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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zom-Rom-Com Anyone?
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...
Published on March 23, 2009 by Jennifer Wardrip

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amusing, quick read
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,...
Published on May 12, 2009 by Kalera Stratton


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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zom-Rom-Com Anyone?, March 23, 2009
By 
Jennifer Wardrip (Bloomington, Illinois, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Breathers: A Zombie's Lament (Paperback)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars "There's a lot of prejudice against the undead.", March 14, 2009
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This review is from: Breathers: A Zombie's Lament (Paperback)
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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. This is much like many of the down-on-their-luck stories telling the tales of society's castoffs. I thought the story was good, and it kept me reading long into the night. I really liked Jerry, the brain-exposed, porn-loving zombie, and my mind kept picturing him as a younger Jeff Anderson. I thought the ending took a turn not in keeping with the tone of the rest of the book, but that's a minor complaint, and I would happily pick up the sequel once it hits the shelves.

All in all, this is an entertaining novel, and although some might try to read in deeper cultural and societal meanings in the satire, I think it's just one of those books that you read for fun.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amusing, quick read, May 12, 2009
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This review is from: Breathers: A Zombie's Lament (Paperback)
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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
2.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to like it..., June 25, 2012
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic zombie novel, December 3, 2011
This review is from: Breathers: A Zombie's Lament (Paperback)
I'm not generally one for humor in my reading. I tend to like my novels dark and serious. Although sufficiently dark, Breathers is also quite funny, and well written, and compelling and one of the best zombie novels I've ever read. There has been so much written about zombies that it's hard to cover any new ground, but S.G. Browne really has a unique take on the world of zombies. The zombie world set up in Breathers is one that zombies exist in normal society. Virtually everything with zombies tends to be post-apocalyptic. I especially enjoyed how Browne incorporated zombie popular culture into his novel. For instance in Breathers the same zombie movies that exist in our world, like Night of the Living Dead also exist in Breathers and the zombies even watch them.

The main character, Andy is a zombie living with his parents after he re-animates. Badly mistreated by his parents, he begins a quest for zombie rights after eating his parents and finding out that eating Breathers (people) helps zombies heal, gain strength and become almost human again. Andy's quest makes him a celebrity and starts a national zombie's rights movement. After eating enough Breathers, his zombie girlfriend Rita, even becomes pregnant. But since this is dark, things don't exactly turn out well for Andy. Breathers is a masterpiece by S.G. Browne, taking zombie fiction to a whole new level.

Carl Alves - author of Two For Eternity
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Probably Wouldn't Understand, October 25, 2010
This review is from: Breathers: A Zombie's Lament (Paperback)
If you've never had a masturbatory fantasy about what would happen if Chuck Palahniuk and Alan Ball had a zombie love child, then you probably wouldn't understand.

No, seriously. Read 'Rant' while watching 'TrueBlood', and you have 'Breathers: A Zombie's Lament'. I'm not saying this is a bad thing. I LOVE those two things, and I think the world needs more literature that falls in that space. True, there's no undead fight club or (un)dead models slouched over a dentist chair, but I like to think that there's just enough black humor and strange facts to keep a little goth reader like myself happy - the information about formaldehyde in beauty products and heads in chicken-trays fell straight out of Mary Roach's 'Stiff', and the subtle but amazing insertion of Oingo Boingo's 'Dead Man's Party' was like a party David Hornsby would have thrown (if he had been a goth kid in high school). Reeking of Jack Daniels-soaked brains that have read too many Chuck P books (no such thing), Breathers is by far my new favorite zombie book...and I'm a hardcore vampire girl.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zombies are all that., August 14, 2010
This review is from: Breathers: A Zombie's Lament (Paperback)
So, one day I was at the bookstore and randomly decided that I wanted to read a "zombie" book. Not too long after I had mentioned that I found the book "breathers" right away I was attracted by it's cover and thought it might be a good read. I absolutely loved everything about this book. Instead of it having the feeling of fleeing humans. It was about how the humans treated Zombies so bad. I loved this take on the book. Also, I enjoyed how there was Zombie love. So if you are looking for a good read that involves a new perspective on Zombies, than Breathers is the book for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Undead in the Head book review, April 3, 2010
This review is from: Breathers: A Zombie's Lament (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. The zombie's come to discuss their feelings and their shared dislike of the living who they call 'Breathers'. All of them have different stories on how they came to be zombies. Andy has trouble communicating because his vocal cords were so badly damaged in the car accident that he cannot speak. He wears a dry erase board around his neck to interact. Andy quickly becomes friends with everyone in the group.

It's Halloween, Andy and his friends from the group, Jerry and Rita, decide to pay a visit to the local cemetery. That is the only place zombies are allowed. As they make their way to the cemetery they encounter a man, they believe he is a Breather so the group sticks to the shadows. The man runs across the street only to be hit by a moving car. The car speeds away as fast as it appeared. The group hurries to his aid but they soon find out he is another zombie. Ray takes the group to his home and shares his story. Along with his story he shares his beloved venison jerky. Since a zombie has lost all their taste buds the jerky's flavor surprisingly good. After eating more of the jerky, Andy and the rest of the group become restless especially Andy. He begins fighting for zombie rights but his efforts are quickly shattered. He does not give up and continues to fight for Zombie rights. He later begins to realize that his body is healing and little by little his voice is returning. Just what is in that deer jerky?

I really enjoyed Breathers, it is a story that's new and fresh. I have read a lot of zombie books and not one has been the zombie's point of view. Yes, I know this story is not your typical zombie novel. But nonetheless it is one of a kind. Just look at the success of the Twilight series. That's not your typical vampire story but it's something different. I feel that if Breather had a bigger following it can be as successful as Twilight.

Breathers; A Zombie's Lament is a brilliant and hilarious book. I found myself laughing at a lot of the terms used. Andy walking around with a dry erase board around his neck is classic. I don't want to give up to many of the jokes but my favorite is that having a zombie in your house brings down the property value. This book has everything you'd want in a novel, humor, horror, romance and even action. I don't understand the mixed reviews this book has on Amazon.com. Most of the complaints are that this isn't your typical zombie book. Well I could have told you that just from looking at the cover. I came in not expecting a post apocalyptic story but a humorous zombie tale and Breathers delivered just that.

Even though I think this is an awesome novel, there are a few qualities that are upsetting. It's nothing major; it's mostly just me being a reviewer. Browne's use of the word "clip" instead of magazine made me cringe. Also throughout the novel, when a zombie is dismembered he uses the term destroy. That's great but towards the end he uses the word die when referring to a zombie being destroyed. Other than that the story is awesome. My wife, who doesn't like zombie stories, really enjoyed this one.

The novel Breathers is a magnificent story with a brilliant plot. Zombies wanting equal rights and fighting for it is an amazing idea, or the undead that is. All the characters are lovable and easy to feel for. I will have to give Breathers: A Zombie's Lament 4 Undead Heads out of 5.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Breathers, March 8, 2010
By 
grumpydan (Andover, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Breathers: A Zombie's Lament (Paperback)
Poor Andy Warner. His wife and he died in a car accident. She stayed dead, he didn't. He became one of the undead. And you know what? Zombies don't have any rights in this old country of ours. Andy stays in his parent's basement drinking his father's wine and occasionally going to a zombie support group. Although still aching for his lost wife, he kind of has a crush on fellow zombie Rita. But being dead, you can't do much. Then he meets Ray, who introduces him to his special preserved venison. And then things begin to change. I found BREATHERS a hysterically comical look at the undead. I found S.G. Brown's story to be very entertaining that I read it one sitting (trying to stifle my giggles on the train). I know some will over-read and look too deeply in the meaning of this book, but if you take it for what it is; a satire, you will find it as enjoyable as I did (of course, you have to like zombies to begin with).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Breathing New Life Into A Well-Worn Genre!, April 9, 2009
This review is from: Breathers: A Zombie's Lament (Paperback)
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In truth, I probably didn't expect "Breathers: A Zombie's Lament" to be much more than an amusing diversion. However, author S.G. Browne has scored with a triumphantly funny novel that is a potent satire on intolerance and prejudice. When a small portion of the recently deceased start to reanimate, through no fault of their own, society must learn how to fit its newest citizens back into the fold. That's no easy task! As the zombies struggle to understand the complexities of their reawakening, the "living" population must confront its own fears and humanity.

Told through the eyes of Andy Warner, an every-man zombie suddenly reviled just for existing, "Breathers" examines his need to be accepted. This comic novel admirably follows Andy's pursuit for meaning in this new "life." Ironically, "learning to live again" is a central theme in this tale of the undead. Accepting his new status, creating friends, falling in love, speaking out against inhumane treatment--Andy goes through a tremendous character arc becoming liberated and free as he embraces and learns to accept the things he can not change. Satirizing family, prejudice, self-help and a dozen other targets--"Breathers" succeeds by tweaking the conventional expectations of a "zombie story" but not abandoning them altogether. Heck, there are even half a dozen great recipes included--I'll leave the main ingredients to your imagination.

I heartily recommend "Breathers." I laughed out loud more than once. But, by no means, is this just a "jokey" premise. Andy and his friends are real characters, and I became invested in their success even as it led down a dark road. At times slapstick, at times violent, and at times even touching--"Breathers" is a worthy and unique addition to zombie lore!
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Breathers: A Zombie's Lament
Breathers: A Zombie's Lament by S. G. Browne (Paperback - March 3, 2009)
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