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 was expecting Connie Willis (To Say Nothing of the Dog), and I got Danielle Steele. It started out with promise, then disintegrated into a romance novel; blech. Now I've just bought the Connie Willis sequels -- hope she hasn't fallen down on the job!
I'd never heard of the Outlander series despite the fact that it's been around for a while (it started in the early 90's). I only purchased the books based on audible members' near-universal raving praise.
That praise is dead-on. It's a beautiful love story and a rousing adventure with humor, tragedy, villains and heroes. Moreover, the narrator was born for this series; she's one of the best I've ever heard.
I've spent the last five months listening to all eight volumes; just finished last week and can't wait for the next volume (I understand the author is working on it for release in late 2013 - my hope is that the narrator will do this new one, too.)
Start with Outlander and then listen to the sequel. You will be hooked.
I cannot think of another book that reminds me of Outlander because it is a historical novel - romance - with a touch of science fiction.
Porter's vocal characterizations added depth to the story.
Claire and Jamie realizing and then professing their love for each other.
Outlander is one of my all time favorite books. I love it on a cold rainy day, snuggled on the sofa with a hot toddie and a blanket its a great get away. Now I can listen to it as I walk, drive or even do housework! Davinia Porter breathes lfe into my favorite characters brunging a whole new level of enjoyment to the Outlander experience.
Nothing like a historical romance with a twist of fantasy to take you away from the stres of every day life. Add a good looking highlander and you've the recipe for a perfect stay-cation in my books!
Claire's dawning realization that she's awake and has somehow been brought to another time. Her strength of spirit in managing to accept her lot without becoming a blithering idiot is remarkable.
She brought the characters to life, gave an individual voice to each personality.
I'm still not sure a movie wouldn't ruin the Outlander experience for me so I can't answer this one
love to read
Jamie, Claire... The history, the Scottish...
Shadow of Witches, because of the historical factor...
She does an outstanding job of portraying every character!
ALL of the above!
Years ago I read the book and loved it. I now have it to listen to whenever I get the urge.
I find Outlander as complelling as Twilight. One is about a human and a vampire finding their ultimate mate and Outlander is about a woman that has to travel back to the 1700s to find her perfect mate.
Davina Porter's interpertations of the characters are critical to the story and her accents are so wonderful to listen to.
There are many moments in the book that moved me. The one that comes to mind would ruin the book for someone else if they read it here.
The Book Rev
I personally love srories that involve Time Travel and I love stories about the History of the Dark Ages, this book hit on both topics. Once you get past our heroine's life just after WWII and the fantasy of the time travel you find a wonderful story of the day to day life in that time period. Our hero must learn to live in a day and age when a woman's voice and her presence is not even acknowledged, life under clan ruled society, the brutality of ancient warfare, the dangers of life outside of a castle, and herbel medicine as opposed to anti-bacterials.
There is a place in the story where our heroine's abilities concerning bandaging the wounded is acknowledged and she is asked to take over for the man who no longer acted as a healer. The author describes the scene that she found when she first walked into the healing center. She found hebs, animal dung and noxious mixtures that she could not even hope to identify instead of the modern day medice she was acquinted with during WWII. It was a powerful juxtaposition to her days working with the wonded of WWII and finally to our pesent day medicine.
This is a very good performance.
The discription of the brutal life during the Middle Ages without the access to modern medicine, the discription of life without the rule of law and the access to police help, the absense of equality under the law is a harsh existence and it is amazing that anyone lived through it. Society has come a long way towards the protection of the weak, the poor and the disenfrancised, but we still have a ways to go.
This is definately a Mature Audience book. Even so not only did I buy a copy for myself but I purchased two more to give as gifts.
Retired to mountains of California. Sell on eBay as Prsilla. No TV. Volunteer in wildlife rehab. Knit, sew or embroider while listening.
#1. I read the print book first. I've read, re-read, listened and re-listened to all of the books. I've sent this book to friends and picked up extra copies to share with people. One friend said she dumped her copy at GoodWill because she didn't like the witchcraft. That was the beginning of the end of that friendship. The "witchcraft" had to do with a longtime custom of Scotland. The author does her research. Unlike other best-sellers, these books make me feel good and clean. I can't believe they are being marketed beside that fifty shades of smut volume. The sex in this book is normal and sweet.
I loved being taken to another place and time. Eating breakfast in a castle. Not knowing what would happen next.
Davina is elegant. She portrays Claire as being quite sharp-tongued. Most Americans could never get away with that, but Claire is tallish, slim, pretty and an ex battlefield nurse, so it all fits.
Deflowering a virgin bridegroom and soon after teaching him the concept of so good it hurts and oooh, don't stop!
There is always more to appreciate in these books. After a few listens, one stops chomping at the bit to see what happens next and relaxes into the ride. Then you enjoy the ride, smell the flowers. Some devotees didn't care for Brianna at first. I personally thought Jamie was a bully and Roger a wimp. With each reading I appreciate more and more how very well Diana handled all her characters and the poignancy of family love across oceans and centuries.
At the top - I love this book.
The total immersion of the reader into the 1940's England and then again into the 1700's. While details and descriptions are very well done they aren't so overwhelming that you get frustrated. This novel will completely take you into another time. Davina Porter is an excellent actress/narrator and her ability to go from one accent to another and her ability to create the richness of the characters is beyond par.
I like the part where Claire and Jamie are first married. That has to be the best. But the one part where Jamie tell's Claire that she's tearing him apart - made me swoon. Diana obviously knows what passion and love is and has described this exempliarily in this Novel.
I honestly want to move to Scotland now and I wish that my husband had red hair. I've found that I have taken up some of the Scottish sayings.
I cannot wait to read the next novel.
Performance is excellent! Story is a "page turner". I couldn't put it down.
How does she do it? Fabulous job with accents and voice changes.
Yes, but it's about 32 hours long. Not possible.
Read it. You won't be sorry. In fact you'll want to buy the next book in the series immediately.
"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.
"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.
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.
"Get out of bed and get on with the story!"
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.
About 60% of it.
I can honestly say that nothing I have read has annoyed me more than this series.
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.
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!
"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.
"Eat your heart out Barbara Cartland!"
Some degree of historical reality/accuracy is useful in a historical novel,.
Lacked any depth, just a bodice ripper using a historic setting - the Scottish highlands. No conception or the era or realistic characterization.
No. Heroine, "oh gosh, I've time travelled, never mind."
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.
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.
"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!
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