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.
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I didn't hate this book at all but I didn't totally 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. There are parts of this story that I found captivating but then by the next chapter I would be bored. This truly 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 will give this one another listen in the future.....maybe the second time around will be better. I hope so! If the others in the series goes on sale I may try those too....I will keep trying.
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.
The narrator is terrific. The book starts out well. But it is not what it seems. I thought that it was to be an adventure that would also have insights into the 1700's in Scotland. After part one, it became a flat out romance novel with romantic interplay between the two main characters going on and on and on. Put another way, guys beware, this is a literary 100% chick flick. By late in part three I found myself very tired of the romance and pining for more plot, and then just wishing that it would be over.
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.
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.
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.
Artist, farmer, avid reader. I am interested in all sorts of things; history, religions, psychology, cultures, travel, politics and 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.
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!
I adore Davina Porter and felt sorry for her reading all that endless twaddle. She is one of my favorite narrators.
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.
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!
"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!
"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.
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.
"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.
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!
"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.
"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.
"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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