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Publisher's Summary

For fans of Max Brooks's The Zombie Survival Guide and zombie aficionados everywhere, a hilarious debut novel about life (and love) after death.

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 21-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.

Darkly funny, surprisingly touching, and gory enough to satisfy even the most discerning reader, Breathers is a romantic zombie comedy (rom-zom-com, for short) that will leave you laughing, squirming, and clamoring for more.

©2009 S.G. Browne; (P)2009 Random House

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall


I have a friend who constantly makes incredibly unfunny but very clever jokes whenever possible, interrupting the flow of conversation, or narration... and I always feel like it is a bit of work to interact with him and feel obligated to fake a laugh. I always feel like if he'd get over this self-serving compulsion, he'd be a much more fun and pleasant person to be around and interaction would be a lot more fulfilling and meaningful for all involved...

My friend has a soulmate in this writer. Thankfully, the writer wasn't around so I didn't feel obligated to fake a laugh.

This novel had some good ideas, the characters were well done, the plot progressed along nicely, and in many ways it had a lot going for it. Unfortunately the obstrusive, constant, annoyingly clever "humor" was inserted relentlessly, even awkardly, like some nervous tic, as though the author is uncomfortable just telling a story without the non-stop "wit", to use that word loosely...

Also, the ending was pretty disapointing - as though the ideas just ran out.

On the whole, I made it through and it really had its moments, but in the end it just felt like so much wasted potential.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Charlene
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 11-12-10

the zombie of self-pity.

Like a lumbering zombie, this plot moves sloooooooowly. The main character whines a LOT - admittedly, he has reason to complain. Zombiedom in the world of the book is certainly unfortunate and all the "breathers" are jerks. However, listening to someone complain about the same stuff for a few hours is pretty boring. While some of the episodes in the book have the potential to be amusing, buried under the self-pity of the narrator, they don't really make it. Seriously, give it a pass.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Cathie
  • Savannah, GA, United States
  • 09-24-09

I really liked this book!

I am pleasantly surprised that I liked this book as much as I did. Definitely dark humor and quite a bit of gore, but a fun listen. You will cheer for the zombies. The narrator is perfect for this story, and does a really good job.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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First person zombie POV works

Fun zombie read. You definitely empathize with the zombie plight. UA, LOL! Adam defo had a better life as a zombie!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Leslie
  • Hillsborough, NC, United States
  • 05-10-10

Different, But Really Good!

I just finished listening to "Breathers", and I really liked it. The story is about "Zombies", so you can expect some gore. But, the story was really, really good.
Kirby Heyborne, was the narrator. He did a great job, of sounding like he was telling the story, instead of reading it.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jillian
  • Ferndale, MI, USA
  • 04-08-10

Entertaining but with grating reader

During the first few hours of this book, something bothered me. At first I couldn't figure out if it was bad writing or a bad narrator but I eventually concluded that I couldn't take another minute of this guy's voice - its meter, its emphasis, the way that the end of most of his sentences go up, like everything is a question. It was like listening to an Intro to Theater class get through their first monologues. The twentieth or so time the guy said "Breeeeeeethers" my driving partner and I both lunged for the dial and listened to talk radio instead.
Which is sort of a shame, because the story itself was good. Not great - not moving or particularly resonant - but a good driving book: fun and quick. Or, as Kirby Heyborne might say, "Fun and quiiiiick?" Overall it deserved a better narrator, one that better suited the sardonic tone of the narrative itself.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

fun quick listen!

my husband and I listened to this book on our way to VA beach. we laughed a ton. had to turn roll up our windows so people sitting in traffic wouldn't hear our zombie porn at certain points. totally a different way to look at zombies. so fun! highly suggest!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

I don't get it....

What did you like best about Breathers? What did you like least?

I really liked the concept and the back stories of the characters are good. What made me stop reading the book is that this is a story of a late twenties man and I could only hear the voice of an early twenties girl. IF the story was about a young woman, I would have enjoyed it much more, and by that, I mean finish it.

Which character – as performed by Kirby Heyborne – was your favorite?

I thought the narrator was fine. I wouldn't say he "performed" any thing.

  • Overall

Entertaining..couldn't put it down.

Not Scary, but revealing...a twist on "Night of the living dead" in the fact that you wake up after your dead, find a group session of other Zombies (who smell bad to) and find out you are not alone, but hated, but kind of like the Homeless, ignored until you are out on the street, and then watch out for rotten fruit, the wipping toys of frat boys. But Zombie Romance is in the air and what..a magic exlir..

Lamet, for sure, but I found it a great read...very well done.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Funny, Cute, Grusome

I don't think the summary does enough to warn would-be readers about the intricately detailed gore in this book. There's plenty of it, and although the zombie sex isn't all that graphic, the zombie feasting is. So be warned that if you have a weak stomach, you should probably step far away from this audiobook.

But for those who can handle it, this book is a marvelous treat. There is a lot of quirky humor and the story itself is very engaging. It starts out well, takes you through a rewarding ride and the ending is one of the most satisfying I've read in a long time.

The characters are fun, although some can be a bit cliched (Jerry, for example), they are still lovable and you become attached to them.

Kirby Heyborne does a terrific job of reading so I highly recommend this book to most people, even if they're not into zombies that much. For those who are fans of the living dead, this is a must-read.

2 of 6 people found this review helpful