At the end of the twentieth century, seventeen-year-old Zebulon Finch is voluntarily being sealed into a tomb far beneath the World Trade Center. After a long, grueling journey across American history, he is determined to fade away into the darkness at last--but not before setting the record straight on his infamous "life" once and for all.
So he begins to write his story, starting in 1896--the year he was shot to death on a beach by a fellow Chicago gangster. Zebulon spent a mere twenty minutes in the void before waking up to find that his corpse still lived. After being swept into Lake Michigan, hooked by a fisherman, and sold to a traveling medicine show, he began to live a second life quite unlike the first.
As decade after decade passes, Zebulon slowly comes to understand the meaning of life even as everyone he knows succumbs to death--friends, enemies, and lovers alike. Grand, thrilling, heartbreaking, funny, and ambitious at every turn, The Death & Life of Zebulon Finch is not just one young man's story. Rather, it is the story of America itself, the story of what it means to be human in a world so often lacking in humanity.