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Out of Dark Places Paperback – April 5, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Gephart develops his characters with multi-layered complexities and fascinations with sterling finesse. We are invited into and captivated within the moody, macabre realms of Lukas's mind's eye. Out of Dark Places takes us on a multi-dimensional, other-worldly trip...
- Marvin D. Wilson, TheOldSilly.com

About the Author

Jeff Gephart has worked professionally as a graphic artist and as an elementary school teacher. Having written two feature length screenplays and a few short films, Jeff has spent time in front of and behind the camera. He also enjoys writing poetry and short stories.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 178 pages
  • Publisher: All Things That Matter Press (April 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984639209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984639205
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,076,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeff Gephart is an American writer that published his first novel, The Second Life, in 2006. He also enjoys writing poetry, short fiction, and screenplays. He wrote and performed for a weekly sketch comedy television show for three seasons that was seen on cable television markets in the Eastern and Midwestern United States. In addition to having acted in various independent film projects, he has worked professionally as a graphic designer and an elementary school teacher. His second novel, Out of Dark Places, has now been published by All Things That Matter Press. He currently resides in Sacramento, California.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marvin D. Wilson on April 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
A `has been' musical genius with a propensity for numbing his highly sensitive and tortured psyche in a bottle of Scotch, Lukas, main character in Out of Dark Places, is imprisoned in limbo between the surreal world of his vivid and anguishing visions and the world of reality, compassion and second chances that secondary main character, Katie, beckons him, out of love, to return to.

Author Jeff Gephart develops his characters with multi-layered complexities and fascinations with sterling finesse. We are invited into and captivated within the moody, macabre realms of Lukas's mind's eye. Out of Dark Places takes us on a multi-dimensional, other-worldly trip told mostly in first person present tense, but often jumping back and forth through time--adding to the non-linear, bewildered sense of disorientation Lukas lives, drinks, and struggles his way through.

The author spins a tale that builds inexorably in tension and mounting passion. The question at the end comes down to this: can a washed up, lonely, afraid, bitter, drunken and delusional, formerly great pianist do the right thing in a world he feels is fundamentally faulted--all wrong--and, will he be able to `see' the love that binds and brings him back--in the form of Katie ... before it's too late to stop the tragedy he has wilfully set in motion?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brett on June 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
If you haven't read Jeffrey Gephart's second novel yet, I am envious of the experience you will have. Because the first time you read Out of Dark Places is one of those journeys that you never forget. Meeting his thoroughly developed, brilliantly envisioned characters, is not unlike meeting any variety of the people you've encountered in your own life. With all of the complexities that implies.

Gephart has an amazing acumen for giving voice to a myriad of personalities. But the main focus is the most amazing ball of contradictions. Lukas Willow is amazing, pathetic, likable, off-putting, inspiring and depressing- all at the same time. And his story takes twists that will surprise you. When you think you know where the story is going rest assured, you do not.
Most amazing of all; this novel makes a metaphor of many of it's characters detachments from reality. Whether it is alcoholism or simple depression and disillusionment, many of these characters have a somewhat altered perception of their reality. And then as a result, so does the reader. Not in a pronounced, over-wrought Tolkien kind of way, but in a very subtle way.

It's never clearly spelled out why or how certain things happen and I'm glad. It's far better when the author challenges the reader as Gephart does here. Is there a suggestion of something slightly abnormal taking place, or is it just the skewed perceptions of the characters at work? Is this subjective reality a metaphor for the way in which we perceive our own experiences? I don't know for sure, but I love that I'm made to think about it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Marina J. Neary on April 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
The author's fascination with the human psyche is both clinical and artistic. His protagonist Lukas examines every casual one-time passer-by with an eye of a painter or a prophet, finding messages and clues in every detail. His painful sensitivity and hightened intuition cause him a great deal of unease. The narrative is written in the present tense, and the progression of the plot is not always linear, which contributes to the feeling of being out of time. The novel is set in a different dimension. It's marked by the exquisite, subtle moodiness of 1970s French films.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Julie on May 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Different characters explore some of the darkest places that family can offer: abuse, neglect, betrayal, guilt, dependence, obligation - dying too soon or living too long. The main character has been trying to drown his ghosts with alcohol for a decade before he meets someone who chooses to deal with the pain differently, and slowly a single human connection starts to change everything.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jo de mots on January 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's hard not to become absorbed in the lives of the two main characters as you follow them through the novel's various dramatic scenes and well-written moments of self-examination. So different seeming at first, both in personality and lifestyle, the author manages to convincingly draw similarities between their progressively intertwining lives. Not to say too much about the story - which is well worth a read - the "Out of Dark Places" is written against a backdrop of powerful metaphor for the fragility, unpredictability, and violence of life as we live it in our modern world. Page-turning excitement is interspersed with moments of tenderness and reflection, where the reader will easily find some aspect of the protagonists to identify with. Addressing themes of love, addiction, abandonment, loss, and guilt, among others, it is a wonderful statement about human existence and the various ways in which we struggle to find our place in it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Erica on January 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
My first book review and I fear I will not do "Out of Dark Places" the justice it deserves.
Lukas chooses to drown his regret in a bottle of scotch and keep his distance from anyone who might break through the armor he has created. Katie learned long ago that the only person that cares about her well being and future, is her. So many of us can see parts of ourselves or loved ones in Lukas and Katie. Some may chose the bottle, others work and still others, the wall that protects them from sorrow and disappointment. Through this story, an unlikely friendship is formed, as these broken spirits forge ahead and work to overcome the pain that life has dealt them. Jeff Gephart brings characters to life in his second novel, "Out of Dark Places." This poignant book is highly recommended. Read this and you won't be disappointed.
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