The Death Scene Artist
258 pages | ISBN 978-1-928088-71-4
M_____ is dying of cancer. Only thirty-two, an extra with a meagre list of credits to their name and afraid of being forgotten, M_____ starts recounting the strange, fantastic and ultimately tragic path of their love affair with the world’s greatest living "redshirt" – a man who has died or appeared dead in nearly eight hundred film and television roles.
In a compelling narrative of blog entries interspersed with film script excerpts, The Death Scene Artist immerses readers in a three-act surrealist exploration of the obsessive fault-finding of body dysmorphia and the dangerous desires of a man who has lived several hundred half-minute lives without having ever experienced his own.
Advance Praise | Reviews | Interviews | Articles | Excerpt | About the Author
"From the jaw-dropping opening pages when we meet a protagonist perusing their remarkable inventory of 'outfits,' up to the very last page, this novel kept me riveted. This is a wonderful book, surreal, disturbing and liberating in the very best way."
– Suzette Mayr, author of Monoceros
"Wilmot brings a sensually complete sense of reality to the unreal worlds of on- and off-screen Hollywood. Wilmot's serious play with language and with form makes The Death Scene Artist a hypnotic, surprising novel that doesn’t sacrifice emotion for irony."
– Nathan Ripley, author of Find You in the Dark
Emergent Fiction (Brandon Mcfarlane, University of Toronto Quarterly, 02/03/2021)
"Andrew Wilmot’s The Death Scene Artist is unlike anything you’ve ever read. From a structural perspective, the novel is a surrealist experiment in metaphor. . . . A fun novel that satirizes Hollywood clichés."
The Death Scene Artist by Andrew Wilmot (Alvaro Zinos-Amaro, Strange Horizons, 20/05/2019)
"The Death Scene Artist, though engrossed in questions of the fluidity of identity and the performative self, is heavily invested in character, which in turn makes it well worth investing in as a story."
Zuri Etoshia Anderson Reviews The Death Scene Artist (Zuri Etoshia Anderson, Heavy Feather Review, 29/11/2018)
"I think what I appreciate most about this book is the ambiguity of its genre. We are so used to compartmentalizing books and stories into these categories, and I feel like Wilmot is playing those standard publishing conventions. Is this book technically surrealism? Magical realism? Horror? Science fiction-esque? Something else entirely? Who knows. The book has a lot of those conventions, and I'm content with that. Might be poking a little too deep here, but Wilmot may be challenging us to look past genre and categories and at the essence of a novel when it arrives on the shelves: the story."
Dizzying debut delivers cinematic noir (Alan MacKenzie, Winnipeg Free Press, 24/11/2018)
"Violent and grotesque, this book is not for the squeamish. [T]here is a lot for fans or topical horror and dark comedy. Wilmot clearly has something to say here about our culture’s obsession with celebrity and our desire to overshare online, as well as gender identity and loneliness."
Starting Out (Becky Robertson, Quill & Quire, November 2018)
"The novel has the tinge of a scandalous revenge story, which adds to its appeal, as does some incisive commentary about the nature of unrequited love and crises of body, gender, and personal identity."
Andrew Wilmot Tells Brilliant Lies in Bizarre, Surreal Debut Novel (Jay C. Mims, Into the Void, 16/10/2018)
"There is not a single instance in this novel when a reader is going to know with absolute certainty that M____ isn't lying. And what a compelling liar they are! From the very first page, M____ draws you into these blog posts they’re writing in an attempt to make some semblance of sense of the last few years of their life. They aren’t lying to us, though, but also to themselves. This self-deceit is what makes M____ such a compelling and realistic character in this bizarre, surreal novel. Wilmot, through this gloriously broken character, holds up a cracked mirror to his audience and demands they look because he knows they haven't been."
12 or 20 (second series) questions with Andrew Wilmot (rob mclennan, rob mclennan's blog, 27/12/2018)
"The Death Scene Artist compares to previous work I've done in subject matter and tone more than structure. It's sarcastic and self-effacing, and deals prominently with matters of body dysmorphia and identity. Put more broadly, I write a lot about wanting or being able to escape one's body/skin. Often my work straddles the line between surrealism and horror, but sometimes slips into science fiction as well."
Staying in with Andrew Wilmot (Linda, Linda's Book Bag, 20/12/2018)
"Nothing says 'let's have a quiet, cozy evening' like an anti-love story about body dysmorphia, Hollywood, and losing one's identity in a desperate bid to win another's affections!"
EP025 - Talking The Death Scene Artist With Andrew Wilmot (Eddie Generous, Unnerving Magazine podcast, 15/12/2018)
Eddie Generous talks with Andrew about their book.
James and Andrew talk about The Death Scene Artist.
An Off/Kilter-approved List of Halloween Reads (All Lit Up, 26/10/2022)
It's lovely to see Andrew Wilmot's The Death Scene Artist on this list of spooky independent reads from All Lit Up!
Round-Up: Books on Mental Health (All Lit Up, 29/01/2021)
Andrew's book makes this round-up of books on mental health.
Celebrate Pride Month with All Lit Up (All Lit Up, 01/06/2020)
Andrew's book is featured on All Lit Up's list of stellar LGBTQ+ reads for Pride Month!
Six spooky(ish) reads for Friday the 13th (All Lit Up, 13/09/2019)
"The Death Scene Artist takes on the obsessive nature of body dysmorphia and gender dysphoria in a wonderfully weird and compelling body horror."
Our bestsellers for November 2018! (Bakka-Phoenix Books, 14/12/2018)
Andrew's book is one of Bakka-Phoenix's bestsellers for November 2018!
First Fiction Friday: The Death Scene Artist (All Lit Up, 16/11/2018)
Andrew's book is featured on First Fiction Fridays.
What We'll Be Reading This Fall: Editors' Picks Part One (The Hamilton Review of Books, 10/09/2018)
Andrew's book is chosen as one that HRB editor Dana Hansen will be reading this fall.
Fall Preview 2018: Staff Picks (Tan, All Lit Up, 07/09/2018)
"This books will be a momentous read for that reason alone. But The Death Scene Artist just happens to be in my favourite literary genre: Body Horror. So, you'd be right to assume that it's weird in parts. It promises a lot of skin, and a lot of lies... [It] is a perfectly polished nightmare."
Most Anticipated: Our 2018 Fall Fiction Preview (Kerry Clare, 49th Shelf, 09/07/2018)
"Andrew Wilmot’s first novel is The Death Scene Artist, a psychological tale about the dangers of living for another."
Debuts: More first-timers to watch for this season (Quill & Quire, Jul/Aug 2018)
"This strange and surrealist tale focuses on a film extra suffering from terminal cancer who recounts a tragic love affair with an actor who died or appeared as a corpse in more than 800 different films. The first novel from writer, editor, and visual artist Wilmot is a study of body dysmorphia and gender dysphoria."
Read an excerpt of The Death Scene Artist.
About the Author
Andrew Wilmot is a writer, editor and painter living in Toronto, ON. They hold a BFA in Visual Arts (with a minor in Film and Video Studies) and a master’s degree in Publishing, both from Simon Fraser University. They have won awards for screenwriting and short fiction, with credits including Found Press, The Singularity, Glittership, Turn to Ash, Augur and the anthologies Those Who Makes Us: Canadian Creature, Myth, and Monster Stories and Restless: An Anthology of Ghost Stories, Dark Fantasy, and Creepy Tales. As an editor, they've worked with Drawn & Quarterly, ChiZine Publications, Broken River Books, ARP Books, Playwrights Canada Press, Freehand Books, Wolsak & Wynn and NeWest Press, and are a freelance academic editor specializing in matters of body dysmorphia and eating disorders. Books they've worked on have taken home multiple awards from the Sunburst Awards, the Eisner Awards and, most recently, the Shirley Jackson Awards. They are also co-publisher and co-EIC of the online magazine Anathema: Spec from the Margins. The Death Scene Artist is their first novel. Find them online at: andrewwilmot.ca and anathemaspec.tumblr.com.