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Out of Body

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  411 ratings  ·  104 reviews
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
Paperback, 176 pages
Published May 26th 2020 by
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Average rating 3.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  411 ratings  ·  104 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
I've been dying to jump into Jeffrey Ford's work, and perhaps this wasn't the best one to do that with. Out of Body is quite binge-worthy, and at 176 pages easily consumed in one sitting. The idea here is excellent, and I'm not sure if it just needed to be fleshed out a little more, or if the portion that was written needed to be condensed, and where the story ends becomes the actual taking off point for a really cool adventure, but either way this felt middle of the line for me. There is true t ...more
Lala BooksandLala
Book 1 of 30 for my 30 day reading challenge!

I think I enjoyed this but need a little more time to think on it and write a full review. Thanks to Tor for providing this to me!
Amy Imogene Reads
3.5 stars

Given the ratings, I was surprised at how much in enjoyed this slim novel about dream walking and monsters. It’s a odd one.

Concept: ★★★★
Pacing: ★★★
Memorability: ★★★

Out of Body is definitely a polarizing novella. For me, it was a clear winner—but that's because it felt like the darker, grown up version of one of my favorite young reads. This reminds me SO MUCH of Scott Westerfeld's The Midnighters.

Owen is a librarian living out his days of monotony in a haze of repetition. He's 35, but
Apr 11, 2020 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this more than I did. After all, Jeffrey Ford has generally been a fantastic writer for me and I jumped on this ARC expecting some solid creepiness or twists or thoughtful fantasy.

But this one? Eh... it was fine for what it is, but it reads more like a snippet taken out of a White Wolf Mage CoreBook regarding astral projection and some of the dangers therein. Add a dash of normal, a bit of peeping tom, and a big bad with a penchant for paint, and the entire tale ends where it pr
Mar 08, 2020 rated it liked it
I have a lot of mixed thoughts on this book. On one hand I was intrigued and entertained enough to read this in one night, but at the same time it seemed like not a whole lot happened? The horror aspect wasn’t very spooky either, but that could just be me. If you go into it not knowing much about the book you’ll probably like it more.

* I was sent an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Jun 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Owen is an introverted small town librarian who, following a traumatic event, gains the ability to astral project into the “night world” while he sleeps. At first his disembodied observations offer him a deeper connection to the neighbors he mostly avoids in his waking life, but soon he discovers a hidden world of secret societies and horrifying monsters and must put his life on the line to save his small corner of the world from evil. Ford takes time exploring the nooks and knacks of his night ...more
Elizabeth Tabler
May 12, 2020 rated it liked it
If you would like to read more of my reviews, check out my writing on or

Something wicked this way comes.

I am new to the church of Jeffrey Ford. Pretty much any die-hard horror fans will be familiar with his massive catalog of work. His stories have appeared everywhere, from anthologies of fantasy to his stand-alone novels. Knowing all that, I still hadn't picked up one of his stories and jumped in. It was always a convergence of wrong time, wrong b
It feels weird saying that something from Tor felt too short, but here we are. It felt that this work didn't get a chance to feel attached to the characters or the plot because of how quickly the story needed to progress. That being said, the author does have a very enjoyable writing style that makes you want to keep reading.

I received an ecopy of this through Netgalley; however, all opinions are my own.
Jammin Jenny
I liked this horror story - it was a quick read and was engaging from the start. I liked the fact that the deli owner had some paranormal powers and was able to help find serial killer.
Sep 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Jeffrey Ford is one of my favorite speculative fiction authors. His book The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque is on my top 20 best ever list. This little novella was good, but not one of my favorites by him. The main character, a small town librarian was never fully realized as a character. Or, maybe I just didn’t fall for him the way I wanted to. The story is absurd and fun, and goes somewhere I really didn’t expect. Without giving any spoilers, all I will say is that the title gives a bit away. The ...more
Sep 26, 2020 rated it liked it
i read this within 2 hours. it was really fast paced and interesting, and i really wanted to read until the end to find out what happens. this is a really strange but interesting book, and not at all what i expected. i anticipated this to be more horror, and while there are horror elements in it, it’s more like an action-horror (if that makes sense?)

while this is a good short story, i wonder if it being longer would have helped develop it more. i wish we got more information about the character
The Artisan Geek
Dec 09, 2019 marked it as to-read
Another small town horror story from Jeffrey Ford yeey!! I read Twilight Pariah a couple of months ago and enjoyed it so much! ;)

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May 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: This short novella was disappointing, unfortunately, due to a disjointed plot and bland characters.

I’m afraid this book just didn’t work for me at all, which is a shame because I loved the idea and I was looking forward to reading something from Jeffrey Ford. Unfortunately, this novella reads almost like a first draft, with a
Oct 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
This slim novel tells the story of Owen, a librarian who witnesses a horrific event which causes his sleep paralysis to start up again. Then during an episode he finds himself outside of his body and able to wander through the night, slipping in and out of people's houses and lives. It's fantastic and amazing and addictive. He soon finds he isn't the only one, however. A woman who is also a sleeper takes him on to mentor, telling him some of the things she has learned from her own mentor... and ...more
Missy (myweereads)
May 15, 2020 rated it liked it
“What’s the point of this special power if not to see what is otherwise unseen?”

Out Of Body by Jeffrey Ford is a dark tale about a small town librarian who witnesses a murder at a local deli. From that day he begins to experience sleep paralysis which leads him to something unsettling. A town he once knew becomes foreign once he sees what really dwells there, a serial killer.

This novella begins with a shocking event which quickly leads to something unthinkable. The story has that claustrophobic
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, horror, e-book
The rules of the magic are revealed pretty much as they're needed for the story, and the ending comes quickly and suddenly (enough so that I feel like this should have been developed into a novel), but damn, I was caught up in the characters and the plot so much that it was hard to care at the time. This is probably more a 3.5-star book, but I rounded up because it was so gripping.

I need to move his fiction closer to the top of my TBR list.
Nov 07, 2019 marked it as to-read
Official cover reveal and excerpt from Jeffrey Ford's upcoming novella, Out Of Body. Hos prose pulled me in right away, and I couldn't put it down. I need to know where it's going.😃

This was about as far as he got in his calculations every morning while watching the birds. It was time to wash out his coffee cup and dress for work. That day it was the blue-gray suit, white shirt, no tie. The only alternative was the brown suit, white shirt, no tie. Lockin
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy in return for an honest review.

This is a perfectly fine story. The plot, while a little slow, is interesting and it has a tight ending. There isn't much to the characters, but it is enough for the story which is more plot focused than anything else. My main reason for giving this book three stars is that, while there is nothing objectively wrong with the book, it was difficult to feel like you were actually engaged with anything that was happening
May 29, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, fantasy
This is way too short and seems to skim through its entire story, beginning to end. Every chapter includes 3x as many scenes as it should and they're all summarized rather than told immersively. Nothing else about it really matters given that it feels more like reading a synopsis than a book. ...more
Lizz DiCesare
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Librarians, out of body experiences triggered by sleep paralysis, and strange vampire-like monsters? Out of Body by Jeffrey Ford had everything I wanted and more. Like many novellas from Tor, this one packs so much into so few pages.

The story follows Owen, a small town librarian who, in the first chapter, witnesses a murder at his local deli. This is obviously traumatizing, and Owen begins to feel mixed emotions: sadness, grief, and guilt, among others. He’s suffered bouts of sleep paralysis in
Karima chermiti
Creepy, interesting, and engaging, Yet, It still disappoints.

Out of Body is the story of a small-town librarian whose life is turned upside down after witnessing the murder of a woman at his local deli. A new world opens up to him in his dreams and a monster will hunt him down.

What I love about this book is how it reads differently depending on which angle you’re looking at the story. Out of Body is the story of a man dealing with trauma but it is also the story of a town with a dark side and al
Jo Ladzinski
May 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
Read an ARC given to me by the publisher

Librarians sure are having a time in the spotlight in recent months. In this horror, a librarian witnesses a murder during an attempted robbery which comes with a side effect of being able to wander the night as a sleeper while his flesh remains at home.

I really liked the depiction and use of sleep paralysis in this one. Trauma can have different effects on an individual and Ford found a great way to make sleep come with a veneer of control. Melody, his tu
Laura (crofteereader)
May 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
The pacing in this one was... Off. There's a lot of immediate trust established between characters and a lot of time just spent wandering around. When there's a sudden shift at 60% it caught me totally off guard. I don't think we ever really got a handle on what kind of person Owen is. Nor do we get much explanation for the creatures of the night world - beyond the fact that they seem to be immune to rules.

It felt more like a cool idea being entertained than a story with beginning, middle, and e
May 30, 2020 rated it liked it
*I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This book definitely went places I was not expecting it to. I didn't know much going in except that it had to do with sleep paralysis and out of body experiences, but it definitely took a lot of twists and turns from there. From the very start unexpected things are happening to the main character, Owen, whose life is rather mediocre and unexciting. He goes through a traumatic experience and suddenly his life becomes much more
Kasha's Book Sematary
Owen always follows a morning routine of waking up at the same time and getting his coffee at the same deli. However one morning someone jumps the deli and he ends up being hit in the head.

After those traumatic events he starts to have out of body experiences and is able to investigate neighbours and what they do at night.

In one of those trips he meets Melody, another 'sleeper' and they start a friendship. In one of their night adventures they make a gruesome discovery that will put them in dang
Anne Carty
Apr 21, 2020 rated it liked it
I seen a few people receive an arc of this and became very intrigued so I decided to request it on Netgalley and got accepted for it. Ford's writing really sucked me in and I fell into this story. The main character was really bland and boring but had me intrigued due to him witnessing a murder. I wasn't sure on the actual premise of this story and was not expecting the turn it took which intrigued me a lot more.

Unfortunately, I felt like the tension and the stakes of this story were lacking. O
Barbara Nutting
I am not a fan of fantasy so I’ll skip a rating. It was short, quick and very weird!
Dec 14, 2020 rated it liked it
I’m feeling generous.
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book ruled. It’s nothing I expected but then again I didn’t expect anything because I went in entirely blind. At first I was reminded of Insomnia, then it became ‘salem’s Lot. But the thing is it was also entirely it’s own. I’d never really read anything quite like this where it seemed to switch up right as you were falling into the groove of it but it still stayed engaging. The ending seemed extremely quick but the epilogue made up for it for the most part. If this had been an 800 page nov ...more
Desiree McGough
This book was super readable and interesting. Not at all what I thought it would be! I really enjoyed it but it wasn’t as impactful as I wanted. Maybe I just wanted it to be longer and more in depth? I would still suggest it to people!
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Jeffrey Ford is an American writer in the Fantastic genre tradition, although his works have spanned genres including Fantasy, Science Fiction and Mystery. His work is characterized by a sweeping imaginative power, humor, literary allusion, and a fascination with tales told within tales. He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Binghamton, where he studied with the novelist John Gar ...more

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