Wednesday, March 31, 2010

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

Andy is a zombie, in a world where zombies are well-known but not accepted. He still has all of his faculties intact, but he is dead and decaying, and zombies are second-class citizens if they're citizens at all.

This is a really interesting zombie book, thoughtful, quirky, original, and gross, on every page. It's written in that modern men's Nick Hornby fiction style, which I don't always like, but in this case it makes the story very clear and accessible. It's easy to start reading, and hard to put down. (The book design has a lot to do with that too... Great cover and overall design, the physical act of reading was pleasurable.)

But, lest you think it's all whining and introspection, let's not forget Andy's new friend Ray and that tasty, er, venison, he's been serving.

I'm not sure I'd say I "liked" the characters, plot, etc., but it was definitely worth reading. There are two conflicting ideas coming from the text and I'm not sure which one is the intended (or even unintentional) Aesop. Are zombies just people like us, or are they total monsters that need to be killed for our own protection?

I hate the ending a little bit, but it's not out of the blue, and it certainly isn't disappointing. Browne doesn't rely on his premise to carry the book, he definitely puts in the effort and writes the whole way through, which I think is fantastic.

World War Z (reviewed last week) was the book that piqued my interest in zombies, and is without compare for zombies on a global scale, like Breathers is for the personal scale. Breathers also reminded me of The Reformed Vampire Support Group (reviewed last August), although RVSG is firmly YA and Breathers is firmly adult. Browne also has an (unrelated) new book called Fated coming out in November, and I'm super excited.

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