Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on October 27th 2015
May 7, 1896. Dusk. A swaggering seventeen-year-old gangster named Zebulon Finch is gunned down on the shores of Lake Michigan. But after mere minutes in the void, he is mysteriously resurrected.His second life will be nothing like his first.Zebulon’s new existence begins as a sideshow attraction in a traveling medicine show. From there, he will be poked and prodded by a scientist obsessed with mastering the secrets of death. He will fight in the trenches of World War I. He will run from his nightmares—and from poverty—in Depression-era New York City. And he will become the companion of the most beautiful woman in Hollywood.Love, hate, hope, and horror—Zebulon finds them. But will he ever find redemption?Ambitious and heartbreaking, The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Volume One: At the Edge of Empire is the epic saga of what it means to be human in a world so often lacking in humanity.
Welcome to my stop on the ZEBULON FINCH VOL. 1 blog tour, celebrating its release on paperback.
My 14-year-old son is really picky about what he reads for pleasure, because he has so much required reading for school. He has no qualms about putting a book down rather quickly if the story doesn’t compel him. That’s wasn’t an issue with ZEBULON FINCH VOL. 1, which he devoured despite it being over 600 pages. So I read it as well, and it was clear to me that this is one of the rare books that should appeal to any discerning reader, regardless of age (well, 12-13+) or gender. It has something for every reader, but I particularly recommend it for a parent-teen read-along.
Author Daniel Kraus’ unique coming-of-age tale is a fabulously macabre, rivetingly told adventure that spans more than a century. There is a grotesque “can’t look away” fascination with Zebulon’s decaying body as his flesh rots and ripples. The fact that he dies is foretold on the very first page, but it’s not his death that we’re interested in… it’s his pseudo-resurrection. Zebulon’s second chance at life and life and more life allows him to atone for his sins. No matter what decade he’s in or what obstacle he’s overcoming, he retains his late 19th-century voice.
Zebulon Finch is an extraordinary character who experiences love, loss, romance, and the whole of the human experience all at the age or perpetually 17. Don’t be daunted by the book size and get this book. Now that it’s in paperback, you don’t even have to deal with the weight of the hardcover.