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 focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
As a historical romance this book has really steamy explicit sex scenes and more than a bit of sadistic violence. The sex scenes are from the female perspective, and quite steamy but not at all crude.
This is a superior historical romance and it is well read, but it remains only a historical romance. This is not science fiction or fantasy, the time travel is only a tiny plot device that solves a really annoying problem with historical romance. The female protagonist must think in a modern way to be approachable and interesting to modern women, the time travel bit was a brilliant little technique to allow this. I don’t consider this a love story, as there is a lot more to love than what is under the kilt. This was a story of passion, with a bit of adventure and a historical context.
I am a guy, and I don’t tend to like historical romances unless the novel transcends the genre, this novel was good, but did not transcend. In the end, it was just a sequence of scenes (romance, passion, adventure, historical, violent, and steamy) with nice characters and a historical context but never really going anywhere. I find most historical romance either totally unreadable, or enjoyable only because they are so bad they are funny. Outlander scenes are well written and enjoyable, and if I were a bored female, I may have really appreciated the steamy scenes, but I want more from a novel, I want an arc or epic, or exploration, or transformation, or something. Outlander was mildly entertaining but nothing else.
Hello, my name is Teresa and I'm an addict.
This book is the most boring and trite of stories. There was no romance and no agenda for the heroine to go home only lots of attempted rapes and stories of rape. I would have even been happy if it was a bodice ripper book but by the time the bodice ripping part actually came it was very disappointing. Then there was lots and lots of crappy sex scenes including abuse not romance/love. I don't get all the great reviews. This book is defiantly not a five star review with 8 additional books later worthy kind of book as many of the other reviewer seem to think.
There is a lot to be said about the details in books. This book is trying to be realistic by showing how awful life is back in the day, but the details are only good until the author decides to leave out obvious ones or change them to fit her story. It's amazing that everything that is written back in Scotland was in English. Claire seemed to be able to read everything and nobody commented on the fact that first she can read and second it is all in English. She also acts ignorant of medical procedures that were used back in the day, but claimed she is a nurse. Even I know about most of it.
Not to mention the heroine doesn't act like she has any desire to return home she goes about it only as an afterthought. I also don't get why she said she was a widow and that she believed it. She was supposedly in love with her husband Frank and instead of trying to get back, she settles in and tells everybody she's a widow. Now I understand she is in a difficult situation but back in those days it would have been safer to say you were married. This made it convenient for the story line that she wasn't married but to me it was a big fat lie. Another thing that bugs me is that she doesn't have any problems with the way life was lived, I would think that since she came from the future she would have had difficulties adjusting to it. Claire didn't act like she actual had any real emotion over the events that were happening to her.
These are just a few of the problems I had with this book, there were more. Narrator was okay, maybe a bit boring. She did mispronounce several words which was annoying. I defiantly will not be continuing with this series.
As all Ms. Gabaldon's books run 30+ hours, some 40+, I have to say No. I have been treated to Ms. Porter in other selections, and am sure to encounter her again. Not a terrible prospect, but not one to which I look much forward, either.
Obviously, the author dedicated all her time and much of her energy to it. Most impressive.
Ms. Porter makes Claire Randall sound as if she might be approaching 50. Another reader would have brought more vitality and sexuality to the part
Only if it were boiled down to @ 2 hours, which is doubtful.
Lorenzo I like fantasy, Science fiction and thrillers books
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.
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.
The reader was very good she changed accent and tone so the could tell the characters apart out quite well.
The good parts:
1. The description of the era was very detailed and seemed accurate.
2. The premise and ideas were original
This is not a bad book but maybe aimed a romantics that like historic settings
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.
Just to let you folks looking for science fiction or fantasy know. This is truly neither. It does have a good vibe going for historical Scotland, with some decent action episodes. However, its really what I imagine is a lady's romance novel would read like. I've never read one, until this one. Anyway, if you want to hear about how this woman is pleased by her strong Scottish man in bed, in vague romantic terms, please listen. Otherwise, you may want to avoid.
Good writing has ... a balance and a rhythm. You can feel that much better when it's read aloud. --Laura Hillenbrand, author of Unbroken
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 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.
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.
"Not what I expected"
I was expecting a lot from this book. I love historical novels and when I saw all the rave reviews for the Outlander series I thought I'd stumbled across a goldmine of books that would keep me entertained for months.
Not so, unfortunately.
I persevered with the book until the end but it really was hard work. It had all the makings of a great story but somehow it just didn't get there. Its weird tangent of what turned out to almost be S&M soft porn is really not what I was expecting, and there didn't seem to be any kind of "ending" to the story. I know it might lead into the next book of the series but I certainly won't be buying it.
On the plus side, I did find the narrator quite good.
"an awsome read!"
I wish I could give this book 6 out of 5. Truly wonderful. Historical fighting, love, scottish history, passion. I thought it sounded a bit strange from the blurb, and only got it because I wanted a really long book to go away with. I had to get the next installment straight away! I just couldn't wait.
"Applaud Writer and Narrator"
I found this book to be so enjoyable and the characters really bring the story alive. I must say the book is fantastic but you have to listen with Davina Porter narrating as she is great with the difference voices and accents that she draws you in, it would not be the same without her. I coudn't put my Ipod down at times and even sneaked to listening while at work. I have never done this with any other book. Will now be going through all the books in the series.
"Funny, energetic and alive. A stunning work."
From the very beginning you can tell this is going to be good. It takes exactly 60 seconds to settle into and never lets you go. It is both well written and well read. Both author and narrator come together to bring this to life.
I really thought I would not like the subject matter for this book. I tend to go for things set in the future not the past - preferring Sci-fi to "Historical" works.
I was wrong.
If you are like me, not sure if you'd like the subject matter - give it a go.
The story progresses well with good pace and characters you can relate to. There is just enough humour - it will make you chuckle without going over the top and detracting from the story.
"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.
"Not for me"
I rarely give up on a novel, but this one just seemed a little too silly in its premise.
This title would have been good if it weren't for the countless explicit descriptions of her lovemaking, I thought I was going to get an historical adventure but this should be labelled under erotic fiction, there was far too much descriptive sex and not enough action and had I known I would not have bought this title, this isn't really about adventures in Scotland but more about her sexual adventures.
"Not for men!"
I so wanted to like this book. My wife raved on about it and my mum had read it over a dozen times! All the ingredients were in place for a great read; time travel, the central characters present day husband related to the antagonist. Unfortunately, the storyline just dragged on, there was so much sex it was boring and Jamie Fraser was way too perfect for my liking!
Not time travel novel but this series yes
The narration was spot on to be fair
Every scene with Mr Jamie "Could do no wrong" Fraser in!
"Long and Boring"
It was boring and often incredulous.
The heroine spoke in a way that would not have been understood in the year in which she was supposed to be living. Also, she forgot at times what she had said before, as once she said the poison was arsenic and next it was cyanide.
The only enjoyable scene was the one where her friend was trying to hypnotise her.
I would have cut the book in half. The long love scenes became totally boring. The whole book seemed pointless after a while.
I would not listen to any more of this series. It was a huge chore to finish this one. However, it has to be said that the narration was excellent.
I wasn't really sure what to expect from this novel. I did know that this was a historical romance but with a twist, due to the timeslip. I guess I was expecting to read more about the main characters feelings about being thrown back to 18th century life in the Highlands rather than her love-affair with a hulking, ginger Highlander. Surely being cast back to the 18th century must have been a terrifying experience? Even more so in the Scottish Highlands. How did she learn to cope and to adjust?Everything about life there must have been very different, and to everyone else she should have stuck out like a sore thumb, right down to her speech. Instead she adapts to 18th century Highland life without many issues, establishes herself as a physician and gets very hot and steamy with her ginger Highlander. All her differences are dealt with by the Highlanders seemingly pegging her as an upper class English woman and her ability to cope with cold, drafty castles, vermin and questionable hygiene is put down to her having served as a nurse on the front during WWII, therefore being used to rough living without modern conveniences. Ok so I can sort of buy that, and having said all of the above, the novel is actually well written and Davina Porter's narration is superb. I kept on with it as I was very curious to see where it goes and was hoping for some sort of ending that warranted all the hype. Unfortunately the story is unfinished and one must read the next installment to find out what happened. I think if you love the romance genre then this series is a real winner. If you are more interested in the time-travel aspect you will be disappointed.
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