First I must state that I am only 11 hours into this book and I realize it is probably unfair of me to do review it. That being said I must vent. I was quite enjoying the first 8 or so hours. Then it started. Screw after screw after screw. No, I am not a prude but I have outgrown Harlequin style prose. Especially with a Scott accents that reminds me of my brother-in-law's mother and an English accent like my old piano teacher... creepy. I am skipping forward to chapter 19 in the hope that he can keep his hand out from between her moist thighs for the next 30 hours.
Not sure yet.
I didn't know it was a romance. It was in the scifi list.
Booked & Loaded
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon is her first book in the Outlander series. It is normally tagged as Romance/Historical/Fantasy. 2 out of the 3 tags confuse the crap out of me and this might be one of the harder reviews I have ever had to write. Seriously.
Apparently, this review needs actual discussion points. So let me start with the writing. There are many and it is entirely in first person. 800+ pages in first person is a lot. That being said, the words held that classic feel and undeniable talent of a word artist. The audiobook certainly did the author justice with beautifully spoken accents that captured the essence of every character.
Point two – Characters. The two main characters being Claire and Jamie. Claire’s character seemed to take on many different feelings throughout the book, but I am reluctant to call it character growth. Claire felt undefined and muddy at times. As if the author had not made up her mind on how the character should be portrayed. At times I liked her and at other times I felt she needed more than a good swift kick in the ass. I felt Claire was especially disconnected in the first half of the book, which should not have happened with her first person point of view. The TV show is a hot topic of discussion lately – Jamie being most of it – the allure of him through most of the book was obvious. A wronged and beautiful man, especially in a kilt, conjures so many great fantasies and dream worthy thoughts. He was swoon worthy and glorious. His character, in contract to Claire’s, did feel especially well defined and level. However; the ending of Outlander pretty much takes any hope of keeping this appeal and throws it through a wood chipper.
Point three – Secondary Characters. I thought the secondary characters were quite brilliant. They varied greatly and really added a nice texture to the story. I think it spoke a lot to that time, where good friends and family are the defining point between life and death.
Point four – the Story. OK, so I am going to start by just saying that this not a romance. Sorry for those of you that feel it is. I don’t think so. Happily Ever After is what defines romance. Outlander did not have a HEA, therefore not a romance. I am not saying Jamie is not swoon worthy. I am not saying that there was no sex. You can put these two things into any genre – it does not make them romances. This makes me wonder what direction the series on TV is going to take, but that is not really the discussion of this review. I think that the overall story is a deep and unique tale, but not mind-blowing like I was expecting. It is hard to go into why this book effected me as negatively as it did without there being a huge spoiler. I will leave you with this thought: I read as an escape. An escape from reality where things are brutal and gruesome at times. I work in a high stress environment with high conflict and abuse. I don’t want it to be a big part of a characters story and I certainly don’t want to be left with the brutality of it lingering on my soul.
Audiobook thoughts: Davina Porter narrates Outlander like a boss. Her artfully spoken accents added so much to the story. I don’t think anything could have changed that would have made this a better listen. I loved the timing and emotion Porter brought to the story.
I rate Outlander 2 out of 5 Bullets!
Tell me about a good book. No other gifts necessary.
If you dream of loin cloths, spears, six pack abs, campfires, glistening muscles,Scottish brogues, and find that kind of literature thrilling, I guess this book is for you. I couldn't stand it after about four chapters, haven't finished it, and don't intend to ever. This type of escape could be perfect for some. It seemed to convey some accurate historical information, but the needy confused female main character who panted after the muscles who saved her in the midst of it, turned me off. I just wanted her to leave. Of course she couldn't, so I did. Perhaps this is a lusty fantasy novel perfect for some. I haven't had a day yet that I'd want to spend with this entire book.
Nicely tall and intelligently open-minded
First, it was a long ride. Second, it was up and down. Third, it left you with a fuzzy warm feeling (well mostly if you are a woman). Fourth, may I also step through the portal and meet a Jamie Fraser?
Mrs Porter gave a remarkable performance. I really enjoyed listening to her voice and how she gave those characters life.
They would probably censor out most of the good graphic stuff ...
Magic meets history
Yes, she spoke very well. She altered her voice ever so gently when speaking for Claire. But beware the coughing from someone in the background.
I loved it.
It was hard to get lost in the book as when I would just start to get into it, someone in the back would sneeze or cough. I really disliked this about the audiobook. REALLY DISLIKED!! The background noises are easy to control but someone coughs through the whole book periodically.
If you like a romance novel, then you'll probably enjoy this book. I don't, and I didn't. With the apparently large number of favorable reviews on Audible, I thought that this book must be pretty interesting. After about 8 hours of listening, I realized that the book is nothing more than a romance novel. I don't enjoy that genre of writing, and found the book disappointingly boring. I tried to keep listening in the hope that the writing would move on to some interesting plot twist and action, but I finally had to give up. My wife and I listened to this book together for the approximately 8 hours, and she agreed that the plot was just too boring.
I purchased this book despite the warnings about the extensive, near ridiculous romance scenes. I think those who enjoy romance novels will appreciate this book, it just wasn't for me.
Fair warning: mild spoiler below.
In general she started with a compelling plot, and a fictional history that I enjoyed very much. But as soon as the protagonist was wedded to her Scottish lover, the entire book seemed to become about their love making. It became tedious fast.
Cut about 1/2 the sex scenes, and you have a compelling, well moving novel.
I saw all the positive reviews and thought "this many people can't be wrong." However, this many people also find professional wrestling entertaining, so, I guess this many people CAN be wrong. I didn't like this book. It was listed as Fantasy, but is mostly, almost entirely, not. It was a frustrating listen as the main character stumbled along into one calamity after another. She also spend a fair bit of time getting serviced, which sounds find and good, but really started to get a bit dull after, oh, I don't know, the 800th time. I'll skip the next in the series, and all others from Ms. Gabaldon. I'm sure she has her place and her following, but it was soooo far from what I was looking for. It felt like it really belonged in the paperback section with Fabio on the cover.
The story just sucked. For what the author wanted to tell, it took way too long. And maybe I misunderstood what I was getting. I felt there was too much of the romance than the historical fiction that was described. I just don't need to wade through 200 pages describing the different ways the lead characters make love. It doesn't move the story along.The reason I bought the book is that the plot was intriguing to me. Woman goes back in time and has to deal with those issues. But that was never explored and, in my opinion, the story just got stuck in quick sand. Or more to the point, a gif. Just regurgitating the same thing over and over again.
Again the endless time wasted on describing how the two leads made love. Describe it once and your good. I am not interested in listening to how it was in the straw, or hot springs or in the inn with everyone listening or ...
She did a good job with them.
Davina Porter has to be my most favorite female narrator EVER (Jim Dale is my favorite male narrator). She is able to nail Claire's British accent and a sexy lower register Jamie Fraser...and all kinds of other characters and accents in between. I am amazed every time I hear her narrate this story.
I wish I knew what other book compares.
I don't have 1 favorite scene. It's impossible to pinpoint just one.
Absolutely, but there aren't enough hours in the day. I have listened 3 times already and will probably again. I steal away to this book whenever I have the chance...driving in my car, folding laundry, laying down in my bed at night, whenever!