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 have 4 things to say about this book:
1. the narration is excellent
2. the romance is...very romantic
3. the history is...fun
4. the "naughty" stuff is...(see below)
it's common for romance novels, especially ones that appeal to medieval European settings, to bring in sexually charged themes of bondage, whipping, and nonconsensual intercourse. this book goes rather SO far in that direction, though, that it distracts from the otherwise dignified plot.
Below is an abbreviated breakdown of the action, just to let you know just how kinky things get.
MH=Male Hero / MF=Female Heroine / MV=Main Villain / V=Villain
1) MV threatens to force himself onto FH
2) random V's threaten to force themselves onto FH
3) MV whips MH and forces himself onto MH's sister
4) 2 V's force themselves on FH in front of MH
5) MV forces himself on FH in front of MH
6) MH whips FH (gives her a "strapping")
7) MV tortures MH
8) MV forces himself on MH (!!!)
9) FH pretends to be MV in (non-psychologist approved) reenactment of #8 designed to "cure" him of his shame (?!)
and all of this in lurid detail, with a great deal of time spent recalling past whippings and beatings and tortures. not sure how all this made it past the editor, but...
at least now you're warned, and there is a good story and some good writing buried in there!
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.
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.
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.
**Some spoiler info in my review*
I did not read any reviews before I started this book; I selected it based on a high recommendation from a fellow librarian. I usually agree with her choices but NOT this one.
I made it through a little over half the book before I finally had to stop.
I am not a prude and really don't mind sex in a book if it is pertinent to the story but the sex in this story became gratuitous. It did nothing to move the story forward. I understand violence either sexual or not can also be necessary to a story but again in this book it really did nothing for the plot.
Also, I prefer books where the female character is intelligent and capable. Sorry but Claire may be a capable nurse but that is about as far as it goes. She continually makes stupid decisions that place her and others in danger. And her acceptance of the beating she receives from the man who proclaims to love her is ridiculous. It is spousal abuse, plain and simple. Not something I care to read about in a romanticized way.
I really tried to give this book a chance, 14 hours of listening, but I just can't waste any more of my time. I looked on Wikipedia to see what happens & really don't want to hear about torture and sexual abuse, in I'm sure very graphic details. After some thought, I'm not sure this book would be the success that it is with all the sexual passages deleted. There really wasn't much historical detail nor time travel to truly carry the story alone.
I did like the narrator and felt sorry that she had to read this book. I hope she was well paid.
I thought that this might be an interesting story and buried in here is an interesting premise of time travel, but I am sorry I didn't read the reviews before I bought. The book starts out well, but soon the heroine gets beaten by the romantic lead and ends up agreeing he was right to do so. The heroine is almost raped three times, kills several men and a wolf with her bare hands and the hero is repeatedly raped by a male and tortured. Complete waste of time and badly written. I cringed when I was listening most of the time.
What a shame the author didn't spend more time on the life changes seen when traveling. Instead this is nothing but a cheap romance novel...30+ hours I kept hoping it would get better but no...
Terrible, Terrible book
Make no mistake, this is a romance novel, so if romance is not your thing, move on right now. The novel is well written. The author has a gift for the written word, but the overall story is on the dull side. She creates an excellent antagonist, but uses him very little; instead most of the story is involved in the loving relationship between the hero and heroine.
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons
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!
I have been waiting for this series to come in unabridged. For all who love romance and adventure, this series is extremely addictive. Don't be lured into getting the abridged books, they leave entire plots, people and best bits out. I highly recommend this series.
The story is exciting and amazing.
I LOVE IT
and Davina Porters voice is lovely to listen to.
I highly recommend this audio book
I was hooked when the books came out in print years ago and now find myself hooked all over again listening to them. The audio version brings more character to the story, if that is even possible, and whilst you wonder why she's not more frantic in trying to get back, you find yourself caught in the 1743 web without any desire to move on 200 years.... Thank you for recording these!!
"Innacurate but entertaining"
It is very obvious from listening to this that the author had neither visited Scotland nor spent a lot of time researching her subject. There are glaring innacuracies (use of the Selkirk Grace by a character 16 years before the birth of its author, Robert Burns for one) and she shows a distinct lack of knowledge of the basic geography of the Highlands.
If taken as pure fiction, it is entertaining, and the narrator does make a fair attempt at the accents and language, but should have been coached in fundamental pronunciation of Scots.
"Great book for the sexually frustrated"
Well written story but plot ultimately ridiculous/incredible. Lots of action and adventure which will appeal to many readers. Now for the downside: the sexual content of this book is appropriate and in context at first but after I don't know how many times, I was left thinking \"Oh God, they're at it again.\" The two main characters are like rabbits on heat and, while I may like a little action, after a while I felt a little soiled by this book.
"Outlander (or Cross Stitch)"
This is a thoroughly enjoyable story, and I agree with 'L' that Davina Porter does very well with Claire's voice, but I do find that the Scottish voices grate on the ear - these are Highlanders, after all, not Rab C Nesbitt! However, I am English, not Scots, and it may just be that the voices are not those I heard in my head!!! Odd little eccentricities (surely 'chirugeon' should be 'shirjun' not 'kiragon', and why 'played' instead of 'plad' for 'plaid'?)do not really detract from a well-read story, any more than Diana Gabaldon's occasional use of Americanisms instead of 'english' English.
I am sure that, if you want a story to get lost in for a (long...) while, you will enjoy this.
"Beautifully written and beautifully narrated"
Davina Porter has done an amazing job of bringing one of my favourite novels to life. The distinct voices (and spot-on accents) she gives to both the English and Scots characters are perfect, and if anything, I think I enjoyed listening to the story more than reading it for myself.
My only slight criticism is of the recording itself. In many places I could hear talking and laughter in the background, as though the narrator was inside a building with busy crowds outside her room. A number of times I actually paused my iPod thinking the sound came from nearby, only for the chatter to disappear with the audiobook. It is only slight, but there nevertheless.
If, like me, you are listening to audiobooks at work or in a car where there is already background noise to some extent, it would be unlikely to trouble you. However, if you like stories at bedtime, in the quiet, it may be more noticeable and irksome.
I am buying all the other Diana Gabaldon books narrated by Davina Porter - and although the last two in the series are not currently available, I hope they soon will be.
"Returned to this book through Audible"
I read the Outlander series a few times, years ago, and very much enjoyed them. I didn't think I would enjoy the audio-format...simply because the characters were already in my head, and had voices etc.
Boy was I wrong! Davina Porter does an amazing job creating lively, accurate representations of all my favourite characters. Can't imagine reading the book now, as i'd miss the unique spin she puts on it. 5* purchase - both for the story itself, and the quality of the narration.
love the narrator and am looking forward to book 2. hope the series continues in a similar vein with pace and heart.
"Bringing characters to life!"
Davina Porter's characterizations are spot on and her accents are brilliant
I am a huge fan of Diana Gabaldon's books. She creates characters that you can believe in and relate to, and her attention to detail and historical research is second to none.
I am working my way through the Outlander series - currently up to book 4 and they are all as good as each other
What if your future was your past?
Keep up the great work!!
"A surprising mix of fantasy, history and love"
Yes. A strong spell binding saga that grabbed my attention from the first few words
Difficult to compare with other stories. But if I had to the white queen but more adult
Her intonation and feelings where wonderful without her voice taking over the story
Near the end in the monastery where she fights for Jamie
A really good listen. A must have for anyone who loves a good strong story
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