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)
Dont' be fooled by the cool description. This is not sci-fi/fantasy. This is not adventure. This is a romance novel dressed up with a little history and time travel. If you like your heroines sappy and helpless and you sex scenes graphic and plentiful, you will enjoy this book. If you like your heroines bold and strong, and your stories about worthy goals--don't waste your time or money on this book.
I'm pretty sure this was listed with Sci Fi when I bought it. I feel cheated.
I am reading the entire series. I disagree with the negative comments made and think the writer and narrater are both very talented. I think a very good job has been done to make the series ( I'm on the third book) as realistic as possible, which yes, includes a range of emotions and actions by the characters involved. I wouldn't recommend the series to someone who isn't interested in reading about personal hardships, sex, violence, or brutal war actions in the 1700's. It's intense at times and pulls you right in. I love it!
Say something about yourself!
I purchased this book because of some of the strong reviews I had read on Audible. Davina Porter does an excellent job of narration, and the premise of time travel and history is both interesting and innovative. However, Ms. Gabaldon's preoccupation with sex--and explicit sadistic sexual practices in particular--became wearing in a very short time. If I had purchased a hard copy of the book, I would have simply skipped over the many descriptions of the couples' coupling. However, instead I found my eyes glazing over after the first 10 or so encounters. Unfortunately, that was only the tip of the iceberg. A thoughtful editor with an eye for unnecessary repetition would have made a big difference in the final outcome.
I agree COMPLETELY with Steve.
It wasn't until I got to vol 2 that I realized I was reading a well written Harliqin novel! I deleted it at that point.
Jamie was a very interesting character until he started acting sappy and totally out of charadter.
Up until then I was enjoying the book, and as a nurse, the medical references.
Tell us about yourself!
The first chapter is slow, but don't let that stop you from getting this story! Narrator is excellent. I found it listed in the "romance" category, but it's *way* more than a romance novel - it's a very well-developed story with sophisticated characters and plots. I was really impressed how she captured the essence of Scottish Highland culture and the use of Gaelic with English. There are romantic scenes, but they're not written like for a romance novel - much more sophisticated and sultry than your typical romance. Not for kids.
I believed the review that said this was historical fiction with a bit of romance and time travel. It is in fact a rather dull bodice ripper, or, more precisely, kilt ripper.
The story seems like it will never end and I still don't get the point.
Note the length of the book and remember, you will never get those hours back.
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.
I was looking for a good long "listen" and Outlander came up on several lists of long reads. The reviews seemed ok. But this book didn't do it for me. It wasn't a terrible listen, the performance was good and it wasn't torture. But having spent over 30 hours of my life listening...I didn't really feel there was the payoff.
I cared about the characters...a little. I was curious about them. I read the summaries of the next few books online to see where they went. But no desire to put myself through the telling of the story.
I'm hard pressed to explain why this wasn't a good read for me, but I think it felt largely like a soap opera. I didn't feel like I got deeply into the characters demons (maybe a little for Jaime at the end of the book) and the plot wasn't very deep in my opinion. It felt a long slow melodrama. It wasn't totally unpleasant but I can't really recommend it.
"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.
"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.
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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