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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 (37469 )
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4.5 (29865 )
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4.7 (29948 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    jolanta 01-05-13
    jolanta 01-05-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    66
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "not into it"
    What did you like best about Outlander? What did you like least?

    i know people love this, maybe i will try again but at this point i haven't been able to get into it


    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sherry Salamina, Greece 01-03-13
    sherry Salamina, Greece 01-03-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointed"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The story began so promising, such in interesting premise; but as it progressed into what I found to be silly, repetitive lovemaking scenes, without propelling the story forward, I finally gave up and actually never finished listening.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Sadly, I never got that far!


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disapointment


    Any additional comments?

    I did enjoy the narrator and the character sketches were very good. Just too much silly, repetitive sexual descriptions, which took away from, didn't add to the story line.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nana 12-27-12
    Nana 12-27-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    101
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A romance novel, not sci-fi"
    Would you try another book from Diana Gabaldon and/or Davina Porter?

    I really like the narrator, Davina Porter. She has a wonderful voice and the only reason I made it to chapter 17-18.


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

    Yes. Romance novels are not my cup of tea.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Historical referenses


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, United States 12-19-12
    Anna COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, United States 12-19-12 Member Since 2012

    I listen to books as I work. It's a beautiful life.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
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    51
    48
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    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Worth your credit, but not a five star rating"

    I find this a hard critic to write, because there are so many different aspects to this book, some that I liked and some that I disliked. I’ll form my critic in bullet point format by my likes & dislikes for the first half of the book (the weakest in my opinion).

    The second half of the book (Part 3 & 4) got a lot more interesting & action packed. The story flew along by the awesome narration of Davina Porter.

    First Half

    Dislike:

    1. The introduction of the book, which takes place in current time (1944’ish), was very short. The author did not delve into Claire’s relationship with her husband in depth, except to express that they had sex a lot. The author seemed to indicate that there was commitment & love between Claire and her husband, but she didn’t elaborate.
    2. Because of the good marriage that Claire had with her husband in current day, the book seemed unrealistic in how quickly she gave up the idea of her marriage and fell in love/lust with Jaime (from the past) instead. She hardly seems to miss her husband at all and didn't try that hard to get back home.
    3. Let’s face it; there is a LOT of descriptive sex in the first half. I chose to ignore it, for the most part, by fast forwarding my iPod. It just gets excessive and boring.
    4. The most unrealistic part of the 1st half (spoiler alert) is how she responded after receiving a brutal beating from her Highlander husband, Jaime. She is angry about it for a couple days, but pretty quickly accepts that it was probably the right thing and forgives him and goes back to loving/lusting after him. That’s not a normal reaction from any woman that has never been struck in her life, and I thought that was an odd/unrealistic response from the main character.

    Like:

    1. The author does a really good job with character development of the Highlander characters. She does a good job of bringing the reader into the past with Claire and painting a believable picture of what it would have looked like.
    2. The narrator is awesome! She does a great job with the different accents that are required of her and it’s an easy listen.

    Overall ~ a interesting listen and a different plot then I've heard before.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason 12-14-12
    Jason 12-14-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    79
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    109
    33
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I'm Not Its Target Demographic"

    Davina Porter does an amazing job narrating this story. Not only does she use appropriate Scottish accents, but she manages to convey several distinctive Scottish accents for the various characters. I had no difficulty in understanding her (despite the array of accents present in the book) nor in determining which character was speaking. She is a gifted performer who really brings the book to life.

    That said, I did not enjoy the book itself. I'm a 30 year old male, and I've never before come across a story that seemed so finely, perfectly tuned for a demographic of which I am not remotely a part. This may be technically sci-fi/fantasy, but it's only a fantasy in the sense that a teenager fantasizes about their attractive teacher. This book is a Romance, pure and simple.

    The entire story seems to me to be the author's fantasy (as opposed to a story set in a fantasy setting), every element blatantly conspiring to force the main character to be empowered and to experience a thrilling romance. I've nothing against empowered female characters, nor against romance, but the book is so blatant in its pandering to those two ideals that it completely ruined my immersion. The plot only seems to be a secondary consideration, often lost in the relentless pursuit of this author's indulgent fantasy.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey Warwick, RI, United States 12-11-12
    Jeffrey Warwick, RI, United States 12-11-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    97
    7
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    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Boring."
    What disappointed you about Outlander?

    I have no problem with romance in a novel, or novels written from a female perspective. What I do have a problem with is boring writing. This story is poorly paced and downright dull. The characters are only marginally better than standard romance novel fair, and once you get by the initial setup, the novel drags on interminably . I couldn't finish it.


    What was most disappointing about Diana Gabaldon’s story?

    The most disappointing thing about the story is that it fails the first test of any entertainment form -- IT IS INCREDIBLY BORING.


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

    I have not listened to any of Davina Porter's performances before, but I found her reading quite enjoyable. Like a junior Angela Lansbury.


    What character would you cut from Outlander?

    What character would I cut from Outlander? Well... all the main characters/ There wouldn't be a novel left!


    Any additional comments?

    I have 427 items in my audible library. This is the first time I felt like I wasted a credit.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shannon Bayfield, Colorado, United States 12-02-12
    Shannon Bayfield, Colorado, United States 12-02-12 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    4
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    0
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Very odd and long"

    This is a romance story that turns very weird at the end when one of the main characters gets sexually tortured. This put a very weird ending on the book, that just didn't fit with the rest of the story. The book is also unnecessarily long, due to not much happening in the story.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Elliott Louisiana USA 12-02-12
    J. Elliott Louisiana USA 12-02-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    36
    5
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "Read the description first - GREAT Book"

    Outlander is my all time favorite series and I couldn't believe that it had even a couple negative reviews. I have never written a review for this book simply because it seemed that everyone had said everything I'd say but better, so I didn't review it. My review will basically be a rebuttal to the negative reviews.

    I sat at my computer to read the reviews and am *shocked* that there isn't a way to respond to someone's review. For example "C" reviews the book with one star but most of what that person says is WRONG! I'm guessing they didn't read the whole book. He/She compares everything to being in the 1400's which is NOT the case. The main character starts off in 1940's and jumps back 200 years to the mid to late 1700's. This fact is repeated so many times it leads me to believe that the reviewer has not in fact, read the book. "C" says that no one notices her speech, dress or medical skills which again, is NOT true! Without giving away anything, many of the characters are suspicious of her and she's basically not able to leave unattended because they ARE suspicious of her!

    Please take the negative reviews with a grain of salt and read the better reviews for a true picture of the book. Those of you who are buying it for time travel will be disappointed, as there is only a dash of it. I classify it as a romance pure and simple with a dash of time travel and a good bit of historical fiction piped in.

    I have read the whole series several times because it is just that good. Diana Gabaldon writes so many details that when I look up from reading I'm surprised that I'm not in the 18th century! You live in her book instead of just reading it.

    Do you have to suspend reality to read it? Yes! It is fiction after all!

    As far as the sex scenes, only two from the first book stand out all these years later. The first one is tender and sweet and the 2nd is so well written that I can't (CANNOT) listen to it over and over. (Trying not to give away spoilers, but I always skip this part when re-listening) This book is not a bodice ripper by any stretch of the imagination and I think the people that review it badly for that reason have not read the book and are only trying to aggravate the fans of this series.

    There is one part of the book that has turned some people off (this is what is referred to as S&M or Abuse in the reviews) and I can understand that, but if you are thinking in terms of 18th century men and women, it does fit which is an unfortunate sign of the times back then. I'm talking about the middle part, not the part referenced above which occurs later on in the book. I know I'm being vague, but I don't want to spoil anything.

    Every single person I've recommended this book to has fallen in love with Jamie and Claire and the rest of the crew.

    Think of this book as romance, with a good bit of accurate historical fiction, lots of drama and a dash of time travel thrown in. Definitely have book 2 ready when book 1 ends!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Kimball 11-30-12
    J. Kimball 11-30-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    50
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Story Going Nowhere"
    Any additional comments?

    This book was off to a great beginning with many intriguing unanswered questions posed by the story. I expected these questions to be resolved in the end so I stuck with it. But, NO, the story merely stops after more than 32 hours of violence, unnecessary sex scenes, and more stress than any two people could expect to encounter over several lifetimes.

    The hero is assaulted and recovers so many times that his body could not have a single patch of skin without scars. I found myself fast forwarding through many, many unnecessary sex and violence scenes, which was annoying because there could be a fragment of the story continuation embedded in them...but if it was there I missed it.

    This is the first review I have ever written. I write it because if someone else had written this same review for me to read it would have prevented me wasting a valuable credit on this foolish book. But mostly I am annoyed that I wasted so many hours on this book.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    amanda Nederland, CO, United States 11-26-12
    amanda Nederland, CO, United States 11-26-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just awful"
    Would you try another book from Diana Gabaldon and/or Davina Porter?

    NO


    What was most disappointing about Diana Gabaldon’s story?

    ugh i can't take it anymore
    so boring


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

    not really unless it was a story about a grandmother who dries lavender and puts on teas for the ladies in her sewing circle


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

    all of them


    Any additional comments?

    ugh

    1 of 2 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
  • 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
  • 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.

    23 of 26 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.

    34 of 39 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!

    39 of 47 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!

    22 of 26 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.

    11 of 13 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.

    16 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Tonbridge, UK
    8/6/07
    Overall
    "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!

    16 of 20 people found this review helpful

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