witty.

Just a little warning: Breathers is not for everyone. Some parts made me a little queezy, so if let's say the thought of someone chopping up his parents and eating them as a main course makes you feel a little sick then beware! I could have managed fine without certain unneccesary descriptions and I don't think the plot would have suffered either. Having said that though, most of the book is not gory or too graphic. In fact, a lot of it feels more like a romantic comedy then a horror. I read that the book will likely be made into a movie, which I think would ve very interesting to see!

This book does surprisingly go deeper than you would think. Much of the beginning is a satirical account of discrimination that could easily be substituted for the rights that women and other discriminated members of society have had to face throughout history (except that these zombies are undead, reak of formaldehyde and hang out in cemetaries). Another funny part of the book is a parody of the media circus we now know of that creates instant overnight celebrities. There are also issues of morality that come into play and though they're not particularly resolved, I still found them interesting to contemplate within such a hilarious context.

Breathers will make you root for the undead and join in the vilification of all those who are 'alive' , despite being one of them. Though this book will not suit everyone's taste, for those who enjoy off-beat humor and satire, this is an excellent choice!

BIG THANKS to Random House and LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program for my review copy


Belle said...

Great review - I don't actually read too many zombie books but I love the idea of a humorous zombie book that reads more like a romantic comedy than a horror. It's a very interesting description. I think I'll have to keep my eye out for this one.

bermudaonion said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it, but I don't think it's for me.