Beyond the Body

London Heinemann 1982 and
Chicago, Academy Chicago 1992 (with new postscript)

Listed # 9 in “This month’s Top Paperbacks” in the Bookseller, June 1983

Featured in The Times Diary for 9 June 1982

“the definitive text on out-of-body experiences (OBEs). It is comprehensive in scope and makes a serious attempt to explain OBEs rather than merely to catalogue cases of them. But what I like most about the book is its balanced tone. …
Her book is required reading for anyone with a serious interest in OBEs and a model for the kind of scholarly, level-headed criticism to which all critics of parapsychology should aspire.”
John Palmer in Psychoenergetics

“If you should ever find yourself looking down on your own body … you should report immediately to Susan Blackmore. …  In Beyond the Body, Susan Blackmore has summarised all that is known and a lot that is not about the intriguing phenomenon of out-of-the-body experiences.”
Prof. Stuart Sutherland in New Scientist September 1982

“In the tradition of the Society for Psychical Research … takes a sceptical view of anything ‘spooky’. But will still leave most readers convinced there is something there that awaits an explanation.”
Mail on Sunday 30 May 1982

“She comes across as a most likeable and sensitive character, whose interest in Out-of-the-body experiences (OBEs) is based on a vividly-described personal experience during her first term at Oxford. … But – I ask myself – are genuine OBEs amenable to being researched? … And if OBEs must be diligently dissected and analysed, in quest of  Explanation, there can be few as well fitted for this task as Susan Blackmore.”
Dervla Murphy in The Irish Times 12 June 1982

“a thoroughly researched review”
Guy Playfair in Light 1982

“OBEs whether the reader believes they are a reality or not, are examined in an entertaining and intense work of research.”
Southland Times (New Zealand) 18 July 1983

“I found the work a readable piece of research … both entertaining and challenging, but intensely frustrating”
Rand Daily Mail

“Her careful research and scrupulous regard for scientific objectivity contrast encouragingly with other works which make extravagant claims about OBEs. Her conclusions leave the door open …”
Michael Hare Duke in  The Christian Parapsychologist Dec 1982

“”This is a well-researched, thoroughly documented and persuasively written investigation … The quality of her documentation is such that her book will be widely cited as providing an authoritative refutation of all claims to regard OBEs as factually significant. “
Paul Badham in  Psychical Studies Journal, Summer 1983

“… presenting these issues in a style that is both entertaining and comprehensible. Most readers of the Journal who are interested in astral projection and OBEs will enjoy Blackmore’s personalized account, even if they disagree with its thesis. … a stimulating and multifaceted exploration of the OBE.”
Harvey Irwin in Journal of the Society for Psychical Research February 1983

“… a scientific yet sensitive exploration of a profoundly complex area of human puzzlement. Blackmore’s book is a substantial achievement and merits wide consideration.”
John Crook in Perception 1983

“I am tremendously impressed with this book. It is an excellent work, a book that earns my great respect for Dr. Blackmore’s abilities as a critical investigator in the best scientific tradition.  …  by far the best work available on the subject. It is also very interesting and highly readable.”
James Alcock in The Skeptical Inquirer,  Fall 1983

“… it may be that asking someone indoctrinated in the language and beliefs of psychology to do this book is inviting the fox into the henhouse. Still, BEYOND THE BODY is recommended for its comprehensive review”                        
Spiritual Studies Booknews  April 1984

“Anyone interested in the human mind and its potential will be well advised to read this book. It is both interesting and a fine example of how organization and rationality can be applied even to a subject that has long been viewed as mystical and occult.”
Gordon Stein in Free Inquiry Winter 1983-4

I applaud the phenomenological approach which underlies Blackmore’s approach to the OBE.
Perhaps the most important contirbution put forth in Blackmore’s book is the psychological model found in Chapter 22. … an important source for anyone with an interest in psi research … an enjoyable experience and is highly recommended reading”
Marilyn Schlitz in Parapsychology Review Nov-Dec 1984

“a survey of OBE research that is both readable and scholarly”
Emily Williams Cook in Anabiosis, Spring 1984

“The best book available on out-of-the-body experiences”
Choice May 1984

Also briefly reviewed in The Statesman (Karachi), London Review of Books, Svenska Dagblat, SRU Bulletin (Netherlands), British Book News, Brecon and Radnor Express

Reviews of the 1992 edition

“superbly written and researched. … Whether you agree with her or not, you will find this book a requirement to understand the OBE phenomena, the New Age movement, and human nature in general. It is a classic work.”
Michael Epstein in  Journal of Scientific Exploration 1992

“… contrives to maintain a remarkable balance between personal enthusiasm for her subject, and professional scepticism and objectivity. … undoubtedly the best overview of this tantalising subject.”
Kevin McClure in ASSAP Journal 1992