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 was really hoping for a historic novel, but its really just a trashy romance. The plot is thin and the characters are beyond the realm of possibility. They consist of the perfect hero, who always knows EXACTLY what to say, always shows up in EXACTLY the nick of time to rescue the heroine, is tall and handsome, quiet and strong, indestructible. He never starts a fight, but always wins them. He's bravery and principal are beyond reproach, but also beyond believability. He spends a good deal of the book standing up for children and damsels in distress. He doesn't have one single itty bitty flaw. The bad guy is absurdly bad to the point there are very few people in the book he doesn't try to rape. Not one itty bitty redeeming quality. As for the story line, even in the difficulty of life in 16th century Scottish highlands the hero and heroine spend most of the book fondling each other and having sex, or talking about sex, or thinking about sex. Its gratuitous and ubiquitous all throughout their capers which all end in predictable good-guys-win-and-get-the-girl fashion. In a word, the book is adolescent.
Classical history buff, but find most of history fascinating. Love books, ballet, and basketball.
I never read the Gabaldon books when they first came out, both because I'm not a huge fan of the romance genre and because a quick turn-through of these books led me to the opinion that the writing was somewhat trite. I still think the writing is somewhat trite, and as a novelist Gabaldon does not rate 5 stars. However, as a storyteller and creator of interesting characters, she scores big-time with this one. When you pair that with an absolutely superlative narration by Davina Porter, a pot-boiler becomes great entertainment. I probably wouldn't have even tried this download without the impetus of (1) Audible putting it "on sale" for a brief time and (2) the information in the reviews posted here. Thanks to Audible and my fellow listeners for an unexpectedly good time!
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!
Airheaded young girls or lonely women.
Best suggest this as an entry title just before 50 shades of grey.
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.
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.
The performance was very good, I think that was what kept me going actually.
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.
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.
I assumed a time travel book would be a fantasy / sci fi type novel, but it read more like a soft porn romance novel. Just not what I thought it was. Very good narrator, though.
I would not recommend this book to my friends. I feel like the odd-man-out with this review. The plot and the characters are interesting but I found the endless details, lots and lots of details, annoying. It interrupted the flow of the story to the point I was screaming, "get on with it, woman!" 30 plus hours of listening could reasonably been 20 hours. The plot and the excellent writing would have remained the same. It just needed lots and lots of editing. The sex scenes were extremely well done. The author did not use overly explicit language which made it sexier. How can that be? Her technique is just that good.
The narration was very well directed but the problem for me was the voice of the narrator. After 30 hours I would gladly strangled her if she were nearby. To me her voice was high pitched and too nasal. She was not able to imitate the male voices and her timing was a tad off.
I did finish listening to the book but not without some struggle. Would I buy another of this venerated author's audio or print books? Not on your life.
It could have been an actual Sci-fi or Fantasy novel
The book was well written.
Yes, this book was a well written romance aka soft porn novel written from a women's perspective.
The main reason I'm rating this book so low is because I'm use to my Sci-fi and Fantasy novels to have some actual Sci-fi or Fantasy in them. Maybe I read the wrong reviews of the book before hand. I'm use to the books I read to slowly build to a climatic point this book was pointless. I'm use to the main character being a hero or heroine not the damsel in distress needed to be saved all the time. The love making scenes (I can't call it sex) are just short of written porn and were strictly written from the female perspective and made me cringe. There were several times during reading this book that I wanted to stop, but I wanted to finish so that I could write this review. If you are looking for a romance novel then you might enjoy this book. If you are looking for action and adventure this is the WRONG book.
50yrs old / audible member for 5 yrs library. 75% nonfiction, 15% classics and 10% fiction. History/Science/biography/Eng.18th cent fiction
I was fooled ! this is little more than a dressed up harlequin romance. The only thing I got out of it was an insight into what women must perceive as romance, great sex and their idea of ideal manhood, most of which I found rather disappointing. If I was Jamie I would have fled her like the plague! Pretty well written and narrated for what it is though.
I got this hoping for Celtic fantasy, but it's really just soft core romance novel s/m porn. Yech. I could not get through the book. The narrator is very good, though,
The description sounded so interesting and the book had nice, high reviews so I downloaded it. It started slow and I immediately heard some red flags... the main character is a nurse during the war and doesn't recognize a blood stain? No, her husband is the one who has to tell her what it is. Gasp! I should have turned it off right then because it only got worse. This modern, strong woman turned into an idiot as I listened. This is nothing more than a smutty romance novel, complete with manufactured drama, abuse and co-dependency. I am sad to have wasted a credit.
"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.
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
"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.
"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!
"My Favourite Book"
This Book is called Cross Stitch in the UK, Outlander is its American title. I bought the book many years ago as the title facinated me being a keen needlewoman. It turned out to be one of the best book I have ever bought, and I subsequently purchesed each of the books that continue the story as and when they were published. My sight is not as good as it was now and reading is getting quite difficult so, I was delighted to see a number of the books available as audio books. Needless to say I will buying them all, but I do hope that The Fiery Cross will be available unabridged soon, and the next novel A Breath of Snow and Ashes will follow. I have also seem on the writer's web page that a new book in the series will be available about September, so lets keep our fingers crossed that this will reach audible eventually.
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 loved this book!!! I downloaded it expecting to be a bit disappointed........time travel/scotland in the 1770's....really!! However, the storyline is thoroughly enjoyable and won't let you turn it off! The narration is extraordinary, you can instantly recognise the vast array of characters!. A word of warning - there are some quite saucy parts, and there are also some quite distressing parts.........I do not recommend having your nan in the car while you're listening to it at certain points, can be a little awkward.
"Caution - Addictive series"
The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon is so totally addictive, don't say you weren't warned! As Clare and Jamie become firmly entangled the story just gets better and better, whilst still giving you a good insight into the everyday happenings of life in the Scottish Highlands during the mid-1700's and the major events of the time. The first of (currently) six books plus a side series with another character from this series, you will be hooked by the time you finish Outlander/Cross Stitch. Plenty of website action to keep you going whilst you track down the whole series too.
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