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 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 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 think a teenager or young 20-something would enjoy the steamy scenes.
The narrator was superb and the reason why I listened to this to the bitter, boring end.
Better historical context required.
I cannot imagine why this was picked for me. I kept hoping it would get more interesting but it never made it there.
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.
I have edited 38 national best sellers and had a writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
**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.
"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.
"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!
"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.
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.
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
"Get out of bed and get on with the story!"
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.
About 60% of it.
I can honestly say that nothing I have read has annoyed me more than this series.
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.
"Eat your heart out Barbara Cartland!"
Some degree of historical reality/accuracy is useful in a historical novel,.
Lacked any depth, just a bodice ripper using a historic setting - the Scottish highlands. No conception or the era or realistic characterization.
No. Heroine, "oh gosh, I've time travelled, never mind."
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.
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.
"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!
"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!
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