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From the coauthor of the New York Times bestselling The Shape of Water comes the “utterly riveting” (Entertainment Weekly) tale of a murdered teen who is resurrected to walk the earth for more than a century.
May 7, 1896.
Dusk. A swaggering seventeen-year-old gangster named Zebulon Finch is gunned down by 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?
“Fearlessly weaving gore, love, philosophy, and social justice issues into one sharp whole” (BCCB), 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.
About the Author
Daniel Kraus is the acclaimed author of The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Volume One: At the Edge of Empire; The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Volume Two: Empire Decayed; The Monster Variations; Rotter; and Scowler. With filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, he wrote Trollhunters. A writer, an editor, and a filmmaker, Daniel lives with his wife in Chicago. Visit him at DanielKraus.com.
“Fiction, like any art, can be divided between the living and the dead. THE DEATH AND LIFE OF ZEBULON FINCH is unequivocally and furiously among the former. A splendidly rendered, macabre picaresque, muscular and tender, imaginative and grotesque, cynical yet deeply moving. I was appalled one moment and laughing the next. Don't be fooled by the premise. This tale may be told by a dead man, but what's rendered here is life itself in all of life's absurd glory.”
— Rick Yancey, NYT bestselling author of THE 5TH WAVE
"Kraus' careful prose gifts Mr. Finch with a voice that retains a sheen of elegance even as it repulses readers with macabre imagery."
— Kirkus Reviews
— Publishers Weekly
"Taking on the big questions of the meaning of life, the purpose of death, and good versus evil, this first half of a giant-size epic skillfully blends historical fiction, dark humor, and horror to push readers right to the brink."
“Kraus’s globe-trotting dead kid is by turns cavalier, playful, and thoughtful, and his singular voice—a debonair turn-of-the-century murderer-turned-victim—is utterly riveting.” Grade: A
— Entertainment Weekly
“An absolutely sweeping tale of brilliance that drowns its reader in an intoxicating tale of death and degradation, with an absolutely masterful ending. Kraus has a beautifully twisted mind.”
— Zac Brewer, New York Times bestselling author of THE CHRONICLES OF VLADIMIR TOD
“Kraus’s work betrays prodigies of imagination. His flamboyant elocution is the greatest exercise in sustained voice since M. T. Anderson’s Octavian Nothing.”
— Michael Cart, author of MY FATHER'S SCAR
“Wild, intense, creepy, gross, and impeccably written.”
— Andrew Smith, award-winning author of GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE and WINGER
“Strange and marvelous and funny and dark—I didn’t want it to end. Zebulon Finch is one of a kind.”
— Victoria Schwab, author of THE NEAR WITCH, THE ARCHIVED, and THE UNBOUND
“Daniel Kraus achieves the task of delivering a crackling good story with exquisite writing every time he publishes a book . . . but he has outdone himself with The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch. This is an extraordinary book.”
— Horror Drive-In
"[R]eaders will not be disappointed, making this another treat for fans of Kraus’s work...[I]t should be an option on the shelf in every library."
— VOYA, STARRED REVIEW
"It’s a splendid, poetic, ambitious undertaking, and the significant page count is put to good use, with Kraus fear- lessly weaving gore, love, philosophy, and social justice issues into one sharp whole."
— The Children's Bulletin
"This is a book for readers who want to sink in and stay awhile."
— School Library Connection