Synopsis:Meet Andy Warner, a recently deceased everyman and newly minted zombie. Resented by his parents, abandoned by his friends, and reviled by a society that no longer considers him human, Andy is having a bit of trouble adjusting to his new existence. But all that changes when he goes to an Undead Anonymous meeting and finds kindred souls in Rita, an impossibly sexy recent suicide with a taste for the formaldehyde in cosmetic products, and Jerry, a twenty-one-year-old car crash victim with an exposed brain and a penchant for Renaissance pornography. When the group meets a rogue zombie who teaches them the joys of human flesh, things start to get messy, and Andy embarks on a journey of self-discovery that will take him from his casket, to the SPCA, to a media-driven class-action lawsuit on behalf of the rights of zombies everywhere.
Whoa. That's all I could say after finishing this book. Oh, and, "Huh, I did not see that coming." I mean, it was kinda obvious that something was gonna happen, because, like, hello! The title, Breathers: A Zombie's Lament... (la·ment : to mourn aloud : wail 1 : to express sorrow, mourning, or regret for something, often demonstratively : mourn)
... Not Breathers: A Zombie's Exultation...
1obsolete : to leap for joy
2: to be extremely joyful : rejoice
Thank you, Merriam-Websters online dictionary!)
So any-hoo, a spectacular ending to a spectacular book. By the end, all the little things that happened during the story, which I sorta brushed off as filler, came together to reveal the many facets of the subtly crafted plot!
Andy is totally realistic, even though he's a member of the undead, downs bottles of shampoo to get his daily recommended amount of formaldehyde, and is sprayed with air-freshener by his mother before being allowed out of the wine cellar where he spends his days watching lame TV and chugging bottles of red. His voice is very sincere and honest and, just real, man. I do however feel obligated to warn y'all that this is by no means a YA book. I occasionally dab my foot into the deep and murky pool of adult general fiction, and sometimes I come up with yucko stuck between my toes. Such is life. A strong PG-13 for sexual content, violence, and zombie gore. I don't really care for smut in my books, it's why I mostly stick to YA, and even then I'm very careful about what I read, but I couldn't pass this story up. The cover lured me in, the story hooked me, and Andy's unflinching narration reeled me toward the truth of what life after life might be.
This story asks a lot of questions concerning zombie rights: Are they still "people"? Does the Constitution apply to them? Should they be allowed the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Murderers get room and board with three square meals, should the undead receive the same courtesies?
The answers: In the book, it's a resounding NO. I say it's something you gotta work out on your own.
I give Breathers...
Necrophilia and cannibalism aside, I would recommend this book to anyone (over the age of 17) who enjoys zombies, love stories, and tragedy.