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)
This is a roller coaster ride for adults. It is not just another romance. It is a well told story with romance in it. Romance novels are sex scenes with plot to bridge the gap between them. This is a good story. There are things that happen in this book that are incredible and tragic. They feel more than love or sexual attraction. They feel bliss, fear, shame and indecision.
Fiction is supposed to entertain us and this one is invigorating and refreshing. I lost a lot of sleep trying to finish this book. I have no regrets.
The story is good, but too much smut. A FEW graphic scenes would easily set the tone and characters. I tired after every 30 minutes turning into a description of another sex scene. I did finish the book but was disappointed in the ending. I realize there are sequels. I would like to find out how the story ends but I am unwilling to wade through the muck again.
The reader is fabulous and is one of the reasons I continued to listen.
I didn't like this book at all! I forced myself to listen to ten hours and then gave up. If you don't enjoy romance novels this book is NOT for you. I truly don't understand all of the five star reviews.
This book started off with interesting, although far from fresh, ideas. Too bad it evolved into a loose story line with a lot of smut that went on and on and on. I kept waiting for the rest of the story to show up. The ending of the story focuses on an adult male rape (with lots of detail). Yuck. Not my idea of good reads. Save yourself some time. Avoid this book.
My wife listened, and enjoyed it thoroughly through the first half. Before she finished, she warned me of the pornographic scenes woven into the story.
I listened to the first few hours but grew weary of the "chick flick" style--way too gabby with little movement.
This is the most awesome series of books I have ever read! The writing is absolutly outstanding. I have read the series multiple times, and each time I finish it I cant wait to read it again. I decided to listen to the audio version, and it brought these books to a whole other level. Davina Porter IS Claire Randall. Absolutely. Never has a narrator so captured the essence of a character. This is a must read/must listen, again and again!
In fairness, I confused title with "The Outlander" which is what I thought I was purchasing. My mistake.
I like historical fiction so gave "Outlander" a go. It read like a Harlequin romance that went on forever - painfully so!
Stuck it out for the first 6 hours or so, then forwarded to the last few hours. No improvement.
The narrator was very good - the only reason I gave the book a star at all.
I was truly excited about this book at the start. I love historical fictions and SiFi so I thought it would be perfect. Much to my disappointment it was hardly more then a sex story. It seemed after the main character arrived in Scotland it was a dirty sex scene in every chapter. Further more I felt no connection to the characters. Despite the extensive character detail I found my self not really caring about the characters. It may help to know that it is part of a series. I was a little startled when I realized the book was over because it seemed so abrupt. I did not know it was the first in a series from the beginning and only found out after I read the book. However, I do not see my self reading the rest of the series when I contemplated not even finishing the first one. I truly wanted to like this book but found my self simply forgetting to listen or my mind wandering off while it was on. On the plus side the narrator is truly talented in this audio book. I enjoyed listening to her voice and the character voices she did were unique to each character. 5 Stars for the narration but I can only honestly give two stars for the book.
Somehow this was classified under Sci-Fi & Fantasy, which it is not. And somehow I missed that it was also classified under Historical Romance, which it is. Anyhow, if you want an 18th century bodice ripper, you'll probably like this. That's almost exactly what I don't want, so I won't be finishing it. I will say though that the narrator is amazing, pity the story is not.
I basked in the first three quarters of this long but engaging tale of a woman transported back in time. The dialogue is natural and the characters fleshed out. The poetic explanation of what it feels like to be pregnant stands out in my mind. There are several suspenseful scenes that had me staying up late at night to finish them.
But the author sets up some provocative situations that she then spends little time addressing later on. I don't think I'm spoiling anything to say that for a nurse who has just seen the atrocities of the Second World War, it surprised me that she spent no time musing about the morality of killing off the Hitler line before Adolph could be born. The nurse does have a conversation with a priest where she asks, "if you knew that a lot of people would get hurt, would you do anything to stop it?" But it turned out that she was thinking of trying to avert a single (albeit bloody) battle that took place in 1745. The 6x-great-grandfather of her 1945 husband turns out to be a vicious sadist, but she spends no time wondering if she loves her 1742 life enough to kill the sadist, thus preventing her 1945 husband from being born. The most frustrating part of the book for me was that the main character knows the date of the sadist's death but finds out that he did not die when she thought he would. But she looks down at the ring on her finger from 1945, notices it's still there, and the matter doesn't bother her any longer.
Rather than explore the moral and temporal ramifications of the main character's actions, the last quarter of the book is silly and maudlin. It gives the story no forward momentum and prevents anything of substance from happening. Worst of all, the book ends before we find out how the nurse's actions might have influenced the immediate future.
"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.
"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.
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.
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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