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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 (18318 )
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4.6 (12455 )
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Performance
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  •  
    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.

    35 of 46 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Nottingham, MD, USA 10-17-08
    Thomas Nottingham, MD, USA 10-17-08 Member Since 2007
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    "Nice Romance; a Little too BDSM"

    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!

    235 of 316 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melisa 09-25-06
    Melisa 09-25-06 Member Since 2004
    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.

    51 of 69 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.

    44 of 60 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.

    62 of 85 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SLee 07-15-06
    SLee 07-15-06
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    "Unabridged!"

    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.

    41 of 56 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teddy Bronx, NY, United States 06-08-12
    Teddy Bronx, NY, United States 06-08-12

    "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!

    51 of 70 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
    43
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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
  •  
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 09-15-14
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 09-15-14 Member Since 2002

    I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Superior Historical Romance but nothing more"

    As a historical romance this book has really steamy explicit sex scenes and more than a bit of sadistic violence. The sex scenes are from the female perspective, and quite steamy but not at all crude.

    This is a superior historical romance and it is well read, but it remains only a historical romance. This is not science fiction or fantasy, the time travel is only a tiny plot device that solves a really annoying problem with historical romance. The female protagonist must think in a modern way to be approachable and interesting to modern women, the time travel bit was a brilliant little technique to allow this. I don’t consider this a love story, as there is a lot more to love than what is under the kilt. This was a story of passion, with a bit of adventure and a historical context.

    I am a guy, and I don’t tend to like historical romances unless the novel transcends the genre, this novel was good, but did not transcend. In the end, it was just a sequence of scenes (romance, passion, adventure, historical, violent, and steamy) with nice characters and a historical context but never really going anywhere. I find most historical romance either totally unreadable, or enjoyable only because they are so bad they are funny. Outlander scenes are well written and enjoyable, and if I were a bored female, I may have really appreciated the steamy scenes, but I want more from a novel, I want an arc or epic, or exploration, or transformation, or something. Outlander was mildly entertaining but nothing else.

    4 of 5 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.

    14 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 1616 results PREVIOUS123162NEXT
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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!

    18 of 18 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.

    37 of 38 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 12 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 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.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    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!

    11 of 12 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!

    14 of 16 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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Julie
    Worcester, United Kingdom
    11/7/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unexpectedly Brilliant"
    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book!!! I downloaded it expecting to be a bit disappointed........time travel/scotland in the 1770's....really!! However, the storyline is thoroughly enjoyable and won't let you turn it off! The narration is extraordinary, you can instantly recognise the vast array of characters!. A word of warning - there are some quite saucy parts, and there are also some quite distressing parts.........I do not recommend having your nan in the car while you're listening to it at certain points, can be a little awkward.

    3 of 3 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
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