S.G Browne's debut has a uniqueness that set it apart from the over crowded market for zombie tales. In Breathers, reanimating after death is purely down to chance. Andy, the narrator, reanimated after he rammed his car into a tree. The same accident killed his wife, but she didn't come back, and this resulted in their daughter being taken to live with her aunt and uncle, and Andy living in his parents basement turned wine cellar with feelings of guilt and anguish.
Browne is quick to set up the premise that zombies are people, too, the only difference is that they often have the physical ailments that caused their original demise. For Andy and his friends, formed at a local support group, there's no slow walking, no moaning, no craving of human flesh. Their problems are due to the fact that they live in a world that was subjected to zombie movies and Breathers, what they call the non-dead, cannot separate Hollywood zombies from the ones that share their world.
Breathers has all the necessary ingredients for an interesting read, but I found it hard to empathise with Andy. Throughout, Andy repeats the line 'you wouldn't understand' with different variations applicable to his increasingly strange situation. Towards the end, I realised that I didn't want to understand, and it made it hard to have a positive response to this book. I think I liked it, there's plenty of comedy elements in there to stop it from becoming too politically motivated, but I don't think I'll rushing to read it again.