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Outlander | [Diana Gabaldon]

Outlander

Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. But their blissful reunion is shattered....
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Mix equal parts historic fiction, adventure, and romance. Add a dash of time travel. Blend with pitch-perfect narration. And you'll understand why Outlander is an all-time favorite among Audible listeners. Whether she's giving voice to the former World War II nurse Claire or the 18th Century Scottish warrior Jamie, Davina Porter brings a magical intimacy to this epic tale. --Steve Feldberg

Publisher's Summary

This stunning blend of historical romance and time traveling adventure has captured the hearts of millions of readers around the world and catapulted author Diana Gabaldon to the top of the New York Times best seller list. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love.

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (15531 )
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4.6 (9871 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Lauren Irvine, CA, United States 05-20-14
    Lauren Irvine, CA, United States 05-20-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I thought I would like this book more than I did."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I would make the book shorter by 20 hours. The author goes on and on way too much about details that have nothing to do with the story, and I don't need so many details about the weird types of sex the characters are going to have.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Boring, anti-climatic.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Davina Porter?

    Maybe an abridged version.


    Was Outlander worth the listening time?

    I actually got bored after the first 10 hours and listened to most of it in fast forward speed just to see if anything of interest would happen.


    Any additional comments?

    Like the others I think the narrator did a good job, but her voice sounded just a little too old for the young characters, it kind of threw things off for me.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam 05-17-14
    Adam 05-17-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "If you like rape, give this a listen"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    If you like a character that has no reaoistic growth, who's convictions change on a whim, and who is constantly in danger of being raped, this is for you.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Diana Gabaldon again?

    Diana Gabaldon sure has more than enough fans. I likely will not listen to any more of her work.


    Have you listened to any of Davina Porter’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    The story.. is terrible. Contrived events that do not even feel natural. OH YOU MUST MARRY OR ELSE. Oh and rape here, rape there, rape everywhere. The story is nonsensical. A wasted credit.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori Oakland, CA, United States 04-13-14
    Lori Oakland, CA, United States 04-13-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Nonsensical, Offensive and NOT Romance"

    Misdirected again! I wish audible would have ratings similar to movie ratings. There is power (or foolishness) in the written word. True, you can walk out of a theater, or hit the stop button on a book, but I don't appreciate being conned. The so-called, mis-named 'heroine' of this book alternates between being a competent, sensible nurse and a whining fool who gets herself and everyone around her into ridiculous, life-threatening situations through sheer stubbornness and stupidity!. She is an embarrassment to any rational, thinking person, let alone 'women' (mentioned since this author is perpetuating gender stereotypes). The absurd 'plot twist' causing an arranged marriage to a stranger, who proceeds to beat her to a pulp to impress his buddies downstairs, is shameful (on the part of the author). And the 'heroine's' subsequent submission to him is appalling. This is not 'romantic' by any means. Their entire relationship is just weird and contrived, like the plot, the characters and well, all of it! If you want to read an intelligent, interesting book by a 'woman', looks like we have to go back and re-read Agatha Christie! (Tommy & Tuppence are much more 'romantic' than this smut, and they are smart, funny, and mutually respectful!).

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael FOND DU LAC, WI, United States 08-17-13
    Michael FOND DU LAC, WI, United States 08-17-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Much More Romance Than Fantasy"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fakhra oslo, Norway 05-03-13
    Fakhra oslo, Norway 05-03-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Irritating voice"
    What did you like best about Outlander? What did you like least?

    I haven't been able to finish the book due to the narrator who tries to dramatize every word. Often you get confuse about the characters and events because the narrator changes the tone of her voice every second....


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MR Kellyville, Australia 03-23-13
    MR Kellyville, Australia 03-23-13

    Lorenzo I like fantasy, Science fiction and thrillers books

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Outlander not for me"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Well the idea of time travel sounded great and others said it is a great book.
    The problem is it is a love story and there is not much time travel.


    What was most disappointing about Diana Gabaldon’s story?

    The problems
    1. The main charter seemed dim in parts and did not notice the obvious.
    2. The two main characters were at it! so often that its a wonder they could walk!
    3. Jamie seemed to be invincible and turned up every time the main character was in any danger.
    4. Not enough time travel and the action was a bit weak.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The reader was very good she changed accent and tone so the could tell the characters apart out quite well.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The good parts:
    1. The description of the era was very detailed and seemed accurate.
    2. The premise and ideas were original


    Any additional comments?

    This is not a bad book but maybe aimed a romantics that like historic settings

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elise United States 01-22-13
    Elise United States 01-22-13
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    "Offensive"

    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.

    13 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Columbus, OH, United States 07-30-12
    Mary Columbus, OH, United States 07-30-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Could have been a whole lot better"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would heartily recommend this book to all of my friends who love "bodice rippers". If you like books that contain any paragraphs detailing "the swell of her breast", you're gonna love this.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Totally disappointing and unexpected ending, like the author just ran out of gas and didn't care anymore after the humongous effort of filling all those pages.


    What about Davina Porter’s performance did you like?

    Her diction, and her ability to switch voices quickly and reliably.


    Did Outlander inspire you to do anything?

    Never read another Gabaldon book.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was very Follett-esque: Like Pillars of the Earth, Outlander began with a marvelous idea for a story and then got bogged down with the notion that the reader will only stay interested if every 12th page contains a cheesy sex scene designed more to make 13 year old girls giggle than to enhance the story line. The other thing that disappointed me was the sassy and cynical tone of Claire's dialogue. No woman transported to an earlier time who was so repeatedly put in danger of losing life and limb would be such a trash-talker.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Seashell158 OH USA 10-11-11
    Seashell158 OH USA 10-11-11 Member Since 2004

    seashell158

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not a pleasent series."

    In my very humble opinion, the author has a definite problem with large people in general. Also in my very humble opinion, is not an animal lover. Throughout the series of Jamie and Claire's travels she has animals slaughtered in a most graphic way.She almost always makes her unpleasant characters (in her words, tubby, fat tubs of lard, vastly obese and so on.) If you are looking for a bodice ripper that is mean spirited in many ways this book and series is for you!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sonia South Perth, Australia 03-11-11
    Sonia South Perth, Australia 03-11-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    50
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    "I'm glad it's over!"

    I enjoyed listening to it at the beginning of the book but towards the second half, it just became tedious. There were parts in the book that had long-winded descriptions which became too much for me to listen to, so I fast-forwarded through it. I do love the story but I'm hesitant to listen to the rest of the series due to the long descriptions that is part of Diana Gabaldon's writing style, which may suit other reader's/listener's but not for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • L
    BridgendUnited Kingdom
    10/1/06
    Overall
    "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.

    34 of 35 people found this review helpful
  • Alan
    Northwich, Cheshire, United Kingdom
    3/28/07
    Overall
    "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!

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Karen
    Douglas Water, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom
    5/10/07
    Overall
    "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.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Anita
    4/18/10
    Overall
    "outlander"

    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

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Victoria
    High Wycombe, United Kingdom
    4/26/12
    Overall
    "Mind-numbingly dull"

    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.
    Dreadful!

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Katrina
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    8/12/11
    Overall
    "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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Tonbridge, UK
    8/6/07
    Overall
    "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!

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Joyce
    Bracknell, United Kingdom
    3/10/09
    Overall
    "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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Jennifer
    Victoria, Australia
    9/26/07
    Overall
    "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.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Sceptical Shopper
    UK
    3/6/12
    Overall
    "Entertaining romp"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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