Andy Warner is having a rough time. Not only did he not survive the car crash that also killed his wife, he reanimated without her and, as a result of his death, he’s not allowed to hold a job; he no longer has custody of his daughter (and must never let her know he came back); he must observe a curfew, stay away from the living (the Breathers), and never ever ever defend himself against the constant abuse he receives triggered by the mere fact of his existence. Oh, and he lives in his parents’ basement while his mother supports the stock price of Glade and Lysol in an effort to keep the stench of his decomposition down, and his father daily threatens to sell him to a research facility because Andy didn’t have the sense to stay dead.
Zombies have no civil rights.
What Andy does have is a support group, Undead Anonymous, and some new friends, including Rita, who sparks a renewed and guilt-inducing interest in romance even while Andy grieves over his lost wife, and Ray, who introduces him to his special homemade preserved “venison”, which Andy thinks might taste better than anything he ever ate while living, and certainly better than anything he’s consumed after death.
Andy also has a sharp interest in his loss of citizenship, and he protests this loss with progressively more visible actions which land him in the local animal shelter on several occasions, waiting for his reluctant parents to even more reluctantly bail him out.
S.G. Browne’s debut novel works on multiple levels: as a rip-roaring comedy and as social satire; as sheer entertainment and a commentary on class, injustice, and the stratification of society, living and dead. It’s hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time, sometimes even in the same sentence.
Read this and you’ll never watch The Night of the Living Dead again without maybe possibly cheering for the zombies.
This book was read as part of R.I.P VIII, Peril the First Challenge. Click that badge up there that says “Review Site” to see other participants and their reviews.