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.
"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.
"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!
"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.
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.
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
"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.
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.
"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.
"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!
"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!
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