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Breathers: A Zombie's Lament Paperback – March 3, 2009


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Spontaneous Resurrection
Read the first chapter of Breathers, S. G. Browne's black comedy [PDF].

Product Details

  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; Original edition (March 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767930614
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767930611
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Browne's black comedy debut brilliantly reinvents zombie culture for the 21st century. Andy Warner reanimates after the car accident that kills his wife, but is too mangled from his injuries to talk. He lives in his parents' wine cellar, occasionally attending a zombie support group and struggling to rejoin a society that offers the undead no rights, bans them from working and doesn't even punish those who destroy them. When Andy and his fellow zombies—notably Rita, a sexy suicide victim with a lipstick fetish, and Jerry, a Playboy-obsessed stoner—learn why they're so driven to consume human flesh, the repercussions are both tragic and hilarious. Browne neatly mixes humor and extreme violence with a surprisingly tender love story, some witty social satire and an extremely strong narrative voice. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Andy’s life is a mess. A newly risen zombie, he’s forced to live in his parents’ basement, attend Undead Anonymous meetings just to get out of the house, and endure abuse of all kinds from the living. To make matters worse, he can’t even talk, though that’s because his mouth was sewn shut prior to being embalmed. Things begin to look up when Andy meets Rita, a gorgeous zombie who slashed her own wrists and throat; nebbish, vegetarian Tom, whose arm was stolen by a pack of drunken frat boys; and Ray, an undead renegade who introduces the gang to the wonders of eating “breathers.” Some die-hard horror aficionados may find this take on zombies too full of shtick (e.g., the running joke that falls flat by its second appearance), but Browne confidently balances a love story with ample amounts of gore and gags that should win over fans of George Romero (Night of the Living Dead et seq.) and fans of Shaun of the Dead, too. A welcome deviation in zombie lit. --Carlos Orellana

More About the Author

S.G. Browne is the author of the novels BREATHERS, FATED, LUCKY BASTARD, and BIG EGOS, as well as the novella I SAW ZOMBIES EATING SANTA CLAUS. His short story collection SHOOTING MONKEYS IN A BARREL contains ten twisted tales and is available as an eBook.

His writing has been influenced by Stephen King, Chuck Palahniuk, Christopher Moore, Kurt Vonnegut, and the films of Charlie Kaufman and Wes Anderson, among others. He loves dark comedies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and is a sucker for It's a Wonderful Life.

You can learn more about S.G. Browne and his writing at www.sgbrowne.com.

Related Media


Customer Reviews

Whatever you like to read, I highly recommend this book.
Donald Mccoy
It never interested me because the cover made the book seem like a sappy zombie love story.
Lyle L. Perez
'Breathers' is the absolutely best dark zombie comedy I've ever read.
Schtinky

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Wardrip VINE VOICE on March 23, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
BREATHERS was an impulse Amazon buy, recommended when I purchased a separate zombie anthology. I don't usually give in to impulse buys (I have too many must-haves on my reading list as it is), but I'm so glad I decided to give into this one!

This book has it all - the blood and gore of typical zombie fare, but also romance (who wouldn't love a twenty-something hottie, even with the stitches at her wrists and throat, who happens to eat lipstick like it was going out of style), humor (I'm sorry, but breather disguised as venison is pure genius), murder (the opening scene is a husband-wife body part freezer bonanza), and an undead support group (yes, they even have field trips).

It's a quick read, and it is just so, so good. Andy, the main character, simply wants his life back, even if he is a member of the undead. As a member of society who now has absolutley no rights whatsoever, it's a lot more difficult than it sounds.

But if you've never had to drink VO5 shampoo (and sometimes conditioner) to get your formaldahyde fix, or had your arm ripped out of its socket only to be beaten over the head with it, or been shot in the face by a Social Security Administration guard, or been traumatized by frat boys in a cemetery, then you probably wouldn't understand what I'm talking about.

Seriously, just go buy it.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By mellion108 VINE VOICE on March 14, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Andy Warner is a 30-something who lives in his parents' basement, drinking their wine and not contributing to society. This isn't so unusual except for the fact that Andy is a decomposing, smelly, zombie who reanimated following a fatal car wreck that killed him and his wife. He spends most of his time watching his skin slough off, listening to his father complain about the smell and hassle of housing a zombie son, shuffling his way back and forth between sessions with an overly Botoxed therapist and his Undead Anonymous (UA) support group, and chugging as much formaldehyde-laden products as he can to slow down his decomp. He develops a heavy crush on Rita, a fellow UA attendee, but how do you charm an undead suicide when your voicebox is crushed? On top of all that, Andy and his undead friends can't even take a walk without Breathers throwing insults and food items at them or drunken fraternity pledges ripping off their body parts. In Andy's world, the undead have no rights and can be abused by any of the living at any time.

It's hard out here for a zombie.

Then Andy and his pals meet Ray, a self-sufficient zombie who hunts for his own food and lives as far away as possible from the Breathers. They all bond over booze and good food, and Andy begins to see a possibility of a better unlife, one with civil rights, a job, a social security number, and possibly Rita. He stages some protests, gets pelted with a variety of fast foods, and has to be bailed out of the SPCA by his sputtering father on more than one occasion.

But he's making progress in his quest to secure equal rights for the undead and love for himself.

Browne delivers a funny little zombie novel with a more light-hearted approach than the standard undead fare.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kalera Stratton VINE VOICE on May 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Breathers starts with a fairly amusing premise that capitalizes on the current zombie craze, and delivers pretty much what it seems like it will... a bit of entertaining popcorn. There is poignancy in the main character's story of losing his wife and finding himself resurrected, and a bit of tragedy and heroism at the end, but for the most part the book is an easy, unchallenging read filled with zombie quips and a recurring "If you're not a zombie, you probably wouldn't understand" joke, which honestly got kind of irritating after the 15th interation or so.

Still, it's an amusing, light read, and a pleasant diversion. It would be good airplane reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By April The Great on June 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book started out promising, but began to wear on my nerves. From his pretentious wine plugs, desperate attempts to be "in the know" with his pop culture/TV references, and the use of the phrase "Unless you (fill in the blank) then you probably wouldn't understand." And I hope you can read code because the typos run rampant.
I really wanted to like this book, but in the end it just fell flat.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lyle L. Perez on April 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
I remember seeing this book at Borders Books for a long time. It never interested me because the cover made the book seem like a sappy zombie love story. The only reason I decided to buy it was because the book was autographed and S. G. Browne is a pretty cool guy. On my last trip to Borders, I bought it. Now that I have read it, I am glad I did.

Andy Warner finds himself wandering down San Jose Road with no recollection of how he got there. He is dazed and confused, wondering why he is dragging his left foot and why his left arm doesn't work. Something does not feel right as he makes his way to a local town and finds a mom and pop shop. All the residents and the shop owners are terrified. After being chased away from the store with a broom he finds a payphone. He dials 911, and finally thinks he's going to get some much needed help. The operator answers but Andy cannot speak; his mouth has been sowed shut. He hears sirens approaching, and believes that help is on the way, however once the police arrive at the scene he is bound, gagged and taken to the S.P.C.A. There he realizes what has happen and what he has become. 48 hours prior to being picked up by the police, he was in an accident. Both he and his wife passed away, however Andy's body reanimated and now he lives the cursed existence of a zombie. He is not dead, he is no longer living he merely exists.

With society no longer considering him human, he has none of the rights he had in his living days. Zombie's are frowned upon, they are the unwashed, the unclean. If zombies are seen on the streets they are harassed, humiliated and even dismembered by drunken fraternity members. In order to deal with his existence, Andy joins a support group.
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