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)
...with a lot of time on her hands. Bear with me: It has a good premise and excellent narration. But it reads like the author decided to rewrite "The Total Woman" as a pseudo-historical romantic adventure. If you love the first 8 hours you're in luck, because you're getting about 24 more of the same. However, don't look for character development or anything more than glancing historical detail. Also, fair warning: the author practically luxuriates in both repetitious sex scenes and homophobia.
Canadian girl in Kansas, love audible, books on kindle or kindle fire, and old fashioned books! I enjoy fiction most, mostly books with strong female leads. Favourite authors: Diana Gabaldon, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Wally Lamb, Pat Conroy, Andre Dubus III, Lisa Genova, many more!
Anyone who is a fan of 'Outlander' knows it's magic. In fact, fans from all over the world are addicted to Jamie and Claire, who start out their long lasting time traveling relationship in Diana Gabaldon's first book, 'Outlander.' I would venture to say that there isn't another book quite like it. We have time travel, history, research, romance, torture, war- and most of all unforgettable characters that true fans will not only relish and enjoy- but they become part of a person's mind. I think about these characters every day of my life.
Outlander provides us with the introduction to Claire, a woman in the 1940s who's been a nurse in the war. One day she and her husband visit Scotland and she touches some standing stones, and finds herself thrown back to the 1740s! Claire meets Jamie, a ruthless, rugged highlander who she is betrothed to- even though she is a 'Sasanach' or an English Woman. While Claire desperately tries to get back to the stones to go back to her own time zone, a romantic, passionate and loving relationship with she and her 'new' husband ensues- so she is torn by wanting to return to her own time, and spending eternity with what may her true soul mate.
This book is not just a romance, it's historical fiction at it's finest, with every compelling literary compromise involved. This is not just a book- it's something that will stay with you forever, and you won't quickly forget Jaime, Claire, and their adventures in the 18th century. Gabaldon is brilliant, and Davina Porter does an amazing job with the narration. This book is a must-listen or read for anyone who loves a great fiction novel with memorable characters and big teeth.
5 stars, hands down. One of the best books I've read/listened to in my life.
If you like miles and miles of detail about absolutely nothing relevant, then you'll love this one. The overall story is intersting, but the long and drawn out sexual back and forth and mind numbing detail made this a poor read.
Davina Porter's performance lifts this story to the level of "guilty pleasure" but even so I'm finding the historical, logical and geographical inconsistencies in the text difficult to handle. I'm the kind of person who gets nitpicky about whether a circle of standing stones is near Inverness or Fort William (it can't be both), or how a man can pass under an assumed name in a community full of relatives who've known him most of his life, or why a mid-20th century Englishwoman speaking a suspiciously American version of the language can be so easily understood in 18th-century Scotland. I'm trying to suspend these judgements and just enjoy it as a fun faux-historical bodice-ripper, but if you're like me you may want to give this a miss.
I thought the story well thought out and the narrator was fantastic, but the sex was too much. I skipped a lot of sections. the characters were likeable and developed well; I found myself laughing out loud at points. I would not really recommend this book based on amount of it I skipped.
A good narrator can make a mediocre book come alive. I love having a story read to me - it's a wonderful escape.
If you want to "fill in the blanks" created by the Starz interpretation of this incredible book, definitely listen to this! It is long and very worthwhile. Davina Porter is wonderful with accents and expressions - a real professional. You will fall in love with Jamie and will get a real feel for the personalities of all the characters. The history is informative right down to plants and food of the day. Don't wait...get it!!!
I felt the need to write a review for this book because I was fooled by the positive reviews. If you find abuse against woman offensive, then don't read this one.
First off, the beginning of this book is very boring and I found myself hardly listening at all. It got a bit more interesting once she time-traveled, and then I was actually into the book once the love story started to develop. Everything changed the moment the love interest decided to beat his wife, the main character, in order to punish her. She then got over it pretty quickly and told him that she loved him the day after the beating. He then later admitted that he enjoyed beating her because of the sexual arousal he obtained from it. This book then seems to go down a BDSM type pathway, but I can't tell you much more because I stopped listening at that point.
I just can't understand how so many people can praise this for being such a wonderful love story. Yes, I understand this was a different time period where wives obeyed their husbands and husbands punished their wives, and I know this was a difficult time in Scotland, but I still believe it's wrong for a husband to beat his wife despite this. I cannot approve of a book that not only shrugs off the seriousness of the abuse, but promotes it as part of the love story.
Glad to see others are finding this book "not five starts." I really tried to like it. The narrator is fantastic and weaves you into the book and takes you there. The story line is, well silly in many spots, and I kept wondering why, with all the other women in the clan staying home, did the heroine always get dragged off to battle. I'm just saying, that is way too far fetched. And like so many others stated - IT ENDS DUMB. And baby, after 32 hours, I really did not want a dumb ending.
I wish I had read the customer reviews before purchasing this unabridged book. The story started out interestingly enough, from a historical perspective and the time travel aspect. But after the second part of four, I don't think I can listen any more! I keep waiting for something to happen (instead of sex, sex sex, which is becoming annoying). The narration is excellent, so it's a shame that the story line is so repetitive.
I bought this book because several friends/coworkers recommended it, they raved about it. I listened to this book and attempted to read the second so I could skim through it, couldn't do it, stopped less than half way through. I think you either love it or hate. I tried really hard to get into the series and just couldn't do it.
"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.
"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.
"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!
"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.
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.
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.
"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.
I actually fell for the 5* reviews on this book and feel like a bit of a fool for doing so. This really is "chick lit" and quite poor at that. The story is historically very weak indeed and is really aimed at female titillation because every other scene revolves around sex and, to be honest, it's so damned boring! What's more it has the clichéd goody v baddy storyline that has been done to death since time immemorial.
It took so long to get going that I almost gave up on it on three or four occasions. It's a shame really because when it did get going it was actually quite good but for 70% of the time it wasn't. If it wasn't for Davina Porter's amazing narration I don't think I'd have stuck it out til the end. Without her wonderful voice the whole thing would've ground to a halt rapidly.
To put it in the sci-fi/fantasy section is a bit misleading because the only thing that is faintly related to this genre is the initial time slip. With a bit of imagination from the author we could've really been put into the excitement and terror of a 20th century woman suddenly finding herself in the 18th century but instead we have a main character that knew exactly how to behave and speak from the start and was all too accepting of her situation.
Because the times where the story got moving were quite good I give it 3*s but for the most part it was a load of tosh and I certainly shall not be listening to any more of the series!
"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!
"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.
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