Out of Body

Out of Body

by Jeffrey Ford


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Out of Body is a dark fantasy thriller from multi-award-winning author Jeffrey Ford.

A small-town librarian witnesses a murder at his local deli, and what had been routine sleep paralysis begins to transform into something far more disturbing. The trauma of holding a dying girl in his arms drives him out of his own body. The town he knows so well is suddenly revealed to him from a whole new perspective. Secrets are everywhere and demons fester behind closed doors.

Worst of all, he discovers a serial killer who has been preying on the area for over a century, one capable of traveling with him through his dreams.

Praise for Jeffrey Ford's The Twilight Pariah

"His trademark mix of intelligence, creeps, melancholy, integrity, and wit is as addictive as it is compelling. I want to be Jeffrey Ford when I grow up." —Paul Tremblay

"Creepy, funny, and poignant—a delight for connoisseurs of fantastic fiction." —Liz Hand

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly


Ford’s dark fantasy (after Ahab’s Return) is a thrilling supernatural slugfest acted out by sleeping souls in the “night world” of the astral plane. Owen Hapstead, a librarian in the quiet town of Westwend, survives a pistol-whipping during a convenience store holdup and (possibly as a result of the head trauma) discovers that his ethereal self can break free to roam the town while his corporeal self sleeps. During his discarnate jaunts he meets Melody, a fellow sleeper who mentors him through the night world’s possibilities and perils—among them “cutters,” beings who can fatally sever the intangible cord tethering the sleep self to the body, and an even more horrifying killer whose true identity comes as a late surprise and whose predations add frightening complexity and purpose to the couple’s nocturnal adventures. Ford’s elaboration of the night world is wildly imaginative and his depiction of Owen’s invisible explorations of it verges on the voyeuristic, adding unusual piquancy to the story. Readers will find this well-wrought tale of a mysterious world both eerie and bewitching. Agent: Howard Morhaim, Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. (June)

Library Journal


Small-town librarian Owen is a man of routine, until the day his regular morning stop at the local store is interrupted by a violent robbery, an event that leaves one person dead and Owen with PTSD in the form of sleep paralysis, during which he leaves his body behind and travels to the world of "the sleepers." As Owen is taught the rules of this night world by a new friend, he is both tempted and repulsed by the dark allure of voyeurism; his nocturnal adventures reveal the secrets of the townspeople he thought he knew so well. He soon discovers a centuries-old serial killer and is determined to use his powers to help put an end to the reign of terror. VERDICT Nebula and Shirley Jackson Award winner Ford (A Natural History of Hell, The Girl in the Glass) offers a short, captivating tale about strength and sacrifice. For fans of Neil Gaiman's Ocean at the End of the Lane, Samanta Schweblin's Fever Dream, and Keith Donohue's The Motion of Puppets.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250250155
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 05/26/2020
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 630,834
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)

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