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)
Massage Therapist, Yogini, Vegan Pastry Chef (former professional, now strictly amateur), photographer, potter, dilettante gardener, and dog and cat mom. Lover of arts, crafts, and food.
I've loved this series for years and just re-listened to Outlander for the third or fourth time. The story is timeless.
Davina Porter's narration is like a Gallic lesson - I've looked at the book in print and would never have figured out the pronunciations of names & endearments without her able assistance. She has very specific voices for all the characters and they come alive with her reading.
Warning: there is a great deal of fairly graphic sex and some violence and rape (not gratuitous - it's central to the story), so be aware that it can be triggering to some individuals. It's not George RR Martin-level torture, but pretty grisly nonetheless.
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.
I was under the illusion this was a book about time travel. Don't be fooled, that is how the story starts off but its just the spring board. This is a romance novel.
The most disappointing thing is the books homophobic undertones. Also the sex scenes in this book are over the top. I felt like I was reading soft porn several times and was rather annoyed that I thought I had bought a book about time travel and was stuck with a very long boring predictable graphic hetero love story.
poetic and obnoxious at the same time. I tired if hearing her accent at about 8 hours.
Im so very disappointed in how often writers create gay characters and they end up mentally ill or perverted in their stories. This is classic homophobic writing and its really stale.
Is it silly to criticize a time travel book as being "unrealistic"? It stretches credulity that a woman can find herself 200 years in the past and yet fit in just fine and pass as a person of that time. The story is ok. The characters remain who they are throughout the book, there's know growing or changing. I found the sex scenes tedious. The performance was the best part of the book, the story leaves me cold. The epilogue (?) let me curious about will happen next, nevertheless I won't be listening to any more books in the series.
Not from the author, but I would listen to another book read by Porter. I expected Gabaldon to gloss over the absurdity of having her character traveling back in time, but instead the time traveling, trying to get back to the future, and wondering how the character's actions were affecting the future was actually THE primary theme of the book. My angst with the author's handling of that topic overshadowed the rest of the book and kept me from enjoying any other aspects of the story, such as the romance... which I only found to be mediocre.
No, I don't care for her storytelling. She's too long-winded, and events don't seem to have any deeper meaning or tie together to any understanding of some point... like an action movie that you see just for its special effects and explosions.
It was well read by Davina Porter. If you want a long tragic romance novel, then this is your book. Be prepared to buy the series, though, because nothing is concluded in the 22.5 hrs of this book, instead you will be enticed with a reading of the first 30 minutes of the next book.
I read so many reviews regarding how great this book is, I do not agree. It is interesting on the historical perspective, but in my opinion, worse than some bodice ripping romance novel....at least they are honest about what they are.
Gratuitous sex (and not in a good way) just made it strange and uncomfortable to listen to. Perhaps, with the book in hand the experience might be different; however, in my opinion, a waste of time.
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.
"Good idea for a story, bad realisation."
The idea of this story is good in context. However, the writer has spoilt what could be a good tail by excessive, frequent, monotonous and frankly boring sex scenes. I am very grateful that Audible provide the facility to return an unsatisfactory audio book, and I am about to do so.
If you're looking for a good story then don't buy this. If you have a dull sex life and are looking for something to spark it up, then don't buy this either!
My compliments to Davina Porter for her efforts in reading, she is wasted on this this "novel".
I could work whilst listening and just loose myself in the story
The meshing of modern life with ancient ways
She characterised the script very well
It made me think about it all the time and I ended up trying to analyse the relationships
Just couldn't turn it off. A most unusual romance,Claire is older than Jamie, he's a virgin - it just makes you sit-up and take notice!
Definitely! You can't stop reading this book it's so good but I can 'read' and cook, clean etc., at the same time.
Clare. Her sense of adventure, courage and romance is what I would like to be and to have a man like Jamie, well.... unprintable!
A wonderful performance, her many voices and dialects were such that when she spoke you knew who it was without any name. When I hear her voice I hear Clare. I am so pleased they have not changed the narrator throughout the series.
The best romantic adventure ever!
After reading 'Outlander' I have since purchased four more in the series and have read nothing else since. I am not looking forward to the series ending but am enthralled with the story and can't stop listening.
"A page turner"
This series from the first book captures the imagination and the descriptions are so vivid that it is as if Claire and Jamie become part of the family and you have to visit them every day until you have heard the whole saga.
They should come with a warning once you start you have to finish. It puts Margaret Mitchell's "Gone with the Wind" in the shade.
"time travelling love story"
Beautifully narrated by Davina Porter this time travelling historical novel tells what happens when you fall through time. Outlander tells Claire's story, having gone back in time some 200 years Claire finds herself in 1743, an English woman in the Highlands of Scotland, an 'Outlander' Here she meets Jamie an Injured Scottish warrior and outlaw. A former wartime nurse in her own time she has the ability to treat the injured Jamie. So starts what will become a story of love and passion set in the Scotland of the Jacobites and the English 'Redcoats' Having travelled from the future though Claire is well aware of the fate that awaits the Jacobites at Culloden.
Having read this book a few years ago, it is really nice to have it read to me as I do boring jobs or drive in the car. The reader has done a lovely job of bringing the characters to life, using different voices without falling into the realms of caricature. It's great!
"Wonderful book but the narrator is all wrong."
I loved the book and would thoroughly recommend it. However, the narrator in this production is all wrong. A combo of Margo from the The Good Life and a smug wartime news reader. Too matronly to be the 30 something, youthful, practical, likable Claire. I understand the style is of the era, but it's really annoying - and I'm not easily annoyed. Read the book is fantastic. Don't let this production ruin it for you.
"Couldn't finish it"
I thought this would be an excellent, long series to get into.
Going by the amazon reviews this is a brilliant book for many and horrible for some. I'm one of the few who didn't like it. It's really weird how the main character (forgotten her name) gets transported back in time, abruptly leaving her husband and then barely speaks about him (even when she remarries!) or indeed about her leaving her whole life behind. There are few emotions in this book, no real insight into what has happened, no ponderings or sadness, she just rolls gently along with her new life. However,I didn't get that far into the book tbh. This was the second time in a row that I had to abandon a book. It's not something I do lightly.
The Scottish accents are good though and the narrator did a relatively good job.
Download this with caution I'd say.
"Where was the editor?"
Well, I have a Y chromosome, so perhaps this wasn't written for me. I like a long story as much as anyone, but I felt this could have been made a lot better by trimming it by 25% or so. I'd have started by reducing the number of sex scenes (not that they are particularly badly written, but I didn't find them particularly interesting either). The other thing an editor should have done would have been to remove all the American usages the author (presumably unintentionally) puts in the mouth of her mid-20th century English narrator - the only one that didn't grate was "Jesus H Roosevelt Christ", which one can imagine her picking up from her patients.
I must mention the narrator - Davina Porter is absolutely superb. But not good enough for me to come back for the other installments.
"Definitely book of worth listening"
Romance, love, heroism, excitement, thrill, colorful description of 18 century Scotland and it's inhabitants. Very well narrated. Even as my first language is not English I still greatly enjoyed Scottish accent. It has everything what you will expect from a fascinating story
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