Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

||| |||

Catalog » Browse by Title: V » Victims



Based on extensive research into the rhetoric of religious cults, Victims is a novel about the final days of a religious cult called The Overcomers.

$14.95 $11.21

What people are saying…

“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)

“. . . [B]oldly strange, funny . . .”
The Advocate

“An artfully fractured vision of memory and escape, Victims maintains a rigorous structure throughout—even when the aliens show up.”
Village Voice

“Jeppesen structures his slender narrative as a bold mosaic of POV-switching fragments, told in lanugage either raw or florid.”
Entertainment Weekly

“Like [Dennis] Cooper, Jeppesen has a gift for balancing accessibility with lyricism, and the laconic speech of teenagers with philosophical density.”
Punk Planet Magazine

“[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.”

Victims is a maniacally philosophical novel, but still manages to remain highly readable which is rare for a book with such depth . . . Jeppesen’s obvious intrigue with cults and abnormal sexual practices remind me of Chuck Palahniuk—especially Survivor—but Victims is more creative and surreal in its approach, conjuring Vonnegut, Beckett, and even Faulkner in his narrative style. This is probably one of the best new novels you’ll read all year.”
The New Scheme

“[In Victims] the ordinary is spring-loaded with raw emotions and turned over and over by a restless mind, leapfrogging back and forth in time . . . [A] slim book with a lot on its mind . . . Modern but not mundane.”
The Stranger


A selection of Dennis Cooper’s Little House on the Bowery series.

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. 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.


Book Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Published: 5/1/03
  • IBSN: 9781888451429
  • e-IBSN: 9781617750960


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.

More info »