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Outlander Audiobook

Outlander

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Mix equal parts historic fiction, adventure, and romance. Add a dash of time travel. Blend with pitch-perfect narration. And you'll understand why Outlander is an all-time favorite among Audible listeners. Whether she's giving voice to the former World War II nurse Claire or the 18th Century Scottish warrior Jamie, Davina Porter brings a magical intimacy to this epic tale. --Steve Feldberg

Publisher's Summary

This stunning blend of historical romance and time traveling adventure has captured the hearts of millions of readers around the world and catapulted author Diana Gabaldon to the top of the New York Times best seller list. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love.

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (38286 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Lynn Fang TARZANA, CA, US 08-31-14
    Lynn Fang TARZANA, CA, US 08-31-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing In Every Way"
    What made the experience of listening to Outlander the most enjoyable?

    I am in love with the Outlander series. If epic & historical fantasy, romance, and adventure are your thing you will love this series. Diana Gabaldon is a master of her craft. The story progressives cohesively with great rhythm & timing of events. The characters are dynamic & strong & loveable.

    At first I was skeptical, and was slow to get absorbed by the story. But soon thereafter I was swept away and didn't want to stop listening. Now I have just started the 2nd book in the series, and while I was also skeptical that there could be a sequel to match the power & epicness of the 1st, I am hooked and I don't want to ever stop listening. I am now officially obsessed and want to read (listen to) the entire series, after which I plan to start watching the TV show. I highly recommend this series to all of my friends and if it were my way I would never stop talking about it.

    The audiobook experience is absolutely perfect, and I highly recommend it as the BEST way to begin enjoying the story. Davina Porter does an excellent job. She really brings all of the characters to life with unique voices that I soon recognized with ease, and I have completely fallen in love with Jamie's voice. She expresses the Scottish accents & vernacular that I would not get by reading alone, and that is worth everything. I love the characters she has brought to life, and I very much enjoy the abstract visuals in my mind's eye.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Outlander?

    There are so many amazing moments in Outlander. The last quarter of the book is probably my absolute favorite.


    What about Davina Porter’s performance did you like?

    I loved her Scottish accents and her consistency with unique character voices. I am in love with Jamie's voice.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    YES. In fact I want to listen to the WHOLE SERIES (5? books) in one sitting. But you know, that would be bad for the rest of my life, like my job and my partner, and maybe my health...


    Any additional comments?

    FUCKING AWESOME & EPIC AS FUCK. I think this might be my absolute favorite romance story of all time, on par with a Chinese series… It's definitely on the list of My Favorite Books Ever Written (which pretty much only consists of The Mists of Avalon). And I believe that the audiobook experience is an absolute necessity, to really soak in the language diversity and still enjoy your imagination of what the characters and scenes look like.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jackie Stephen pulaski, Tn 08-30-14
    Jackie Stephen pulaski, Tn 08-30-14

    ten a c lass

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "doesn't disappoint"
    If you could sum up Outlander in three words, what would they be?

    great for escape


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Outlander?

    When Claire curses Jack Randell with the day of his death


    Which scene was your favorite?

    the scene where Jamie had to "spank" Claire


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    laughed and cried. different times


    Any additional comments?

    didn't want the book to end. Listened for 3 days straight. couldn't put it down

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wade 08-29-14
    Wade 08-29-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Too Girly for my taste"
    What would have made Outlander better?

    More action early on. Too much time having tea etc.


    Has Outlander turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I won't read the further books in the series.


    What didn’t you like about Davina Porter’s performance?

    I didn't feel the performance brought me close enough to the characters


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I thought the premise/story-line was interesting and had potential but it didn't go where I thought it should.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Troy 08-28-14
    Troy 08-28-14

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "If You Know About Weapons, This One's Ruined"

    After watching 3 episodes of the TV series and hearing from friends who've read this how marvelous it is, I decided to go for full spoilers and get the book. You see, I'm not completely sold on the series yet at this point. Good characters, love the sets and the music, but... is there a story here beyond just your basic romance? That was question.

    The short answer is no, not really. Romance novel fans will have little problem embracing this as the characters are solidly human in their personalities, and the little bits of Jacobite intrigue flavor the story nicely. It's just a question of how "steamy" and explicit you like it, because this book goes for broke on that front.

    Having read similar books by Susanna Kearsley, even though Outlander is clearly one of the first of this kind of book, I think I'll stick with Kearsley. Gabaldon's writing style has spunk to the characters and more grit, but not as much gloss or magic as Kearsley. It comes down to personal preference on that front, but for me, I like historical fiction to be historical and fantasy to be fantastic. Gabaldon got this backwards.

    For those of us who read historical fiction for the history, the devil's in the details. It takes a 2 second Google search to confirm that a Scottish claymore does not weigh 15 lbs. It weighs just around 5, a maximum of 6. That's a heavy sword. Smaller swords traditionally weigh less than 2.

    There's a scene in this book that goes to great length to teach our heroine the proper use of a dirk. The only thing I can think of is this is how it must feel for astrophysicists to read science fiction, because I kept screaming at the instructor character for being a complete and utter moron. The historical martial arts community has a vast online presence, and they're very helpful to anyone -- especially writers -- who wish to aim for something resembling real life accuracy. Why would a self-respecting writer randomly make stuff up when such resources abound? It's like when Bugs Bunny puts his fingers into the barrel of Elmer Fudd's shotgun and makes it backfire. This book would have you believe that's how it works, and to those with even a basic knowledge of historical blades, the story just implodes on itself. As a swordfighter, I'm squarely in that category. Without that, I'm sure it's much more entertaining to the larger audiences, and clearly Gabaldon's fan following confirms that, so she must be doing something right.

    With that in mind, the characters are still interesting, so I'll see where the TV version goes for now. Seems wrong to me when the TV version is better than the book, but there it is.

    Davina Porter (by any name she uses) is a magnificent narrator, as always, lending her skills in languages and dialects in her typically superb manner. She gives this book an air of credibility that the writing just doesn't.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie- Chicago, IL, United States 08-28-14
    Julie- Chicago, IL, United States 08-28-14 Member Since 2010
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    "OUTSTANDING"

    This is one of my favorite book of all times I have read it in print and listened to it twice on audible. I cannot understand the negative reviews, but maybe its not for everyone but I was captivated from beginning to end. The narrator was amazing and brought life to a story that I was already in love with. Great read

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brodie Mornington, Australia 08-23-14
    Brodie Mornington, Australia 08-23-14 Member Since 2009

    An unashamed Audiophile who has his own studio and business called iZENEARS which brings Australian travel and history to life for locals and visitor's alike.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "For me, saved by the Narrator"

    Other listeners have raved about Outlander and I sort of get why that might be for the story structure is good and the Gaelic imagery excellent. However, there is little or no benefit in it being about time travel for this is where the imagery fails. If one was to time travel all of a sudden without knowledge or preparation there would be so much more going on regarding the challenge of the effect upon time and place. Our heroin is just too 'accepting' of the situation for the tale to work for me. It set up an expectation for me that was not fulfilled

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eileen 08-22-14
    Eileen 08-22-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great read!"
    If you could sum up Outlander in three words, what would they be?

    Excellent romance novel.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Outlander?

    When Clare had to shove Jamie's shoulder back into place. Made me sqeamish.


    Have you listened to any of Davina Porter’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No extreme reactions.


    Any additional comments?

    Very well written, I like Gabaldon's narrative style. My only issue is with the reader. Although she read well, her voice made it sound like Clare was a much older woman - not what I envisioned her to look like at all.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jasmine 08-22-14
    Jasmine 08-22-14
    ratings
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    "Good listen, but noticed background noises"
    Would you listen to Outlander again? Why?

    Yes. The author takes you on a journey through time and history where a strong willed woman, Claire, is thrown into the past during a time when women had different roles. This book had me constantly wanting to know what Claire was going to get herself into next, and how the relationships would develop along the way.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Really connected to Davina Porter's portrayal of Claire.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I didn't like some of the frog-like voices used when Porter read the male character's lines.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I initially downloaded this book onto my kindle, and decided to purchase the audible to continue listening to the story during a road trip. I found myself reading from my kindle when I had time to sit back, and listening to it on audible during the times when I needed to multitask.


    Any additional comments?

    I did not initially notice it, but during the last half of the audible, I thought it sounded like there was a faint voice recording in the back of the audible. Possibly another person recording another book nearby - very faint.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Urban Fantasy Fan 08-22-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "EPIC!"

    LOVED THIS! I'm not one for romance novels and I wouldn't classify this as one even though I think it's thought of in that vein. Although it has a primary relationship...it's so much more than that! Action, adventure, hardship, history, and some romance to boot. Diana Gabaldon writes beautifully and Davina Porter is a ROCKSTAR narrator!

    Best listen of the year so far for me...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Oliver 08-21-14
    Oliver 08-21-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Shades of Grey in Scottland"
    Would you try another book from Diana Gabaldon and/or Davina Porter?

    Hell NO


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Narration was good with what she had to work with


    Any additional comments?

    Women hate pornography, but they will read the hell out of it. A co-worker recommended this book to me per my interests in science fiction, and my Scottish heritage. It turned out to be a rambling romance novel with frequent woman fantasy sex. Longing for some development and the fact I was listening to it on a 75 mile hike in the Cascades I made it through the whole thing. If you are so unfortunate to start this nook and you don't find it going anywhere, go no further! If you are a repressed woman seeking sexual fantasy it's all yours.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Karen
    Douglas Water, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom
    5/10/07
    Overall
    "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.

    24 of 28 people found this review helpful
  • R
    Templeogue, Ireland
    2/27/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrible Story, Terrible Charactars"

    I found this book one of the worst books I have ever had the misfortune to purchase from Audible. The basic premise of the book is fine, however...... it completely lost me when the main characters new husband is basically forcing himself on her, she then decides that he is doing such a good job that it is not really rape after all.

    Similarly, when her husband beats her for wandering off and needing to be rescued she is first extremely put out. But after thinking about it for a while she decides it was probably for the best.

    This book is a wife beating rapists wet dream.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Alan
    Northwich, Cheshire, United Kingdom
    3/28/07
    Overall
    "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!

    31 of 34 people found this review helpful
  • L
    BridgendUnited Kingdom
    10/1/06
    Overall
    "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.

    45 of 50 people found this review helpful
  • John
    United Kingdom
    12/2/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Get out of bed and get on with the story!"
    What would have made Outlander better?

    The story gets the narration it deserves. Both are tedious and more Mills and Boon (I imagine as I haven't read any) than serious historical novel. A possibly good idea is interrupted by so much sex and "oooohhhhh Jaaaammmmieeee" that it never really gets a chance. I did listen right through to the end, even though I wanted to stop half way, and have masochistically even gone part way through the second book, thinking it may improve, which it didn't. If anything it got worse. Unfortunately I bought three of this series at the same time on the basis of other reviews, but just couldn't face any more of this tedious drivel.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Diana Gabaldon again?

    Emphatically not!


    Would you be willing to try another one of Davina Porter’s performances?

    Highly unlikely.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Outlander?

    About 60% of it.


    Any additional comments?

    I can honestly say that nothing I have read has annoyed me more than this series.

    38 of 43 people found this review helpful
  • Sceptical Shopper
    UK
    3/6/12
    Overall
    "Entertaining romp"

    A page turning bodice ripper with added pornography. The book started off ok but I found the increasing dominance of the sex scenes became boring. Definitely written to appeal to women rather than men - my husband couldn't stand it and gave up on the first book.

    24 of 27 people found this review helpful
  • Marcus H.
    Oxfordshire. United Kingdom
    9/14/12
    Overall
    "Clichéd chick-lit"

    I actually fell for the 5* reviews on this book and feel like a bit of a fool for doing so. This really is "chick lit" and quite poor at that. The story is historically very weak indeed and is really aimed at female titillation because every other scene revolves around sex and, to be honest, it's so damned boring! What's more it has the clichéd goody v baddy storyline that has been done to death since time immemorial.



    It took so long to get going that I almost gave up on it on three or four occasions. It's a shame really because when it did get going it was actually quite good but for 70% of the time it wasn't. If it wasn't for Davina Porter's amazing narration I don't think I'd have stuck it out til the end. Without her wonderful voice the whole thing would've ground to a halt rapidly.



    To put it in the sci-fi/fantasy section is a bit misleading because the only thing that is faintly related to this genre is the initial time slip. With a bit of imagination from the author we could've really been put into the excitement and terror of a 20th century woman suddenly finding herself in the 18th century but instead we have a main character that knew exactly how to behave and speak from the start and was all too accepting of her situation.



    Because the times where the story got moving were quite good I give it 3*s but for the most part it was a load of tosh and I certainly shall not be listening to any more of the series!

    26 of 30 people found this review helpful
  • Victoria
    High Wycombe, United Kingdom
    4/26/12
    Overall
    "Mind-numbingly dull"

    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.
    Dreadful!

    41 of 49 people found this review helpful
  • Paul D
    Normandy, France
    12/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Eat your heart out Barbara Cartland!"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Some degree of historical reality/accuracy is useful in a historical novel,.


    What was most disappointing about Diana Gabaldon’s story?

    Lacked any depth, just a bodice ripper using a historic setting - the Scottish highlands. No conception or the era or realistic characterization.


    Did Davina Porter do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

    No. Heroine, "oh gosh, I've time travelled, never mind."


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No redeeming features for me. A big error. Thought it may be interesting and a little different. It was certainly different to anything I would spend time listening to.


    Any additional comments?

    My mistake, but perhaps it should have been made clearer in the blurp that this was a shallow bodice ripper in Mills and Boon gendre and should be avoided by all but those of a certain gender and age.

    18 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Katrina
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    8/12/11
    Overall
    "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.

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful

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