Breathers: A Zombie's Lament
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Breathers: A Zombie's Lament

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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  4,118 ratings  ·  580 reviews
'Breathers' is a contemporary dark comedy about life, or undeath, through the eyes of an ordinary zombie. It's like 'Shain of the Dead', only with the zombies as the good guys.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Piatkus Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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karen
this book has one of the best titles and covers ive seen all year, so i had to buy it. and im glad it was so much fun, because im such a sucker for pretty covers that sometimes i get burned. but not this time! you can buy this and be assured that it will be funny and thoughtful and moving and undead. and if you dont like it, just rip the cover off and frame it, i dont care.
Kemper
I don't think I'll be eating ribs in any barbecue joints in the near future after reading this.

Andy was killed in a car wreck along with his wife. But like a small percentage of the population, he reanimates as a decaying zombie. He quickly learns that he has no civil rights. He has to live in his parent's wine cellar, and he isn't allowed to see or contact his daughter. It's against the law for him to do simple things like logging on to the Internet or go to the movies. He's harrassed and pelte...more
Nicholas Karpuk
Let me flip to a random page of "Breathers" and see how long it takes me to find a lame joke....

Here we go, "If you've never been in a room full of zombies eating freshly cooked pieces of human flesh, then you probably wouldn't understand."

That took four flips, and I was having bad luck.

That phrase comes up a lot, the whole, "Then you probably wouldn't understand." It's one of the many touches in the book lifted pretty shamelessly from Chuck Palahniuk. I think Chuck Palahniuk has inspired about...more
Servius  Heiner
Pretty good, it kind of lost it's luster towards the end. If you have never been worried about how many maggots are in your socks then you probably wouldn't understand.
Caris
There are so many reasons why I hated this book.

The first, and easiest to identify, was the fact that the author and I write almost identically. The very things I despise in my own writing (awkwardness, poor pacing, bad humor, forced situations) are what drive this work. Into the ground. Off a cliff onto jagged rocks. While this does give me some relief that there is a market for the sort of drivel I come up with, I still feel bad that anyone should have to read it. This is why, in my own writin...more
Mandie
zombies need love too
we deserve equality
frat boys taste yummy

If you havent't read S.G. Browne's hilarious and freaky book "Breathers: A Zombie's Lament", then you probably wouldn't understand.
Jasmine
My fifth star is broken this year. I know this is weird since historically I've been fast and loose with high ratings, but this deficiency in me should not be taken as a reflection of the book.

I wrote a good portion of this review yesterday when I wasn’t actually finished with the book which does lead to the positive that there shouldn’t be any spoilers at least not any end spoilers… I tried really hard to not have any middle spoilers either but we’ll see.

I have a lot of live concerts in my it...more
Carolyn (Book Chick City)
"Breathers" is a black comedy combined with horror and a little romance and lots of icky moments. We follow Andy, a newly risen zombie and the other members of his support group.

Zombies in "Breathers" are a little different, in fact the concept is quite original to me and was fun to read. Not all people who die become zombies, but when the selected few do rise as the undead they are ridiculed by society and despised by their families, who have to take them home again. The one aspect of the novel...more
Vanessa
A cute story that finds you cheering the zombies on. I picked this up becuase the cover was fantastic and who doesn't want to read about zombie loving?
Maicie
Second reading:(I'm rereading this a year later for a group read. I love this book.)
Still love it, maybe more, after second reading. But "If you've never been dismembered or crushed or allowed to slowly disentegrate until you turn into chicken soup, then probably wouldn't understand (page 265).

Another favorite quote:
Re: Jerry's interpretation of the Sistine Chapel: "It's very artistic, almost spiritual. In a tits and ass kind of way."


First reading: April 2010
Zombies need human flesh to stay aliv...more
Jennifer Wardrip
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, b...more
Stephanie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tressa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lilyan
Well! This was something! A coming of age story of a 39 year old Zombie!

This was my first Zombie book, so I'm not sure how the others are, but this took the Zombie's side, and showed us their point of view.

In Breathers, our main character, Andy, has just recently reanimated (Come back to life after dying as a Zombie)and he tells the story of how Zombies are treated even worse than cockroaches, I felt so bad for him, I actually felt for the Zombies, and got annoyed at the Breathers (Humans).

We...more
Mark
For an impulse purchase in Dallas when none of my top picks were available, I have to say that "Breathers" did not disappoint.

The book is downright hilarious. S.G. Browne does a great job of giving the zombie a "softer-side" that has nothing to do with being able to show each other their brains or finger open wounds. Macabre to the core, it was surprising how human Browne made the zombies feel. In fact, as the book came to a close, I found myself rooting for Andy and his band of undead friends...more
Monk
Wow, here's a book that's not afraid to ask if it's really necrophilia if both people involved are already dead.

The book covers the plight of Andy, a recently risen zombie living near Santa Cruz, California. As one of the undead - who have been made public in the last fifty or so years - Andy is in a predicament. As a dead man, he has no civil rights. He cannot go out in public, he has to watch out for animal control (who hold jurisdiction over policing the dead), and he must bear the brunt of t...more
Greta is Erikasbuddy
What happens when you die? Well, I assume that you see a light and go one way or the other. RIght? The world goes black and you sleep forever? You get buried? Maybe burned? People mourn for you?

Well, what happens if you are placed in your lovely casket with a fabulous satin bedding and all of the sudden you wake up?

Well, in my opinion... there are tons of screams, some might pass out, and you're sitting there wondering why on earth you are in your Sunday Best.

This is what Breathers is about. The...more
Misty
I was hoping for some funny slapstick when I picked this up (which I got), but it's so much more than that. Breathers is a satire lampooning prejudice and civil rights, starring everyman Andy, who wakes up to realize he's dead and unwanted by the world. Browne creates a zombie that makes sense to me: it's not needlessly shuffling and moaning for brains, it's just a normal guy (or gal) who just didn't die after they, well, died, and now are dealing with the social ramifications of not doing what...more
Morgue Anne
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...more
Beth
In this self-proclaimed "zom-rom-com" the undead are the sympathetic characters. Victims of trauma are unexpectedly and unexplainably becoming "reanimated." The zombies, all at different stages of acceptance, ability and decomposition, are outcasts of society. Their second class citizen treatment ranges from harassment (assault and limb-stealing) to SPCA imprisonment for curfew violations, with termination imminent if a human family member, or Breather, doesn't bail them out.

Some cope by meetin...more
Helene Papageorge
OK. ATTENTION ALL YOU SWINGING SINGLE EXISTENTIALISTS LOOKING FOR A GOOD TIME AND A LIGHT BOOK FOR CONVERSATION AT PARTIES WITHOUT ALIENATING ALMOST EVERYBODY EXCEPT YOU AND THE PUNCHBOWL, WELL, THAT MESSIAH OF NOVELS HAS ARRIVED. This is the most original accessible rom-com-zom novel to ever appear a la Chuck Palhinuk--sorry I still haven't learned to spell his name. The novel is set in the present: post 9/11 America but just before Bear Stearns belies up. There are 3 major characters: Andy, Je...more
Harpal
I actually really enjoyed a lot of things about this book. The humour was intensely dry and morbid, which is awesome. And I mean, the plot is pure gold. Man becomes zombie, falls in love with other zombie, gets involved with a rogue zombie who eats human flesh, hilarity ensues. It did have some vaguely serious story structure problems though. The first half was amazing, but the second half kinda floundered all over the place, with tone issues and random shit happening and what not. I do believe...more
Goosey
If I never have to read the word “breathers” again I will live a happy life.

I could do a drawn out review of why I hated this book so much. In fact, I would enjoy spelling it all out, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll leave you with this:

It wasn’t funny, witty, touching, deep, or dark. It was nothing but constant babbling and repetition. It was so awful that I had to force myself to finish it.

No stars here. Not even a half of one.
willaful
I happened to open this to some offensive, supposed humor about special needs kids. A bit more skimming confirmed general ickiness, so out it went. Too bad, because I know the area it's set in and would have been interested in reading it just for the local color.
Abraham Thunderwolf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nona
expert: "I want to tell my mother that I love her but I can't. I want to give her a hug but I don't because I'm afraid she might scream. Or else open another can of Glad on me."

Such is the life of the Undead, zombies or better yet call it what it is reantimated bodies of the previously deceased. Not everybody reanimates and no one, Breather, aka Living, scientist included knows why but only a few dead bodies reanimate every year sometimes on the embalming table, sometimes in the coffin or someti...more
Seana
Well, it's about zombies. And it's set in Santa Cruz, so that's worth three stars right there.

Actually, the Santa Cruz angle is somewhat disappointing. It gets all the geography right, but it really doesn't make much use of Santa Cruz as it's own unique place at all. Truly, this could have, and perhaps should have been set in some well off Peninsula bedroom community. If there's any community in California that would be sympathetic to the zombie plight, well, apart from Berkeley and San Francis...more
Scott Foley
With all due respect to Mr. Browne, I simply couldn't finish this book. After the first fifty pages, I knew it was a lost cause, but out of professional courtesy, I tried to press on. I trudged through half of it and simply had to call it quits.

Breathers, a story about zombies trying find their place in a world that is bigoted towards them, touts itself as both humorous and touching. I found it neither.

Browne delivers what I consider lazy writing that often contradicts itself. He also goes back...more
Les Gehman
Andy Warner didn't ask to become a zombie. I just happened. Shortly after he fell asleep at the wheel, killing himself and his wife. Andy struggles to find his place in the world of the dead, undead (zombies) and living (breathers).

Told in the first person by Andy, Breathers: A Zombie's Lament by S.G. Browne delves into the psychology of what it's like to rise from the dead. While it starts slowly, Breathers continues to pick up the pace throughout the 310 pages, ending with a bang.

Breathers doe...more
Anthony Fitzgerald
Just last week I wrote a review on another zombie novel citing that ultimately they are all the same. Breathers instantly proved me wrong!

The story follows Andy, a recently deceased Breather (Breathers being living humans) turned Zombie. He is no Hollywood Zombie, as he so adamantly pushes, just wanting to be accepted in a society that reviles him. He does what he can to get along, living in his parents basement, attending UA (undead anonymous) meetings, and drowning his sorrows in his father's...more
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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.

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 wri...more
More about S.G. Browne...
Fated Lucky Bastard I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus: A Breathers Christmas Carol Big Egos Shooting Monkeys in a Barrel: Ten Twisted Tales

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“If you've never woken up from a car accident to discover that your wife is dead and you're an animated, rotting corpse, then you probably wouldn't understand. ” 19 likes
“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.” 11 likes
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