Davina Porter was wonderful in her role as narrator. Although someone can describe how they felt or thought about a situation on paper, the human voice with its tones and inflections can express so much more. Ms. Gabaldon's riveting story of immense courage, passionate love and the finding of that love in the most mind blowing circumstances is so GOOOD it was hard to turn off the audio book whenever my attention was called elsewhere.
I'd been told for years to experience this book. I wish I hadn't waited so long. I enjoyed every minute of it. The narrator absolutely made the story that much more enjoyable. Her accents were spot on and she exhibited extraordinary range. I can't wait to get to the next book in the series.
While the accented dialogue was hard to follow at times, the tale was so intriguing that I could not stop listening! I look forward to the next book!
I don't think I've ever read such quality writing in a modern book. Definitely more than a 300 word vocabulary, no cheaty plot devices, and even though I don't enjoy "sex scenes" they were so well written they didn't read like pornography, but more like the culmination of a beautiful relationship. I LOVE the skilled way Gabaldon DOESN'T give away all her character's information, nor does she hint at it - cliffhanger fashion. She doesn't over-explain her why's and wherefores as if her readers (or listeners) are stupid.
I find it fascinating to read historical fiction and so I have read a lot of it. I love to learn how the human race lived in the different ages. The different ways they looked at love, family, work, government, and freedom. Gabaldon has so obviously researched extensively the time period in which her story takes place that you can almost breathe the very air of it. I have read some (cheap) historical romances where the author has discovered one or two little known facts of the era and, whether to prove s/he is knowledgeable, or has actually done research, or is just short on words, misses no opportunity to repeat his/her few facts throughout a story that could have taken place in almost any time period.
Gabaldon doesn't beat you over the head with a few hard won facts, but weaves them invisibly into a complex, deep and moving story peopled with well-defined characters who could have walked out of the past themselves. I felt like I was actually in the 18th century, not an outsider watching actors dressed in period costumes and speaking a modern language merely peppered with old terms. I stand in envious awe of her talent.
I don't use headphones for a number of reasons, so it took me a while to get through the 33 hours of this book because I didn't want my teenagers hearing such explicit sadistic/sexual scenes as were related to the prison. (Don't really think they are so good for me either. Smile.) Yes, they hear stuff, but I don't intend to add to the twisted images in their heads or put my stamp of approval on them. I'm very open about such things with my kids and I've told them that you can never un-hear or un-see things, and when seen/heard before you are 25 years old, they have a more permanent detrimental effect on your developing mind. I wouldn't recommend this book for children under 18, after that age I think it is their own decision.
Except for the fact that Gabaldon could show how to write a sex scene that doesn't read like a porn magazine, I would just as soon they weren't in the book. I've been married twice for a total of 20 years, so I'm not naive or puritanical - I just don't enjoy unrealistic sex scenes, nor would I really enjoy reading realistic ones either. :)
The narrator, Davina Porter, was AWESOME! Definitely better than if I had tried to read the various Scottish, French, and English accents - not to mention the languages themselves. Her reading flow was smooth, musical and pleasant to listen to. In 33 hours, I heard one small mistake - which I won't specify because I doubt many would notice it. I really can't praise the narrator enough.
I HEARTILY recommend this book for those over 18 and married, unless you have a good filter, thick skin for sadistic/sexual torture, or the ability to 'tune out' during those parts.
With those few caveats, I say this book is very enjoyable and well worth reading.
And yes, I have immediately bought the (whole 39hrs! of the) second of Gabaldon's books, "Dragonfly in Amber."
Exciting, enveloping, enchanting!
The innocence of the relationship between Claire and Jamie - so sweet, so charming!
It's hard to pick just one. There was so much variety in this story - humour, romance, intensity - the entire book from the first page to the last was just wonderful!
I would have loved to listen to this book in one sitting however, sleep and work interupted. =)
Looking forward to the next book. The narrator (Davina Proter) was great - I really appreciated her ability to differentiate between male/female, as well as character.