Book Review: Breathers by S.G. Browne -
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Book Review: Breathers by S.G. Browne

Angel’s Adjectives: Aaargh and rowwwr.

Unlike many horror fans, I’m not a zombie fanatic. I picked this book up for two reasons:

  1. I wanted to see how writers were making zombie stories so interesting that they’d gotten popular.
  2. I loved the cover. As a closet reader of romance and gothic novels, it attracted me.

I had a great time reading this book. It was the perfect counterpoint to the one I read right before it, which lost me regularly and bored me often. This one never actually lost my attention or bored me, although there were times when I felt a bit “hit over the head” by the constant ruminations about how zombies have no rights.

Having said that (which is my only complaint about the book), I was drawn in by the main character and his dilemma right from the beginning. The supporting characters were well-fleshed-out (if you’ll pardon the phrase) and believable, albeit somewhat caricatured. They fit perfectly in this book, however, and their stereotyped responses to events didn’t bother me because they made sense in a larger-than-life sort of way. This book isn’t about real life in any form.

The main character narrates the entire story in first-person present tense. This gives it an immediacy that’s intriguing and a hint of irony because the main character can’t actually talk. He can only grunt and groan to others. We’re in his head with him, hearing his thoughts. We get a glimpse of his inner landscape that the other characters in the book don’t get. It makes him extremely likable and a sympathetic hero.

I was definitely pulling for him by the end of the first chapter.

Humor plays a role in this story, but it’s not one zombie joke after another. Most of my laughs were inspired by clever turns of phrase or plot twists that took me by surprise and entertained me.

Although the story is sweet and sentimental, not to mention heroic, Browne does not shy away from the guts and gristle of zombie reality. Let’s face it, zombies aren’t as grossed out by things like empty eye sockets and maggots as we breathers are. I liked that. He boldly went where any good zombie would, and that tickled me.

All in all, I greatly enjoyed this book. I look forward to reading Browne’s other novel, Fated, due out in November, 2010.

I read the audio version, read to me by Kirby Heyborne. He did a marvelous job.

S.G. Browne and chapter 1:

Rumor has it that Diablo Cody has undertaken to produce Breathers as a feature film, with the script written by Geoff Latulippe. I can’t wait to see it.