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)
Davina Porter's performance lifts this story to the level of "guilty pleasure" but even so I'm finding the historical, logical and geographical inconsistencies in the text difficult to handle. I'm the kind of person who gets nitpicky about whether a circle of standing stones is near Inverness or Fort William (it can't be both), or how a man can pass under an assumed name in a community full of relatives who've known him most of his life, or why a mid-20th century Englishwoman speaking a suspiciously American version of the language can be so easily understood in 18th-century Scotland. I'm trying to suspend these judgements and just enjoy it as a fun faux-historical bodice-ripper, but if you're like me you may want to give this a miss.
Not in the unabridged version. The beginning of the book was exciting. I couldn't wait to hear what would happen next; a real digital page turner!Once Claire and Jamie were married the story became a dreary slog through what seemed like endless sex and sadism. I listened to the entire book. With the exception of their time at Lallybroch it just became tedious for me.
The Girl on the Train
Davina Porter's voices for Claire and Jamie were sweet and likable.
Frankly, it would depend on how long the film was.
I'll try the next book in the series in an abridged version from my local library.
I thought the story well thought out and the narrator was fantastic, but the sex was too much. I skipped a lot of sections. the characters were likeable and developed well; I found myself laughing out loud at points. I would not really recommend this book based on amount of it I skipped.
Good read. At times it made me laugh out loud. The romance was just right. I could've done without the rape though. I found it unnecessary. In fact i've read this book twice & listened to it about 5 times and I skip over the parts that include the recants of the rape. It just ruins it for me. They narrator did spectacular job bringing the characters to life.
The story was amazing
I loved this book but really, too much emphasis on sex for my taste. I wish books had a rating system like movies do.
the plot twists
The "studio" quality of this recording was horrible. I'm on the second portion, and I've heard someone coughing in the background at least three times. There are also portions of the recording where you can hear a faint recording in the background. Sigh. So distracting.
It would have been a much better story if the multiple scenes or graphic rape and torture had been omitted.
It's hard to remember the good,when there was so much bad.
Avoid unless you want to read graphic scenes of sadism and abuse.
I would only recommend this book to someone who can stomach hearing about extremely stubborn and masochistic individuals make terrible decisions over and over again that lead them to being beaten and in many cases tortured at great length by sadistic individuals. Torture - and the treating of injuries resulting from torture and beatings - is described in tedious detail for increasingly large portions of the book as the story progresses. If you are into that kind of thing, though, the book was excellent otherwise.
I particularly liked the attention the author paid to conveying a sense of historical authenticity, even though this is a fantasy / romance novel about magic and time travel. I've studied and practiced herbalism, so I enjoyed the realistic and detailed accounts of the main character practicing herbalism throughout the book. The combination of realism and time travel made the story very compelling initially, but toward the end, I felt like I could not stand hearing another account of someone being beaten or tortured, or about the tedious process of treating painful cuts, bruises, broken bones and other injuries after the torture had subsided.
No, for the reasons stated above.
The romance aspect of the book was irresistible initially, but the overly-detailed descriptions of torture and injuries soon overshadowed the romantic story line.
The narrator for this book was excellent.
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.
"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.
"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.
"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!
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.
"Slow and boring"
The time travel concept made the book sound promising. However, the lack of knowledge of the geography of Scotland and other Scottish themes made some of the listening laughable. So much extraneous detail made for extremely long listening, resulting in impatience "to get on with it!" Less sex, less words and more actual story could have saved this novel...perhaps!
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.
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