In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. Their blissful reunion is shattered when she touches a boulder in an ancient stone ruin and is instantly transported to 1743 Scotland, a place torn by war and raiding border clans. Will Claire find her way back to her own time, or is her destiny forever linked with Clan MacKenzie and the gallant James Fraser?
©1991 Diana Gabaldon; (P)1997 Recorded Books, LLC.
"Davina Porter maintains the distinct voices she creates for each character throughout the lengthy narration. Her delivery of 18th-century language sounds authentic and is easily understandable." (AudioFile)
I enjoyed Diana Gabaldon's series of books in the past, and recently found the audio version. I am so glad I did. The narrator, Davina Porter, makes the characters come to life, and I look forward to my "story time" every day. The characters and story, are captivating.
There are no short words to use as a headline for this review that could fully describe how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE this series. Seriously...let me try, amazing, fantastic, riveting, well-written, incredible depth of character, awesome, exciting, ADDICTING, other worldly. I love them. I am about to start the 5th one now, and all 4 have been awesome. It's like listening to a part of someone's life, so if you want constant action and super fast pace, maybe they're not for you-they ARE 40 hr books! In other words sometimes it takes a long time to get thru a
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.
"Lose yourself in a gripping story."
I thoroughly enjoyed this. Being a bloke I was looking for a nice time travel adventure but I soon got caught up in the thrills and spills of highland life without missing the real reason for choosing the book. The first couple of chapters drag a bit but keep close attention as they make historic references picked up later on. I was fascinated and enthralled!
"First book of a series"
This series is a mixture of science fiction, history, medicine and romance. Forget historical or geographic accuracy. This is escape and should be taken as fiction based on fact. Diana Gabaldon wrote this as an exercise and did it extremely well, even though she had never visited Scotland before writing Outlander. It is thought provoking, funny, sad, erotic and dramatic.
There are, to date, six books in the series following the Frasers from Culloden (and the lead up to it) to the beginning of the War of Independence in America. There is one or possibly two more books to come.
Ever wondered where certain ideas came from? Who thought of putting phosphate on bits of wood with an air proof covering? Could have been someone who had already seen the idea in action.
I thoroughly enjoyed the books and Davina Porter is an excellent narrator. She manages to capture a 1940's English female accent but still does a very good Scottish male voice. Quite an achievement and well worth listening to.
"Outlander (Cross Stitch)"
Having read the books many years ago as they were written, I thought it would be interesting to listen to the first one being told. It was very quickly addictive and many things went by the wayside until I finished listening to the story. Davina Porter was very good, however, I agree with the reviewer who commented on her Scottish voices. I am Scottish, and the accents did grate slightly. However I appreciate the difficulties in being female and trying to narrate in an 18th century male Highlander voice. Overall, very entertaining, and very enjoyable. I look forward to listening to the others.
This is a book I Chose mainly on the blurb that accompanies most books, but what a choice!. This is by far the best book I have read in many years. I was hooked from the first chapter and just had to go on reading all the following books in the saga. I was very disappointed Audible decided to include an abridged version with a different narrator and had to go elsewhere for the unabridged version. That said I would recommend this book and all subsequent books in the series to all who like romance, action,eroticism and history because this saga has the lot. Highly recommended
"well worth listening to"
I was never sure about reading audiobooks until an injury meant that I couldn't hold a book to read. So I bought Outlander a historical novel - has wrongly been labelled a romantic fiction - should be relabelled as a historical fiction, I enjoyed in paper form but listening to it on Audiobook really really makes a difference, Davina Porter (the narrator) has a natural gift at bringing the various characters to life. I absolutely love this book, so much so that I rave about it to all my friends and I have listened to the book on more than one occassion. I would definitely recommend it.
"A great escape"
I loved this book. The idea of time travel has always fascinated me and this book does it wonderfully. I could not stop listening to this story and was sorry when it came to an end. I can't wait to listen to the next part of the story!
I found this painful to listen to. Firstly the reader speaks as though she is the Queen, which I found really off-putting at times. Secondly, the chapters before the time travel drag on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on.... and they go into so much boring detail about things that no-one could possibly be interested in. It also included some of the most excrutiatingly embarrassing and unsexy sex scenes.
I thought once the time travel happened, I would be embarking on a thrilling historical romp. I was sorely disappointed. It was more of the interminable detailed descriptions of the most boring events and more of the awful sex scenes.
"My Favourite Book"
This Book is called Cross Stitch in the UK, Outlander is its American title. I bought the book many years ago as the title facinated me being a keen needlewoman. It turned out to be one of the best book I have ever bought, and I subsequently purchesed each of the books that continue the story as and when they were published. My sight is not as good as it was now and reading is getting quite difficult so, I was delighted to see a number of the books available as audio books. Needless to say I will buying them all, but I do hope that The Fiery Cross will be available unabridged soon, and the next novel A Breath of Snow and Ashes will follow. I have also seem on the writer's web page that a new book in the series will be available about September, so lets keep our fingers crossed that this will reach audible eventually.
I loved this book!!! I downloaded it expecting to be a bit disappointed........time travel/scotland in the 1770's....really!! However, the storyline is thoroughly enjoyable and won't let you turn it off! The narration is extraordinary, you can instantly recognise the vast array of characters!. A word of warning - there are some quite saucy parts, and there are also some quite distressing parts.........I do not recommend having your nan in the car while you're listening to it at certain points, can be a little awkward.
"Caution - Addictive series"
The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon is so totally addictive, don't say you weren't warned! As Clare and Jamie become firmly entangled the story just gets better and better, whilst still giving you a good insight into the everyday happenings of life in the Scottish Highlands during the mid-1700's and the major events of the time. The first of (currently) six books plus a side series with another character from this series, you will be hooked by the time you finish Outlander/Cross Stitch. Plenty of website action to keep you going whilst you track down the whole series too.
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