Author: Daniel Kraus
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 25, 2016
A murdered teen is resurrected to walk the earth for more than a century in the second and final book in the sweeping epic that Entertainment Weekly called “utterly riveting.”
Zebulon Finch has faced more violence, lust, and heartbreak than any other seventeen-year-old in history. But nothing can prepare him for what is coming next.
Half a century has passed since Zebulon Finch was gunned down and then inexplicably resurrected to experience a second life. Picking up his tale where he left off, Zebulon heads to Nazi Germany on a top-secret mission. From there he escapes to the shiny new world of the suburbs—a tidy neighborhood hiding dark secrets. He will exchange the pains of this world for what he believes will be peace among the stars. He will march for social change all the way to Woodstock, go raving mad in the desert, and finally exit from humanity the only way he knows how. We first met Zebulon sealed in a tomb beneath the World Trade Center—might he yet crawl from the rubble to discover a different America?
Enthralling and gut-wrenching, The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Volume Two: Empire Decayed is the conclusion to the epic saga of one young man’s journey down the long road to redemption.
Q&A Session with Daniel Kraus
The Hardcover Lover: What's the last book you read?
Daniel Kraus: Walking the Amazon, by Ed Stafford. It’s a memoir of this crazy guy who walked the entire length of the Amazon River for 860 days, fighting off snakes and spiders and mosquitos and piranhas and caimans and starvation and disease, you name it. It’s research for a new project I can’t discuss yet. (A writing project—I’m not hiking the Amazon.)
THL: What's the last thing that made you smile?
DK: I was just emailing with the author A.S. King about our experiences with bullfighting (or, in her case, her avoidance of it). I was telling her about a low-budget bullfighting event I’d been to in small-town Mexico. The so-called matadors didn’t hurt the bulls. They bulls were elderly and would barely move. What was dangerous was the “stadium” itself—a spindly, swaying structure made entirely of rust that I kept thinking would collapse under the weight of the eight people who’d shown up.
THL: What's been your favorite bookish moment in life so far?
DK: This is impossible to answer, so I’m just going to choose one randomly. Growing up, I was a big fan of filmmaker David Cronenberg. He directed The Fly, Videodrome, The Brood, Dead Ringers—fantastic, imaginative, intellectual horror. A couple years ago he wrote a novel called Consumed, a really fascinating book, and I reviewed it. Later, I read an interview with Cronenberg where he was using my review as a way to explain the book the people. Little things like that are always a kick.
THL: What's the last thing you treated yourself to?
DK: Cadbury Screme Eggs. They’re exactly like Cadbury Creme Eggs, except the “yolk” is electric green instead of yellow. So, if you don’t like Cadbury Eggs, they are even more disgusting.
THL: Where's your favorite place in the entire world?
DK: I thought about saying Scotland, or maybe Paris, but I’m going to surprise myself and say Montana. Yes, Montana—specifically Glacier National Park. I’m a national park fiend, and it remains my favorite. There’s an important sequence in Empire Decayed that takes place in Glacier. That was one of the unexpected joys of the Zebulon Finch project, being able to take the things I’m interested in—almost all the things I’m interested in, because the project is so vast—and incorporate them into the tale.
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.