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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 (22212 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Thomas Nottingham, MD, USA 10-17-08
    Thomas Nottingham, MD, USA 10-17-08 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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!

    261 of 349 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.

    40 of 53 people found this review helpful
  •  
    betsy Sherman Oaks, CA, United States 05-28-14
    betsy Sherman Oaks, CA, United States 05-28-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "What book is everyone else reading?"
    What disappointed you about Outlander?

    I thought this was a historical romance series, but it must be the least romantic one ever. Is it supposed to be literary BDSM fare, some sort of better-written Fifty Shades? I only made it about halfway through before giving up in disgust. The style is not terrible, but the characters, especially the heroine, are awful.

    Our heroine is a mostly-unconcerned bigamist, marrying after six weeks of time travel. Her chief antagonist and a sadistic tormentor in the past is the double of her 1940s husband. Her new 1740s husband gets a kick out of beating her with his belt, and she essentially acquiesces to his wisdom in doing so. He then basically says he'll rape her, except she gives in, so - not sure how we tally that one. Claire hadn't made much effort to get back to her time by the time I gave up, but she had been nearly-raped 3 or 4 times and there's been the one beating of her and several beatings or stories of beatings or other abuse of Jamie or other characters. It feels like she's a feckless wimp and our author is getting a kick out of brutalizing Claire a little and Jamie a lot.

    I don't know what other people get out of this, but I didn't want to subject myself to 16 more hours. From what I've read since, it sounds like it just gets uglier.


    What character would you cut from Outlander?

    Claire. And 1740s Randall.


    13 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maggie Milbridge 04-02-14
    Maggie Milbridge 04-02-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A bodice-ripping bore"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I think a teenager or young 20-something would enjoy the steamy scenes.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The narrator was superb and the reason why I listened to this to the bitter, boring end.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Outlander?

    Better historical context required.


    Any additional comments?

    I cannot imagine why this was picked for me. I kept hoping it would get more interesting but it never made it there.

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steppenwuff 08-21-14
    Steppenwuff 08-21-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Parts of it read like a Harlequin romance novel"

    I only made it about 1/3 through-- that's all I could stand. I'm sure it may get better as it gets on, but it just wasn't for me. I did quite enjoy the narrator, in spite of that.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    laurie 08-13-14
    laurie 08-13-14

    I have edited 38 national best sellers and had a writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "How Stupid Can a Heroine Be?"

    I got through part one, which was pretty good, and then a quarter of part two, when the heroine turned into an idiot, and I couldn't stand it anymore.

    The romance genre depends upon tension between the lovers, and much of the strife is based on misunderstandings. I get that. But the heroine's thought processes, perceptions, attitude, and behavior were maddening and in some cases inexcusable. When I couldn't sympathize with her anymore, when I didn't care what happened to her, I knew it was time to exchange this book for another.

    Kudos to the narrator. She was fabulous.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Slavescu 07-23-14
    Slavescu 07-23-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A mistake"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Airheaded young girls or lonely women.
    Best suggest this as an entry title just before 50 shades of grey.


    What was most disappointing about Diana Gabaldon’s story?

    The almost complete lack of smart and intelligent commentary. Only a long winded story about nothing in particular.
    There was the gay aspect of it, but instead of using some clever situations and remarks to shed some light on this controversial topic, she instead resolved to give one gay character some pedophile inclinations and make the other the very pinnacle of evil and sadism.

    Nice!

    It felt like eating a party size bag of chips, not particularly bad, not particularly good either, yet you are left with very little nutrition and it was mostly just a waste of time.


    Have you listened to any of Davina Porter’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    The performance was very good, I think that was what kept me going actually.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Outlander?

    The sex scenes!
    The author tries really really hard, and it ends up sounding like a caricature, catapulting the reader out of any immersion they might have achieved.

    And boy do the main characters go at it like rabbits!

    Seemed like every chapter I had to sit through and listen at least a couple of time about his 'brass rod', her soft breasts or her moaning and pushing against him while his manliness heaved deep inside of her... Or something of that sort. You get the picture.

    So I begrudgingly moaned and listened to the '50 shades of tartan grey' that littered an otherwise quaint if rather bland story. I'm a masochist I guess.


    Any additional comments?

    A missed opportunity for social commentary. Having a woman travel through time, was a great stage to compare and show how times have changed or stayed the same.
    Instead, the author chose to stick with the tried, true and mind blastingly boring road of setting up a romance between a well chiseled hunk and a married woman.
    Sure there was the aspect of her husband being in a completely different time, but that was glossed over in favor of some steamy sex scenes. Smh...

    Guess that's what I get for going after 33 hour books based only on hollow reviews.
    Lesson learned.

    7 of 9 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
  •  
    09-25-07
    09-25-07 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Did not like this one"

    This book is very violent with details of flogging, attempted rape, brutal beatings, rough sex, and even the child birth is brutal. The Author barely even addresses the fact that Claire has left behind another life. Very little is said about her former life. The narrator is very good with the voices and the accents.

    17 of 23 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
  • Showing: 11-20 of 1895 results PREVIOUS123190NEXT
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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.

    39 of 41 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!

    19 of 20 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.

    13 of 14 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.

    5 of 5 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
  • 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.

    4 of 4 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!

    19 of 22 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
  • Amazon Customer
    melrose, United Kingdom
    9/1/11
    Overall
    "Slow and boring"

    The time travel concept made the book sound promising. However, the lack of knowledge of the geography of Scotland and other Scottish themes made some of the listening laughable. So much extraneous detail made for extremely long listening, resulting in impatience "to get on with it!" Less sex, less words and more actual story could have saved this novel...perhaps!

    11 of 13 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 13 people found this review helpful
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