No more books by Diana Gabaldon. Yes, Davina Porter is a great performer.
This book is essentially a harlequin romance novel set in another century. Now, I'm not the least bit offended by sex scenes. In fact I'm a fan of *good* erotica. This book is neither a good story nor good erotica. From 8 hours into the story, it is basically 35% sex scenes with the same two characters over and over, which just gets boring. The author does have very well-developed characters, but the story is clearly written around the sex scenes, not the other way around. Also, the lead character Claire makes some unbelievable transformations from an extremely independent woman to someone literally owned (and physically dominated all the time) by her husband. She submits to this because she is so overwhelmed by love and lust. Not credible enough to keep me interested --especially with the repetitiveness. I kept wishing someone would take an illicit lover in the story-- just to hear something *new*!
The distinctness of her character voices --even in Scots accents, made it very easy to know who was talking at each point in the story--and I'm an American!
I am glad I got the audible addition, it was a difficult read due to the accents.
Claire g oing back in time and falling in Love with Jamie and still so much in love with her husband Frank.
Jamie, he was so strong and rightous. He never lost heart even in the end.
The reading was excellent. Her voice is a joy to listen to. However, the story left me cold... Too much dialogue and not enough action. I really tried to give this one a go, but I only made it through part 2.
Outlander is one of my favorite books. After losing my original copy with the red and black cover, I purchased a second copy with the newer blue cover. When the e-book version was free last year(?) as a promotion, I got the Kindle version - and the Nook one. I've read this book several times. Since I am trying out more audiobooks at this time and having heard for years just how good Davina Porter was as narrator, when Audible.com was having a $4.95 First Book in the Series sale this month, I decided it was high time I found out what everyone was raving about. Given the raves, I had high expectations of this audiobook, which consequently had me listening with more than usual critical ears. Therefore, fans of the narrator may feel as if I were being nit-picky - and I really cannot blame them.
Davina Porter is truly a skilled narrator. She has a pleasant speaking voice. She did her homework. One of my first observations was the wonder of how much preparation she must have taken prior to recording this book - of what accents to use, of what inflections and tone of voice and when, of where to slow or speed up, etc. I really appreciated it.
I thought that her interpretation of Claire was quite good. I enjoyed listening to Claire's dry wit through her voice, and it had me grinning in public during my commute. I cannot speak for the accuracy of her Gaelic pronunciations nor of her Highland Scots accent, but it didn't sound too silly and it helped me distinguish between the English and Scots characters. Her voices for the various characters were fairly distinguishable for the most part, although I attribute part of that to the text which took care to make it clear who was doing the talking. This I say because if I were expected to point out who was who based on the narrator's voice, I am not entirely sure I would guess all of them right - at least for the secondary characters. The male characters were not too annoying.
I did have some disagreements regarding an occasional inflection or tone of voice, but this is entirely subjective anyway. I felt that sometimes the character voices or accents were not always consistent, particularly during transitions from narration to dialogue or from one character to another. I wasn't very fond of the narrator's voice for Hamish MacKenzie, and I positively cringed at her voice and accent for Ian Murray. Throughout some of Part 1/4, there was muffled coughing in the background. Muffled background noises became more frequent and distracting, particularly in Part 3/4 (the Audible version came in 4 parts). This diminished my pleasure in the audiobook. There was one particular scene which was a bit awkward to listen to. When Claire spoke, the author spoke rather breathily, which had me cringing in embarrassment. Thankfully, Claire did not speak much then.
I really did enjoy this listen, though. It was fun to listen to how someone else interpreted certain scenes, and it was fun to anticipate words and scenes that I remembered reading. I fell in love with young Jamie all over again. He was so cute! I enjoyed Claire's sarcastic humor although I sometimes thought it could be considered a little mean. As Claire got to know the other people populating the story, particularly Castle Leoch, it made me ache for the fate of some of them - and had me itching in anticipation of meeting up with a couple in the future books. I discovered that there were certain scenes where my reaction to them remained consistent throughout my reads.
Oh, how I love the author's writing!
But listening to this also allowed my mind to think other thoughts. I started thinking, wait a minute, does this make sense? Or, would this be possible? Or, how would such a character know this?
At any rate, I would still rate this book a 4.5 - 5 stars. I rate the audiobook version a high 3.5 (3.75) - 4 stars. The muffled background noise brought the rating down the most. I wouldn't mind listening to the other books in the series although I am told that it gets longer and longer - and to think that I thought 32+ hours was long! For the print books I think, the longer the better. When it comes to audiobooks, I'm rather daunted! So I'll take it slow, given the expense. Or I might end up just rereading the print versions. It'd be faster to finish, at any rate.
This review was also posted on Goodreads.
Perfect narration - having read these books over and over I was dubious about listening to them but the narration sounded exactly as I would imagine Claire to have spoken.
I really love how Davina Porter switches seamlessly between a male Scottish Highlander and a soft-spoken Englishwoman. The transitions are clear and the various voices of clansmen are distinctly separate.
I have read this series again and again and I still laugh and cry right along with the characters. Even knowing what's going to happen next I'm still entranced by these books. They are truly spectacular!
This book ranks as one of the best audiobooks I've listened to so far.
I loved the excitement, romance, and danger in this well told story.
Making the characters come to life.
Much, much shorter...fewer sex scenes...better character development....more of a plot
I liked the beginning of the novel, as the main character acclimated to the new time period.
Most of the gratuitous and nauseating sex scenes that repeated over and over
I listen to audio books all the time, and this is the first one that I was not able to finish. And you can't say I didn't give it a chance, since I plodded my way through about 16 hours (kept thinking it would get better). I usually like historical fiction and some sic-fi, and I thought this would fit the bill…but no!! After the first quarter of the book (I did enjoy the beginning), there wasn't much of a plot as far as I could tell. The narrator was great, but the story was awful. It reads mostly like a cheap romance novel, and then it gets really raunchy. There are WAY too many sex scenes, which are redundant and nauseating after a while. The main character is extremely irritating and flat. She goes back 200 years in time with barely an emotion and then violently kills a man with hardly a second thought. Jamie, the Scottish lover, is inconsistent. At first, he is innocent and sweet and then suddenly a sadist who beats and rapes his wife. The book has lots of violent scenes, people being killed, rapes/attempted rapes, etc. Although the book seemed pretty well written, the story was long, boring, and intolerable. If this book were edited down to about 8-10 hours, with the gratuitous sex/violence scenes eliminated, then perhaps the novel would be OK. As it stands though, I would definitely not recommend this book.
A story that moved on - so much repetition in the story line, a LOT of description which didn't add to the story.
It didnt go anywhere.
A lot of the stories about - um - men's penchant for boys.
there already is one
I found the book very interesting and well written, but I don't need to add pornography to the list of problems in my life. I had to quit after the second or third graphic sex scene. Also was kind of turned off by the fact that the heroine became an adulteress, I guess justified by the fact that she had traveled in time.
The narrator's performance was pitch perfect. She used her vocal talents to enrich the beauty of the printed words. The story is awesome in itself but the narration added layers of emotion and realism I'm happy I didn't miss.