To some people, cutting off your limbs isn't a bad thing, it's a path to further enlightenment. Featuring 26 key characters and a thought-provoking plot centered on dismemberment, Jess Hagemann's new novel Headcheese is out today from Cinestate (who recently released Michael J. Seidlinger's My Pet Serial Killer and Preston Fassel's Our Lady of the Inferno under their "Fangoria Presents" banner), and to celebrate the novel's release, we've been provided with new artwork from the book to share with Daily Dead readers!
You can check out Chris Panatier's teeth-centric artwork for Heacheese below, and visit Amazon for more info on Hagemann's new novel!
"Cinestate is pleased to announce today the release of HEADCHEESE, the daring new visionary horror novel from Jess Hagemann. Written in a unique style that recalls the textbook format of House of Leaves, the novel tells the intersecting stories of 26 diverse individuals all connected by acrotomophilia—a sexual fetish for amputation. As they take desperate measures to make themselves feel whole by removing their own limbs—among other appendages—they fall under the sway of Captain Hook, a charismatic cult leader obsessed with perfecting the art of do-it-yourself amputation.
“I grew up devouring scary stories,” says Hagemann, a first-time novelist who also runs the Austin, Texas based ghostwriting service Cider Spoon Stories. “Alvin Schwartz's collection Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (and those nightmare illustrations by Stephen Gammell) more or less narrated a childhood spent reading, listening to, and telling tall tales to scare myself, my siblings, and my friends. When we weren't playing Bloody Mary in the bathroom, I read books by flashlight in a long cardboard box and pretended it was my coffin. I've never lost that fascination with 'the dark side,' though these days it takes a less supernatural bent. I'm less interested in ghosts and more in the inner demons that haunt people: their regrets, their fears, the desires they don't express to anyone else. Headcheese is about some of those desires, plus the fear of acting on (or not) that desire, and regret when they ultimately do (or don't).”
The book has already received advanced praise both from within and without the horror community, including a glowing review from Newsweek magazine, which wrote that “Reading Headcheese is like realizing the chainsaw was the hero of Texas Chain Saw Massacre and that nothing brings us closer to our true selves than understanding what we’d cut away. Jess Hagemann does for dismemberment what Ishmael did for whales—revealing the whole world inside the tiniest details.” The book received similar praise from the AV Club’s Katie Rife, who called the book “A provocative and ingeniously assembled novel with enough debauched imagination—and perverse reality—to satisfy even the most morbidly curious reader.”
The book has also been well received from within the horror community. Russ Foxx—an extreme body modification artist known for his work on the Soska Sisters’ 2012 film American Mary— has called the book “A complete collection of psychological mind-fuckery; launching you into the dark depths of body modification and amputee fetishism,” further remarking that “Headcheese is a trip down the rabbit hole into a world you’ve never seen or known.” FANGORIA’s Preston Fassel similarly praised Hagemann, calling her a “bold new voice in literary horror,” and likening Headcheese to “House of Leaves as written by Chuck Palahniuk.”
Including illustrations from Dallas artist Chris Panatier that serve to further bring to life the gruesome nature of the story, Headcheese is now available on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble, in addition to select independent book retailers."