Narrator Davina Porter's gift for expression captures the history and flavor of a harsh place and time, and gives it the polish of a warm and engaging love story.
©1992 Diana Gabaldon; (P)1998 Recorded Books
"Compulsively readable." (Publishers Weekly)
"A winning combination of vivid imagination and good common sense." (Kirkus)
"Diana Gabaldon is a born storyteller." (Arizona Republic)
I tried to enjoy this book based on other reviews, especially since this was the second book in the series that I read, but found it too slow moving for my taste. I also thought that the narrator's voice sounded too mature for the the main characters who were in their early 20s.
I loved the first book and was thrilled to jump into the series but the second book gets bogged down in a million minor characters and subplots. I am near the end, I think, but the unnecessary details of Claire sewing up a man's testicles put it over the top.
The narrator is still great but she cannot save the plot.
I just love this series. What more can I say.
Just one thing....Audible bring us the Fiery Cross and a breath of Snow and Ashes unabridged and narrated by Davina Porter. Not the dodgy abridged version.
I actually started reading this series of Diana Gabaldon first. I could not believe the research, the descriptions and the way the whole story just captured your imagination. I love the way she writes and I think of the whole 3 series this one was my favourite. Well worth listening too. Davina Porter does an excellent job of the narration.
This lady can write! this was even better than the first one - loved it. the whole series is worth every minute. savor it and enjoy.
One of the reviews for "Outlander" warned that this was a "romance novel" written "by women, for women" and as far as the "romance" part of it goes, I've found that to be true. But, I'm fascinated by history and have always loved speculation on things such as standing stones etc. I am also of scottish decent and have spent considerable time reading about and researching my heritage and I enjoy the slant that the author puts on highland history. For the most part I think she portrays everyday things about 18th century highland life very believably... er... other than the way the main character GOT to 18th century scotland... But even that is a fun idea.
So, yes, there is a lot of "romance novel" to wade through... but just enough history to keep me reading the series.
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (epic historical fiction/adventure/romance) - You will want to start with Book 1 of this series and hear them in order. The books are very long -- this one is over 39 hours. It is about a present-day English woman (Claire, the "Outlander") who is propelled back in time to the Scottish highlands in the 1700's. The time travel isn't the thrust of the book but, rather, a mechanism to put Claire in position to give listeners a modern perspective on life in that period. This perspective is long, detailed and sometimes confusing, but it is never boring.
The main characters are lovable and well-developed. You will become totally engrossed in the plight of Claire and her Scottish husband, Jamie, as they try to survive in this brutal time period and prevent war with the English. Their love for each other is deep and absolutely beautiful. Reviewers who criticized the first book, Outlander, for its sexual content will be pleased to find there is much less in this book.
PERFORMANCE - Davina Porter is my favorite female narrator. Sometimes I paid more attention to her lovely voice and performance than I did to the story itself.
OVERALL (Actual rating 4.5) - I would have rated this book a five if it had been about 10 hours shorter. There is sex and language which might be offensive to some.
I loved listening to the first in the Outlander series and looked forward to this second one, but it was so tedious and repetitive that I didn't finish and won't be looking for others. There were very good and engaging sections, but in the end not enough to compel me to listen to the end.
I think not--I generally like long listens, but this was too long and tedious to hold my interest and in the process I lost my affection for the series.
The performance was not the issue as much as repetitive dialog.
No--I stopped a little over halfway though.
I love all genres of books. However, when I listen to audio books as I clean, garden, drive they are better with a lot of heat!
Once I started listening I could not stop. I enjoyed every minute and can't wait to listen to the next book.
Another amazing book in the Outlander series. More interesting characters are introduced, all quite like-able. The love story continues nicely, and doesn't get repetitive...it seems to grow naturally. Once again Davina Porter has done an amazing job narrating. The only downside is, you better have Voyager on hand when this book ends because you won't be able to wait for it. Another must read!
"I wanted to like it but...."
The problem with all the best stories is that is the narrator cannot bring the book to life then it doesn't matter how well written is the essence is already lost. That is the problem I have with this book. Davina Porter does not have the vocal range of accents to narrate a book with as many characters and nationalities as these. She tried hard in Outlander, and until the very last section was OK, but in this books she seems to have given up. Rodger keeps undulating between Scottish and English, Clair seems to do the same and I don't even know where Brianna's voice has come from but it certainly isn't recognizable as American. Someone really should have told her to go away practice accents and come back. I think it is a real shame that a book as well written as this should have a narrator who can do it justice, and I'm sorry but Davina Porter just doesn't
"well need a breather!!"
well i am utterly mentally and emotionaly spent !! what a writter amazing and to bring all that history to life and make you live it abfab worth a read.
"Can't put it down"
No really I'm losing sleep as I must know what happens. After reading the first, I am now half way through this book and still have all the others to catch up on. Davina Porter is an amazing narrator. You honestly believe in all the characters and their different voices; how does she do it? I would never have enjoyed these books if I had read them myself. I couldn't have switched from voice to voice in my head the way it is narrated.
Oh just one other thing; A plead to reviewers; you are giving too much away and this spoils it for those who haven't yet read or finished each novel.
"A good entertaining listen even if a bit too long"
This book follows on easily from the first. although to begin with the reader is uncertain whether the flick back into time is a short clip or the majority of the book. When its clear that its back to life in the 17th century following Claire and Jamie's life in France and then inevitably back to Scotland. It has the same detail about everyday life from the toiletting of the King to lice removal. Her description of history appears well researched and presented. Diana's enjoyment of describing the passion and sex continues. When Claire departs from her love back to more modern times it seems to come suddenly and unexpected. It seemed to me that there was a bit missing as she had earlier referred to being at Culloden field but then was not there. Catching up with what was back in the 20th century and how it was linked to history was cleverly woven into the story.The final chapters kept the intrigue alive and gave the opening into the next book. I spend a great deal of time driving long distances and this book has certainly kept me entertained. At times i found that there was too much detail and passages that did not add to the story but seeed to draw it out, when this happend i would have liked to have fast forwarded but was worried about loosing the next important bit of intrigue. I loved listening to the book scoring a 4 out of 5 due the what i felt were the parts that drew out the book but did not add to the story and could have easily been left out. Great read though.
"Dragonfly in Amber"
This is a truly magic book. Second in the Outlander series (Cross Stitch in England) about Clare who time travels to meet her Scots lover. During the book you travel to France where Clare and Jamie move within the Court Circle of King Louis prior to the Franch Revolution. You see the poverty and lack of medical care within France at that time. You hear of the herbs and potions that were used to treat the sick of the day. Then we move to Bonny Scotland and become embroiled with Bonny Prince Charlie on his journeys to Culloden. Fantastic book. Fantastic series. This is second in the series following Cross Stitch or Outlander as is can be called. Best read in series but also brilliant if read on its own.
"As good as Outlander"
I purchased Dragonfly in Amber as I was nearing the end of Outlander as I didn't wish my reading experience to be interrupted. I had got very engrossed in the story of Claire and Jamie.
In this book we learn a little more of Frank and how he reacted to claires' disappearance and subsequent return, pregnant.
I really enjoyed the time shift and arrival in Scotland of Claire and Briana and how the stroppy young lady reacts to hearing about her real father.
this book is a mixture of historical fact mixed with fiction making the story so real with its added humour and heartache as well as being on the edge of ones seat to learn what is to happen next.
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