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Outlander | [Diana Gabaldon]

Outlander

Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. 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. But their blissful reunion is shattered....
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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

4.3 (21224 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Melisa 09-25-06
    Melisa 09-25-06 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Warning, this is NOT sci-fi/fantasy"

    I found this book under the Scifi/fantasy section, and it definitely should not have been there. I've managed to make it to chap. 22 and except for one very brief moment of traveling through time in the beginning, there has been no science fiction in this book. And the only fantasy involved would be the copious amounts of sex with kilt-clad Scotsmen. I suppose that could be someone's idea of a fantasy, but not the kind you expect to find in the Sci-fi/fantasy category. This book is a very, very long romance novel of the trashy paperback sort. If that is what you are buying it for, you will probably love it, but if you were looking for Sci-fi, like me, forget it.

    If you are a guy, pass it up. If you don't like soap operas, men in kilts who do nothing but fight, drink, and have sex, or if you blush easily, pass it up.

    On the plus side, the narrator does an excellent job. She does well with both the Scot and British accents as well as the male and female characters. She's easy to understand and reads with feeling.

    52 of 71 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barry 01-22-14
    Barry 01-22-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ah didne loch it!"

    I didn't like it!

    I really can't understand the high ratings for this book. The performance was great, but the story drove me crazy.

    A time travel book, by means of a witch-craft and a Henge, but that's where the coolness ends. The Heroine of the book, Claire, travels back in time 200 years in Highland Scotland. But when she arrives, there is much too little history and too much of the story revolving around the Claire's emotional turmoil. The Publisher's summary describes a county war-torn by raiding Clans. The only battles here are in the heads of the characters - not enough action and too much syrupy romance.

    Guys won't like it. Women wanting a strong Heroine lead might... except that Claire can hardly do a thing to save herself in the many situations she finds herself, or gets herself into.

    36 of 49 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C.Gordon Portland, OR USA 07-21-06
    C.Gordon Portland, OR USA 07-21-06 Member Since 2003

    scuba barbie

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thank you! Finally Unabaridged"

    Finally! Unabridged Gabladon! I had resorted to getting them at the library and painstakingly downloading the cd's to my computer. Please get all of them!!! I'm up as far as Voyager.
    Davina Porter is an excellent narrator accomplishing dialect and gender changes so the characters come to life in a glorious and colorful way.
    Not one word left out and beautifully read. A true treat to listen to again and again.

    43 of 59 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teddy Bronx, NY, United States 06-08-12
    Teddy Bronx, NY, United States 06-08-12 Member Since 2015

    "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Surprised... And not the good kind..."

    I should have read more reviews before getting this one... I read the description of the book and was preparing myself for a nice amount of fantasy/sci-fi, a decent amount of history and a whole lot of action. What I got though was a tid-bit of fantasy/sci-fi, a slight mention of history, a dash of action, a whole bunch of BDSM and way too much romance...

    Don't get me wrong, the book was written well... actually not just well... it was written extraordinarily well! This is (to date) one of the most nicely written book I have ever come across (and I have read a lot of books) irrespective of the actual story. If you are a fan of excellent writing, just plain good usage of words, beautiful descriptions and a nicely organized sentences you'll enjoy this book. If the story could only follow with the excellent writing, this would have easily gotten 5 stars for me... that being said however the story itself is just one long, convoluted, some might say even over reaching and glorified romance!

    I am not a big fan of romance novels... I am even less a fan of romance novels that kinda over do it in the sex scenes... including and not limited to whipping, multiple attempted rapes, biting, scratching, sado-masochism, impotency (due to latent homosexual desires) and probably the biggest disappointment of all... the rather anti-climactic end of the main antagonist (in my opinion). You would think that after the main antagonist would meet a more disastrous end ESPECIALLY after he gets his ultimate desire of forcing the main protagonist (both of whom are guys fyi) into having sex with him because the main protagonist wants to save his wife who, is from the future AND who, in the future, is also married to the great great great great grandson of the main antagonist. Did I mention that this book is convoluted?

    One other thing that irks me... For someone who is propelled back a couple hundred years in the past... Claire (who's vantage point we read from) is VERY calm. After being separated from her husband (poor guy) and being propelled back into the past, she chooses to stay with Jaime (the main protagonist and as close to a Fabio impersonator as I have ever read). I also find the idea that Claire (after being propelled into the past by some sort of buzzing stone... and no I do not jest about the buzzing stone) finds it hard to believe in witches....

    Here is the thing: you will truly love this book if you like historical romance novels with the emphasis being the 'romance' and also have a penchant for BDSM you will be utterly floored by this book (in a good way of course).

    The narration also is an area where this book SHINES. Davina Porter has always been a favourite of mine where narration is concerned and I can say she did not disappoint. She breathed life in the myriad of characters in the book of which there were a lot. She is one of the reasons I got through this book and for that Davina... I say thank you.

    Despite this review I MIGHT actually read the other one... Why? Because I already have it in my library and I hate to give up on a series. The writing is great but the actual story is lacking (to me). The description is exceptional but can be too much at times. The narration is extraordinary!

    53 of 73 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Warren Honolulu, HI, USA 10-09-06
    Warren Honolulu, HI, USA 10-09-06 Member Since 2003
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    "Boring"

    This is my first review after being a member of Audible for about two years. I do so to warn any guys out there about purchasing this title as it is interminably long and boring. It is filled with ad nauseam descriptions of the female narrator describing her feelings and conversations with her Scottish lover. One keeps hoping for a plot to develop but that never transpires. Heed my warning and save your money.

    45 of 62 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-25-15
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    "Soooooo boring."

    Couldn't get into it. Rated highly so I bought it but it just wasn't my kind of book. I thought it boring so I quite it essential.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Risa Goldberg 01-01-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Quit Reading After (Spoiler) Brutal Abuse Scene"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The narrator rarely deviated from a bland recitation, with little variation in her voice for emotion or character nuances.


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

    Yes. I thought it was historical fiction, but came to realize it was romance. I've never read a romance novel before and never will again.


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

    Anger, disappointment, disgust.


    Any additional comments?

    I found the first portion of this book very engaging and became invested in the characters. Then the writing started meandering and I got bored. I knew the book was incredibly popular, though, so I stuck with it. Then, (****spoiler alert*****), I arrived at the scene where the hero (Jamie) starts beating the heroine (Claire). Apart from the disgusting brutality, the idea of Jamie happily beating Claire, who ends up forgiving him and accepting the abuse as necessary, was such a betrayal of the characters. It wasn't like these were particularly well-drawn characters to begin with, but the author had at least successfully depicted them as a strong-willed modern woman and a gallant, dashing hero. As I said, I had become invested in the characters, and I experienced their sudden metamorphosis to abusive tyrant and willing victim as a wholesale betrayal by the author. I was truly disturbed by the scene. I kept moving forward hoping that I would at least find some resolution that involved Jamie's abject remorse and Claire's empowerment, but no. She tells him she loves him and accepts her "punishment" as necessary. It's been a couple of days and I haven't been able to shake my disgust. I feel like I was led along to believe that I was reading about a romance between equals, only to find that I had actually been apparently enjoying a story of a strong woman being domineered into accepting an abusive relationship. Not to be over-dramatic, but I feel like I witnessed a crime! I think the disconnect here may be that I chose this book with the idea that it was historical fiction. Maybe people who loved this book chose it as a romance novel? I don't read romance usually, but I guess rapey-romance is a common sub-genre? It's actually upsetting that so many women love this book.

    In any event, I decided to read reviews of the book on Amazon and discovered that it only goes downhill from here. I'll be deleting this book with pleasure before I subject myself to more scenes of abuse and brutality.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cariola Chambersburg, PA USA 11-02-14
    Cariola Chambersburg, PA USA 11-02-14 Member Since 2006

    malfi

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Had to See What All the Fuss Was About"

    I resisted starting this series for quite a few years. I suspected it was a bit too far on the romance side for my taste, and I wasn't enamored of the time-travel element, although I am a big fan of literary historical fiction. I decided to read (well, actually, listen to the audiobook of) 'Outlander' along with viewing the new televised dramatization. On the whole, I enjoyed it--although it was indeed a bit fantastical and overly romantic with formulaic sex scenes. Nevertheless, Gabaldon has created vibrant, unique characters, and she brings 18th century Scotland to vigorous life. I certainly understand why so many readers--primarily women--have been so entranced by this series. I found the last quarter of the book particularly hard to take; I won't give anything away by providing details, but I will say that it took a turn that I felt was unnecessarily brutal. Will I read the next installment? Yes; in fact I've already downloaded it--but I will need to take a break first.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindy 09-13-14
    Cindy 09-13-14 Member Since 2014

    alwaysreading1

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating!"

    I'm typically a reader of mysteries and science fiction so I wasn't sure that I would get into this book. I'm so glad I gave it a chance. The story itself is a fascinating look into the past and how people lived their lives. The narrator does a fantastic job with accents and gender.

    The book starts out a little slow and a bit like a drama novel but since is over 30 hours long I gave it chance. My own experience told me that for a large book there is often a longer set up and that was the case here. Because you are soon thrown into a world that is so foreign it was important to get a sense of who the protagonist is before her world is turned upside down.

    Once I was into the story I was so hooked. I wanted to listen all weekend long. And I mostly did. I listened while doing virtually everything that wouldn't pull my concentration away from the story because I didn't want to miss a minute of it. I listen with a little JBL speaker when I am at home and don't need earbuds so I just set it up near me and go about my chores or just kick back in a chair and let the story take me away.

    I'm anxiously awaiting my new credits so I can buy the next book.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aleia 03-14-14
    Aleia 03-14-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Am I the only one who doesn't like this book??"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I felt like the book took forever to get started .. even 30 hours into the book I was still waiting for the POINT to show up. I felt like there had to be something bigger that would eventually happen. The author really didn't use the whole "time travel" element.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I would have moved faster. I would have had FAR less torture. Jamie should not be alive with the amount of times he was mortally injured. It got old.Also - I had a hard time investing in Claire and Jamie. It just never worked for me.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I was excited when she found another time traveler, but again the author lost a great opportunity. This character dies before what is interesting about her can be discussed. It was so frustrating. I would have loved to read a scene where Claire and this other character talk, compare experiences, past history, etc.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I will probably watch the HBO series, out of morbid curiosity. I am just so confused why everyone loves this so much, why there are so many books, and why HBO would take this on. I hate this feeling that I am just missing something. It is truly beyond me that there are so many of these books. I couldn't wait for this first on to be over.


    Any additional comments?

    I was so excited to read this book, and was surprised to be so disappointed. Needless to say, I won't be reading the next 8 books.

    66 of 92 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 1808 results PREVIOUS123181NEXT
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  • 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.

    38 of 40 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!

    18 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • 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.

    12 of 13 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!

    17 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Anita
    4/18/10
    Overall
    "outlander"

    This is a book I Chose mainly on the blurb that accompanies most books, but what a choice!. This is by far the best book I have read in many years. I was hooked from the first chapter and just had to go on reading all the following books in the saga. I was very disappointed Audible decided to include an abridged version with a different narrator and had to go elsewhere for the unabridged version. That said I would recommend this book and all subsequent books in the series to all who like romance, action,eroticism and history because this saga has the lot. Highly recommended

    10 of 11 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!

    4 of 4 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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Stewart
    Manchester, United Kingdom
    11/3/11
    Overall
    "Excruciating!"

    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.

    12 of 14 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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Paul D
    Halland, United Kingdom
    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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