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 reluctant to download this book, put off by time travel and some of the reviews I read. Since the overall reviews were outstanding I gave it a shot and haven't been able to put it down. The time travel isn't distracting or science fictionish which works given its weight as a work of historical fiction. The story is an exceptional blend, masterfully told... I'll carry Jamie Fraiser and his Gaelic phrases in my pocket for a very long time.
I enjoyed the first 3 books in this series immensely and rate each one 5 stars. The problem, however, is that the 4th book, "A Breath of Snow and Ashes" has a different narrator and, worse, is abridged. I give the *series* 3 stars because I feel cheated after having purchased the last two books in the series. It is very jarring to listen to three unabridged books with the same narrator and then switch to a new narrator midstream. The characters seem drastically different, the story is choppy (I detest the abridged version), and I can't imagine what Audible was thinking when they snuck these last two books in without warning the reader of the changes. I've stopped listening to the 4th book and plan to purchase the printed version so I can finish the story with the original narrator's voice in my head.
...and sometimes clever dialog about sums it up. The best thing about this book was the narration; the reader is a one woman theater.
I came close to quitting halfway through, and after slogging all the way through I wish I had. The pornography quotient dropped off in the second half, but it was replaced by agonizingly detailed descriptions of flesh wounds.
The historical aspect of this novel was secondary to the sex and violence. The time travel component was completely superfluous.
The narrator was wonderful, but what a waste. I hope she branches out to something more enjoyable and worthwhile.
There is a reason that this Gabaldon series is the benchmark against which all other novels/writers are compared. The Outlander series, the story of Jamie and Claire, seem to climb into your heart and take up a permanent residence. I have read these novels more than once, and listening to them via the voice of Porter gave them a wonderful, fulfilling life once again for me. For years I have attempted to find a story as endearing and as compelling. As I said: all others pale in comparison. I'm always left longing for more. Only Gabaldon can satisfy.
I guess if you are into soft core pornography you might enjoy this book.
Otherwise, it's just ... boring
oh, the narrator is good, but the story is ... boring.
I liked the reader - she did a good job of keeping the different characters differentiated via inflection & accent. The story kept me engaged and interested, but I felt the author was a little clumbsy in many of the foreshadows used to warn the listener of the plot turns and twists.
I classify this story as an entertaining summer read - it doesn't require much of the listener to participate - and to enjoy you should not spend too much energy questining beyond the basic outline provided by the author.
Other than the time travel, this audiobook is actually a historical romance. In other words, a lot of 18th century love making. Great novel for the girls may be an uncomfortable listen for the guys. Its long but I hated it when it was over.
"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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