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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 (24294 )
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4.6 (17936 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Vegan Baker Decatur, GA United States 02-05-15
    Vegan Baker Decatur, GA United States 02-05-15 Member Since 2014

    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.

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    "One of my favorite novels, and fantastic narration"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meghan Wojnowski 01-25-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Background noise."

    I really liked the narrator but if you listen closely can can hear talking in the background, it's very distracting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adub Tacoma, WA 01-24-15
    Adub Tacoma, WA 01-24-15 Member Since 2014
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    "I'm really torn on the "performance""
    Would you consider the audio edition of Outlander to be better than the print version?

    n/a


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Outlander?

    the plot twists


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Davina Porter?

    Absolutely!


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nessa_at_home 12-28-14

    NessaLa

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Chock Full of Disgusting Scenes of Graphic Sadism"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    It would have been a much better story if the multiple scenes or graphic rape and torture had been omitted.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Diana Gabaldon again?

    No.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    It's hard to remember the good,when there was so much bad.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Revulsion


    Any additional comments?

    Avoid unless you want to read graphic scenes of sadism and abuse.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-17-14

    brownleaf

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "what started out as a delight became pure torture"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    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.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Diana Gabaldon? Why or why not?

    No, for the reasons stated above.


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

    No.


    What would have made this romance irresistible?

    The romance aspect of the book was irresistible initially, but the overly-detailed descriptions of torture and injuries soon overshadowed the romantic story line.


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator for this book was excellent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alyson Winningham 12-09-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Not a Sci-Fi book~"
    What would have made Outlander better?

    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.


    What was most disappointing about Diana Gabaldon’s story?

    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.


    What three words best describe Davina Porter’s voice?

    poetic and obnoxious at the same time. I tired if hearing her accent at about 8 hours.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Outlander?

    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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Denver, CO, United States 04-12-14
    Mark Denver, CO, United States 04-12-14 Member Since 2011
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    "I usually like time travel"
    Would you try another book from Diana Gabaldon and/or Davina Porter?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ty 04-11-14
    Ty 04-11-14 Member Since 2008
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    "I couldn't get past the time travelling Sci-fi"
    Would you try another book from Diana Gabaldon and/or Davina Porter?

    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.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Diana Gabaldon again?

    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.


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

    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.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristin 02-28-14
    Kristin 02-28-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Dreadful!"

    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.

    13 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracy H 10-23-13
    Tracy H 10-23-13
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    "Not what I expected"

    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.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
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  • Ghost Writer
    Dorset, England
    7/18/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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".

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Gwen
    United Kingdom
    7/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful fantasy"
    What made the experience of listening to Outlander the most enjoyable?

    I could work whilst listening and just loose myself in the story


    What did you like best about this story?

    The meshing of modern life with ancient ways


    What about Davina Porter’s performance did you like?

    She characterised the script very well


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me think about it all the time and I ended up trying to analyse the relationships


    Any additional comments?

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Daenerys
    Brighton, United Kingdom
    7/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Outlander to be better than the print version?

    Definitely! You can't stop reading this book it's so good but I can 'read' and cook, clean etc., at the same time.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Clare. Her sense of adventure, courage and romance is what I would like to be and to have a man like Jamie, well.... unprintable!


    What about Davina Porter’s performance did you like?

    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.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The best romantic adventure ever!


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anne-marie
    Crowborough, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • J
    Pewsey, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Siobhan
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "I'm hooked"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sazz
    High Wycombe, United Kingdom
    3/28/13
    Overall
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • zomodo
    3/27/13
    Overall
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • busymum
    7/14/12
    Overall
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Enn
    Carrickmacrosss, Ireland
    6/22/12
    Overall
    "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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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