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 listen to books as I work. It's a beautiful life.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The most disappointing thing about the story is that it fails the first test of any entertainment form -- IT IS INCREDIBLY BORING.
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 I cut from Outlander? Well... all the main characters/ There wouldn't be a novel left!
I have 427 items in my audible library. This is the first time I felt like I wasted a credit.
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.
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!
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.
ugh i can't take it anymore
not really unless it was a story about a grandmother who dries lavender and puts on teas for the ladies in her sewing circle
all of them
This story is great and I love the Narrator! However, there are odd pauses throughout the audio. At times, the chapters just end. Need to work on that.
History, romance, adventure.
I love history and found the story line both entertaining and educational. I could actually see and feel the Scotish highlands.
I really enjoyed her different voices. This was my first audible experience so I was a little apprehensive. Davina Porter has done a marvelous job and I can't wait to order the next book in the series.
I was moved to tears when Jamie tries to send Clare back to her time.
I have read the entire series and look forward to Diana Gabaldon's next release in 2013. One of my co-workers suggested the series to me. As I have read all of the books, I am listening to the audible series at work. It has made my work day fly by. Data entry is much less boring while listening to a great book, although tearing up can be a bit challenging.
There are plenty of humorous parts as well as serious ones. I could go on and on
Let me start by saying that I have listened to several of the books in this series at this point. There is something mildly addictive about it, and while the middle of each book tends to drag, the author does a great job leaving you wanting more. Having said that, I would rate this book a solid 3-4 out of 5. Claire and Jamie are interesting characters, but there are WAY too many sex scenes. The person who recommended this book to me said that they were necessary for the story, but after a while I just found them to be gratuitous and a waste of time. The narrator does a good job developing voices for the characters.
"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.
"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!
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!
"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.
"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.
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 acquired this as the free title in a 3 for 2 offer. Thank goodness I didn't pay for it!
Be very careful, the sample is taken from the sensible start of the book.
I only managed half of it - 16 hours of sex and violence fantasies are more than enough for me.
If your idea of fun is a huge 18th century be-kilted Scotsman being beaten and having sex incessantly, this may be for you.
"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.
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