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Victims (Little House on the Bowery)by Travis Jeppesen
Synopses & Reviews
Victims is a novel about the final days of a religious cult called The Overcomers. Like the infamous Heaven's Gate cult whose mass suicide gained world media attention in the 1990s, they are a small group of lost souls guided by the teachings of a charismatic leader, Martin Jones. The Overcomers go about their lives preparing for the cosmic event that will signal the end of their time on earth. Their struggles to reconcile their faith in Jones's teachings with the emotional ups and downs of their relationships, jobs, and interactions with the natural world form the subject of this exquisitely written and highly original novel.
Based on extensive research into the rhetoric of religious cults, Victims is a novel of ideas in the tradition of modernist works like Magic Mountain and The Plague. Twenty-three-year-old author Travis Jeppesen uses an episodic narrative, an elegantly direct style, and a quirky, sympathetic group of characters to ponder a question raised by Jones's teachings: If friendship and love are just systems to instill comfort in our lives, are all human interactions acts of manipulation?
Victims is set in a rural America of the imagination informed by classic American values — and cleansed of the mundane distractions that characterize American culture. Travis Jeppesen has written a novel with a philosophical bravura rarely seen in the work of contemporary American writers.
"This book marks the debut of an author who will surely become a major voice in alternative literary fiction...rich, lyrical language reminiscent of a modern-day Faulkner informed by the postmodern narrative strategies of Dennis Cooper." Library Journal (starred review)
"Victims may by the most exciting first novel I've read in a decade or more. This is a brilliant, haunting, and, strangest of all, very funny novel." Dennis Cooper, author of Frisk
"Jeppesen might have revealed something about the twisted logic of cult faith if he hadn't succumbed to the temptation of garbled, pseudo-experimentalist prose...." Publishers Weekly
"Jeppesen structures his slender narrative as a bold mosaic of POV — switching fragments, told in lanugage either raw or florid." Entertainment Weekly
"An artfully fractured vision of memory and escape, Victims maintains a rigorous structure throughout l; even when the aliens show up." Village Voice
"[B]oldly strange, funny..." The Advocate
"[A] thrill to read, and...the best debut novel I've read in a long time. Jeppesen's prose is stunning in its originality and power." Bookslut
Cult novelist DENNIS COOPER launches the debut title of the new Akashic series he is editing and promoting, Little House on the Bowery.
- Debut in series edited by cult novelist Dennis Cooper (Frisk). Cooper will participate in the promotion of the book.- Akashic controls worldwide rights- BookSense advance access & whitebox
This novel of ideas ponders the concepts of friendship, love and manipulation with skill and humour.
About the Author
Travis Jeppesen was born in Ft. Lauderdale in 1979. His fiction and cultural criticism have appeared in Book Forum, 3am Magazine, the Stranger, and other publications, and he is a contributing editor to Pavement Magazine. Victims is his first novel. Having resided in Charlotte, Seattle, New York, Paris, Amsterdam, and Berlin, Jeppesen currently resides in an undisclosed Eastern European country.
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