Dick-lit. If I had to write a two word review of this book, that would be it. It's amusing, shallow, the boy gets the girl, and there's a fair amount of gross-out violence along the way. Although frat boys don't do too well in this book, they're a good audience for it. The author reveals himself—or at least the narrator—to be something of a liberal by ragging on Fox News, but really, if your politics go much deeper than Fox's, you might find parts of this book offensive.
The objective of the protagonist, Andy, is civil rights for zombies in a society that reviles them. Zombies can't go online, have a social security number (i.e. work/get paid), gather in large groups other than Undead Anonymous, or defend themselves when attacked. They also can't ride the bus. Know where I'm going with this? Yes, Andy compares himself with Rosa Parks, and I just don't think that's okay. I imagine there's a way to do this without being offensive, maybe being more subtle about it, less offhand? Or maybe a white guy just can't go there. And in case you think I'm reading too much into it, read this (from p.74-75):
Anytime a zombie does something wrong, even if he was provoked into attacking, it makes national news and is played to death, saturating the airwaves with opinions and eyewitness accounts and calls for our wholesale destruction. But instead of covering stories that show the undead holding meetings or toy drives or bake sales, the media focuses on a minority of our population and spreads fear with their misleading reports.
That part is okay, good even, using satire to make a point but…
After all, just because some Asians don’t know how to drive doesn't mean they're all bad drivers. Okay. Bad example.
There's more stuff later on that could go either way, but what bothers me is that Browne has the chance to deliver a message about what being hunted, ridiculed, and being treated as inferior can do to a person, but instead he chalks up the climactic revenge to zombie nature. Granted they are cannibals, and maybe I am missing some nuance here that's meant to show that the author is just trying to make a point. Although I found Breathers to be an enjoyable read, I can't get past the inappropriate/shallow comparisons to the civil rights movement. As Andy puts it, "If you've never been dismembered or crushed or allowed to slowly disintegrate until you turn into chicken soup, then you probably wouldn't understand."
And yet, I think many of y'all could enjoy this book. I also won't be surprised if it becomes a very successful movie, likely starring one of those SNL alumnus narcissistic public masturbaters. I hate all those Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller type vehicles, but I know I'm in the minority, which is why I still kind of recommend this book to anyone who likes that sense of humor.