Outlander Audiobook | Diana Gabaldon | Audible.com
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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 (13543 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Renee Spokane, WA, United States 04-26-13
    Renee Spokane, WA, United States 04-26-13 Member Since 2009

    Artist, farmer, avid reader. I am interested in all sorts of things; history, religions, psychology, cultures, travel, politics and more.

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    "Over the top"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Any one who doesn't care if the author has any accurate concept of time. One can't pick cherries and apricots in the same season and then a couple of weeks later wander through falling cherry blossoms. Anyone who likes chapters and chapters of descriptions of sexual acts that really do nothing to add to the interest of the story, this is for you but I about puked!I am no prude but enough is enough. I mean a woman from the 20th century, no hygiene, so many other flaws with details, and I can't see the rugged Scots, poetic as they might have been dribbling on as young Jayme. 23 Year old men, in no matter what century aren't that different...ok so that explains the endless sex ....so many things were just so out of character. But what about literary restraint...elegance. Not in this story!OMG! I fast forwarded through the endless sex dialogue and excruciating detailed descriptions of sex acts, hoping for something more meaningful but it went from one improbable situation to the next and left off every potential for interesting character development after the other. What a pathetic ending! And I am surly NOT going to continue the sex saga in any other country no matter how hopeful I might be in thinking that the author might get over her obsessions and finally get on with a real story. I apologize to anyone who loves these stories. Given the glowing reviews, I acknowledge that I must be in the minority...and happy for it.


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

    No, but I certainly will be more careful in considering other peoples' rave reviews, I erased all the sequels because I just could bear the thought of more ...I can't think of anything I would like less and made an appointment with my dentist with joy!


    What about Davina Porter’s performance did you like?

    I adore Davina Porter and felt sorry for her reading all that endless twaddle. She is one of my favorite narrators.


    What character would you cut from Outlander?

    All of them..except for poor Frank who seemed a likeable character because of his absence. I was nervous about him in the beginning...something about him was just slightly unlikeable but when he was out of the picture and only mentioned after or before Clair and Jayme's sexual encounters of endless dribbling conversations about sex, I thought he, Frank, was the most likeable character in the story.I just wanted Clair and Jayme to die in some glorious fight and be done with it!! Please oh please.


    Any additional comments?

    It could have been interesting..so much potential but the writer must be a sex addict with a weaker love of history. I would never recommend these books!

    15 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teddy Bronx, NY, United States 06-08-12
    Teddy Bronx, NY, United States 06-08-12 Member Since 2011

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

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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!

    36 of 47 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DARA "Beautiful" Niagara Falls, NY USA 05-26-13
    DARA "Beautiful" Niagara Falls, NY USA 05-26-13 Member Since 2011

    ~~~"HOPEFUL ROMANTIC"~~~ ***Love All Romances.....Especially Detailed Historical Type*** ~~ "Reviews Should Never Contain Spoilers"~~

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Little Disappointed"

    I didn't hate this book but I didn't love it either. I guess I'm in the minority here but I had a hard time getting into this book. I love romance and sci-fi novels but I had difficulty staying interested. It wasn't a total disaster because most of the book I really enjoyed but then I would find myself totally bored. I eventually did finish it but it left me feeling a little disappointed. The reviews on this one were great so my expectations were high. I was hoping I would absolutely love it. I might revisit this one again in the future.....maybe the second time around will be better. I hope so!! If the second book in the series goes on sale I may try that one too....I will keep trying.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    margaret marshall, va, United States 10-17-11
    margaret marshall, va, United States 10-17-11 Member Since 2010

    gentle reader

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    "don't necessarily believe the hype"

    The people who love this book seem to be mostly already addicted to the series. If you are coming to it for the first time, you may want to reconsider.
    There are numerous scenes of torture, vividly, graphically and disturbingly described. The sexual, physical, emotional and psychological abuse and torture is really unsettling. The romantic hero beats his wife "half to death" with a belt and the next day he violently rapes her and all this is romanticized as she comes to accept him as "her master."
    The rape, abuse, whippings and beatings are interspersed with "adventures" but there is very little suspense as it quickly becomes apparent that all dangers are escaped within a few pages, and all conflicts are as quickly resolved.
    While this is a novel, there really isn't a story arc, there is more of a line. The characters don't develop, and very little, beyond the physical abuse and the escapades, actually happens.
    That said, I listened to all 32 hours, so there is at least a modicum of narrative drive. And Davina Porter does a marvelous job. But I'm certainly not going on to the others.
    Obviously, many people are enthralled with this series, but had I known how gruesome and boring it was, I wouldn't have wasted a credit.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melisa Ponchatoula, LA, United States 09-25-06
    Melisa Ponchatoula, LA, United States 09-25-06 Member Since 2004
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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.

    38 of 50 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James McGinley 02-09-09 Listener Since 2008
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    "Romance"

    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.

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joki Helsinki 04-10-13
    Joki Helsinki 04-10-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Felt Stale"

    I had heard about how loved this book was for many years and finally got a chance to sit down and listen to it thanks to a great sale at Audible. My first thought is that it does feel a bit dated - lacking the highs and lows of the modern romance novel. It is also very well written - something not necessarily demanded in modern novels, either, sadly.

    It is a big book because it is definitely a slow burn - allowing the reader to be drawn in slowly over time. And in a novel that has nothing new to add these days (a time travel historical romance is almost vanilla in the crowded paranormal romance category) and so it succeeds or fails purely on the characters.

    Unfortunately, for me, the characters kind of fell flat. I didn't really feel any affinity (or Mary Sue) for Claire, the protagonist. A war nurse in the 1940s, married with a husband, certainly didn't make her the typical heroine. That said, it was hard to root for someone who had very little angst about sleeping with a young hot guy in a kilt fairly soon after the time travel. The author is clever enough to help alleviate the guilt by making the husband's ancestors particularly nasty (I kept having a "Rob Roy" movie moment throughout this). But really, you'd think she'd be a bit more freaked out or go more into survival mode. It just felt so unrealistic in so many ways.

    I think the real problem for me is that this fell back on the 1980s "spirited spitfire" heroine who always manages to get herself in trouble by doing spirited things that backfire - and then having to be saved by the hero. It gets old (and really feels unrealistic) at all the stupid chances she takes. It also doesn't help that I could come up with a lot better ways to accomplish the things she just spur of the moment decided to do randomly - just to give the hero an opportunity to come to her rescue (or prove how dastardly her husband's ancestor was). It got old.

    I give the book 3 stars for being a solid read, well written. But 2 left stars for feeling very dated in the 1980ss and for a lot of nothing happening other than heroine gets herself in trouble, heroine gets rescued by hero, heroine gets in trouble again by going off on her own, gets rescued by hero before injury again....ad nauseum.

    15 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Massachusetts 01-23-11
    Carol Massachusetts 01-23-11 Member Since 2010

    Classical history buff, love books, ballet, and basketball.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An Unexpectedly Good Time"

    I never read the Gabaldon books when they first came out, both because I'm not a huge fan of the romance genre and because a quick turn-through of these books led me to the opinion that the writing was somewhat trite. I still think the writing is somewhat trite, and as a novelist Gabaldon does not rate 5 stars. However, as a storyteller and creator of interesting characters, she scores big-time with this one. When you pair that with an absolutely superlative narration by Davina Porter, a pot-boiler becomes great entertainment. I probably wouldn't have even tried this download without the impetus of (1) Audible putting it "on sale" for a brief time and (2) the information in the reviews posted here. Thanks to Audible and my fellow listeners for an unexpectedly good time!

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Isabelle Middlesex, VT, United States 04-05-10
    Isabelle Middlesex, VT, United States 04-05-10 Member Since 2005
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    "Fun book, Great Narrator"

    This is the author's first book, and I'd say she has natural talent for writing fiction. The time travel is fun. The Scottish clan is fun. The descriptions of sex are great. I like women with a big appetite for sex, so I like this author and her main character.

    The narrator is excellent.

    I'll probably continue with the series. I've read that the series gets more gripping as it goes on, and that will probably sway me.

    15 of 20 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.

    35 of 48 people found this review helpful
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  • 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!

    15 of 15 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.

    31 of 32 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.

    8 of 8 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

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Mandy Lowe
    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!

    10 of 11 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!

    9 of 10 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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Jennifer
    Victoria, Australia
    9/26/07
    Overall
    "Caution - Addictive series"

    The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon is so totally addictive, don't say you weren't warned! As Clare and Jamie become firmly entangled the story just gets better and better, whilst still giving you a good insight into the everyday happenings of life in the Scottish Highlands during the mid-1700's and the major events of the time. The first of (currently) six books plus a side series with another character from this series, you will be hooked by the time you finish Outlander/Cross Stitch. Plenty of website action to keep you going whilst you track down the whole series too.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Frances
    Shipham, United Kingdom
    8/27/09
    Overall
    "One of the best"

    Don't start this book unless you are prepared to want to read the whole series. It is wonderfully read and a real page-turner. Strong characters that you will love. Beware also when you get to book 5 because the one available at audible (as at Aug 09)is abridged and has a different narrator. A bitter disappointment.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Joyce
    Bracknell, United Kingdom
    3/10/09
    Overall
    "My Favourite Book"

    This Book is called Cross Stitch in the UK, Outlander is its American title. I bought the book many years ago as the title facinated me being a keen needlewoman. It turned out to be one of the best book I have ever bought, and I subsequently purchesed each of the books that continue the story as and when they were published. My sight is not as good as it was now and reading is getting quite difficult so, I was delighted to see a number of the books available as audio books. Needless to say I will buying them all, but I do hope that The Fiery Cross will be available unabridged soon, and the next novel A Breath of Snow and Ashes will follow. I have also seem on the writer's web page that a new book in the series will be available about September, so lets keep our fingers crossed that this will reach audible eventually.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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