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 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've literally been waiting years for the unabridged versions of the Outlander series to be available on Audible. I've read and reread all the books and heard all of the abridged versions, and there's nothing quite like hearing each word read to you by someone as talented as Davina Porter. This recording is an amazing tapestry of detail, introspection, action, romance, and fantasy that I simply can't stop listening to, even though I know the story by heart. I can only hope that Audible will soon be offering the other titles from this series in unabridged format. Also recommended: the unabridged "Song of Ice and Fire" series by George R.R. Martin and the unabridged "Wheel of Time" series by Robert Jordan.
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.
This is my first review but I just felt that I had to write this one. The historical part of the story and the characters were enjoyable, but the book should have been half the length and the sex parts kept to a minimum. It just became a book about sex and not time travel and Highland history. My suggestion would be to just get the paperback and then you can flip through the pages that are tediously overdone with sex and get on with the story.
I've been pretty successful finding new fantasy authors through the review system on Audible, until this one. I was searching under fan favorites/fantasy and saw all the tremendous reviews of this series. I must admit I haven't finished the book, but I am more than 3/4 through, and I find myself needing to put it down to read something else which I never do with anything else. I'll pick it up a few days later but it just can't keep my attention. It never really takes off.
I don't read romance in general and this is a romance, not fantasy. I did read read Time Traveler's Wife which is also a Fantasy/Romance, but that was a book I found gripping, it would pull you along with a well built storyline that flowed. Outlander doesn't seem to know where it's going, and it just seems to drag.
Claire, the main character doesn't come across as a believable person either. She isn't someone that you may really like or hate, she is very unremarkable. She gives a halfhearted effort to return to her old life, and then gives up and shacks up with and marries another man only a few weeks after she gets pulled into this new life? Maybe I'm a prude, but I don't like how quickly she decides to give it all up and become a bigamist.
After what I've read so far, I will not be purchasing the second in the series.
1.That people think this is good.
2.Taken for what it is, trashy romance, that anyone would bother with this when I suspect there are shorter and better alternatives out there. Perhaps the length and historical setting let them convince themselves that this is actually literature.
3.That this is listed in the SciFi/Fantasy category.
The description of this being 'Mix equal parts historic fiction, adventure, and romance.' is complete nonsense. The adventure is non-existent and the historic fiction is a whitewash slopped over an overly long trashy romance.
The two protagonists are really where this whole story falls down. Claire (sp?) is impulsive, strong willed (read: a selfish neurotic liar), sex-obsessed and usually only empathetic with those whom she hopes to bed. Jamie (sp?) is part Fabio and part caveman alternating between unbelievably noble, virile, insightful and empathetic Adonis at 23 no less and a sadist thug who is only too happy to commit murder and beat and rape his wife.
What story there is about their relationship and provides fertile ground for the usual guff.See how the historical barbarian and the modern 'feminist' clash! Isn't it exactly what you thought would happen! Then there's the multiple attempted rapes that are overcome with nary a worry but of course post-attempted rape sex is a great panacea. Don't expect that any of this is handled tenderly of with the gravitas it deserves. The rest of the book contains plenty more attempted rapes, gay rapes, BDSM and a plethora of regular sex to fill up the 'romance' quota for the book whilst the characters trek across the countryside and the heroine does 'stupid' things so the hero can save her.
Diana is clearly a great at making individual scenes come alive with description but the she completely fails create a believable world. Time for the most part stands still if the protagonists are not there. This is exacerbated by the complete lack of foreshadowing or suspense leaving the reader with nothing to do except listen and hope that it will all end soon.
None stand out though Diana's strong descriptive abilities mean that are more than a few good ones.
This is the first audible book that I could not finish. It is very dense, descriptive, historical fiction.
What had attracted me to the title was the time travel aspect. But that turned out to be no more than a superficial gimmick for going into the most mundane historical fiction.
Okay, so I like to be open-minded about "chick-lit" so I tend not prejudge books based on gender interest. I thought this would be a good action, fantasy but, alas, I was wrong. There's waaaay too much sex and feelings for my liking and not nearly enough combat. Yeah, 3 or 4 good scenes but mostly a what-if-somebody-from-1945-landed-in-1745 with historical accuracy. And modern (Dr. Spock) sentiments on child-rearing from a 1945 nurse? Suuuure. The entire story line was a very intricate female sex fantasy for the "perfect" sex partner. Tough like an ancient highlander who will take a buggering to save his lassie, but sensitive as a modern metrosexual that has the staying power of a bull with the experience of a child. Oh, and by the way, a noble as well with powerful allies. Sorry, but after the 15th love scene I was ready to nail my own ears to the stockades.
Not to be completely negative, it does have some good fight scenes and probably accurate details about life in the 1700 highlands of Scotland. I'll pass on the rest of the series.
I am currently listening to the first 5 books in the series for the second time before I start the newest book in the series. I rarely listen to books more than once so it says a lot that I am doing so particularly when the books are 30-40 hours each!
I enjoy Diana Gabaldon's description of daily life. She paints a clear picture which draws me in. Davina Porter is my all time favorite narrator (well, Susan Erickson reading the "In Death" books by J..D. Robb/Nora Roberts is also my favorite.) Ms. Porter is perfect. All her characters are well done and come alive for me. I thoroughly believe there is a large male Scot in the room.
This is the most awesome series of books I have ever read! The writing is absolutly outstanding. I have read the series multiple times, and each time I finish it I cant wait to read it again. I decided to listen to the audio version, and it brought these books to a whole other level. Davina Porter IS Claire Randall. Absolutely. Never has a narrator so captured the essence of a character. This is a must read/must listen, again and again!
"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.
"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
"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!
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.
"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.
"One of the best"
Don't start this book unless you are prepared to want to read the whole series. It is wonderfully read and a real page-turner. Strong characters that you will love. Beware also when you get to book 5 because the one available at audible (as at Aug 09)is abridged and has a different narrator. A bitter disappointment.
"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.
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