I had read a few audiobooks and had even joined Audible. But until I read this book I did not understand the magic of the format. Before reading thi..Show More »s book I had no interest in1) romance 2) science fiction or fantasy and 3) time travel genres. I'd heard enough about the series that it piqued my interest because I loved historical fiction. Especially the period of time I knew the book covered. And I always found the challenge of tackling a big book rewarding.
This book changed so many of my perceptions of genre and reading format. While I still argue that though there is definitely a romantic and sexual relationship at the books core, it was only one part of the adventure. It still doesn't fit the romance genre to me, but it did such a good job of weaving romance and sexuality into the adventure it made me curious to read more traditional romance novels and see if they handled the topic as well. They didn't, but I discovered other good books I never would have tried of not for Outlander.
Likewise, other than Anne Rice's Vampire series which I had read many years ago, this was one of my very rare ventures into fantasy-science fiction. Setting aside my understanding of reality to accept someone else's is always difficult. But reading Outlander and the subsequent books in the series, I found myself trying to work out in my mind how this might have happened. It encouraged me to explore this genre more thoroughly as well. Even more surprising, it made me evaluate my perception of "time", what it means and how it works. I found myself paying more attention to physics and the study of the time and space relationship.
The twists and turns of the plot kept me turning the page just like the best mysteries I read. While reading the book there were enough unanswered questions, clues and short glimpses of scenes or events that caught my attention and made me store them away to remember "when all was revealed." But all was not revealed at the end and I found myself turning over these clues and snippets, trying to determine their significance, what I thought they meant and what their purpose was. One requirement of a great book is that you cannot get it out of your mind after you turn the last page. This book met that criteria. I thought about it for weeks.
Most importantly I learned that other voices can bring a whole new level to the reading experience, if it is the right voice for the right book. I would have enjoyed this book regardless, but if I read it myself and heard my voice in my head the characters would never have come so alive as they did in Davina Porter's voice. This is a perfect marriage of book and narrator. I was so surprised when I later discovered more about Porter's age, experience and background. She made a 21 year old Scotsman come to life. Her voice is Jamie to me. She handled each character wonderfully, although it is the first and only time I have ever listened to a book or series of books and thought a woman narrator did a better job on the men's voices than she did on the women's. I have loved hearing how the narrator has aged the character's voices throughout the series. You hear the young Jamie in the middle aged Jamie's voice, but you also hear the growth and maturity. I have accepted the narrators in the Lord John series, even when the book includes Jamie and actually think they are narrated well. But I am not certain I could accept another narrator for future Outlander books.
Finally, my initial interest in this book was from a historical fiction viewpoint. A good historical fiction novel, by Bernard Cornwell or Sharon Kay Penman sticks to as much historical fact as possible but presents it in an engaging and relate-able format. It makes you interested enough in the times and events that you will endure the dry-er, less lively recitation of facts of that same event or time in a nonfiction book, just to learn more. Outlander and this series delivered that in spades.
I agree with all these glowing reviews, especially the reviewer who said they were in intense pain for Jamie and Claire! I cannot stop thinking about ..Show More »these characters---they are so compelling.
I thank Audiblebooks so much for my finding the Outlander series---I am obsessed.
This second book is absolutely wonderful as it moves back and forth through time. One of the author's brilliant writing touches is to present something---an event that a character tells, and then later reveal what really happened.
I have already started on the third book in the series and I don't want it to end! As I said, I'm obsessed.
I now have my husband just as hooked on the saga of Jamie and Claire as I am (except I actually went out and bought the printed books to read because ..Show More »Audible only has the 1st three unabridged books). DO NOT try and make do with the abridged versions because they are awful. If you must wait-they will be worth it. The first 3 are for download here (about 40 hours each). They are long but you are still wanting more. My husband and I listen to a little bit every time we get in the car together (I've already listened to them all).
Davina Porter brings them all to life-you can tell who is talking without the "he said-she said" at the end of the sentances.
Thank you so much for obtaining the unabridged version of Drums of Autumn. I was soooo immersed in the lives of Claire and Jamie but the abridged vers..Show More »ion, which I purchased, was like replacing fine wine with Kool Aid! I immediately asked when you might have the unabridged version and you listened to me. Here it is!
In addition, Davina Porter has become the voice of Claire for me, so it's incredible to have her back in this version.
Again, thanks again...this is like opening a surprise gift!
Have listened to all Diana's books (twice)- including the abridged version (hated it). The detail and depth of her stories are what makes them so gre..Show More »at, not to mention Davina's wonderful narration. I am in love with Jaime- and appreciate the research that went into the historical part of the novels. Would love for this series to go on forever. Great listen and well worth the credit!
Davina Porter's narration is perfect -- again. She is the voice of Claire for me. When I read the words, I hear Davina Porter. Plus, she handles all t..Show More »he other characters incredibly well, with a superb ability to set them apart and to hold their distinctions from beginning to end and from book to book.
Once again, I'm at the end of 57 hours of listening and would be just fine if there were more. I marvel at Diana Gabaldon's ability to write with quality and in quantity. If you're a fan, this is one of the most terrific books in the series. If you've not become a fan yet, start at the beginning. The characters are complex and getting the full measure of their lives is one of the most splendid things about this series.
First off, Davina Porter is hands down my favorite voice ever, no contest. I'm tempted to buy other audio she has done just to listen to a masterful ..Show More »voice actress. As far as Echo goes, I enjoyed it as much as any other Outlander book to date. I have an understanding that this feels like a transitional book (because Jamie and Claire can't live forever) but the character development of Roger, Brianna, Jeremiah and William are comforting for a potential new series. The thing I appreciate the most is an extremely long story that has such vivid detail and picks up and answers questions that may have been left in past outlander books. I actually get a little sad when the book is done because I know it will be some time before another new work is released. Thanks Diana and Davina!!
I have to confess that I am an Outlander addict. I love all the books in the series and I do believe Davina Porter is one of the best narrators I have..Show More » heard. I have been counting the days for Diana Gabaldons next book so "The Space Between: An Outlander Novella" has been the perfect little taste before the next book. This audio book is only just over 4 hours long so it is a little pricey if you compare that to the 40+ hours of the other Outlander series books.This novella is just a fast little story about Michael Murry (Jamie and Clair's nephew.) Joan (Jamies step-daughter) who is on her way to the convent in France,the Comte St Germain (we all thought he was dead!) and best of all Master Raymond! Hearing Master Raymond was like hearing from an old friend! The story is really short and telling you more then what Amazon says in the description would be a spoiler I think. For me it was well worth the credit just because it has been so hard waiting for" Written in My Own Hearts Blood" but I have to say if Diana Gabaldon should write more books or novellas about these characters I would most definitely read or listen to them. I sure hope she does cause it would be way to hard to wait for the next book after this one!
The long anticipated book 8 of this epic did not disappoint. Its been a long time since I read her last and I have to say I missed her flowing prose ..Show More »and description. First the plot: in this book she opens and many plot lines as she closes down. One thing I am very satisfied with is her ability to eventually get around to bringing clarity and closure to early open questions. For example, she closes a question raised in book three -- this kind of attention to detail is commendable in a writer and Gabaldon certainly demonstrates her mastery in this work.
She introduces more characters and lines in this book than I though necessary and I would have liked a little more focus on Roger and Brie and Jamie and Claire shifting some of the attention from Lord John and William -- after all they have their own series. That being said, she still crafts characters that I love and she does it with such grace and art. Got to love Jenny and Rachel and Ean and Dottie. The dialog of plain English was exceptionally well done.
This book is something to be savored, I though Galbaldon showed more of the human side to Jamie and Claire (certainly how they are ageing) and I very much like they way she did. I've read some criticism about her history and timelines and only say to those critics it is historic romantic F-I-C-T-I-O-N and a great one at that.
Must listen to book eight. Must listen to the series. Her blog says she hasn't started on book 9 and hints that book 9 might be the last. It will be torture to wait another two years but it will be worth the wait. Davina Porter rocks it out of the park -- who else can do Claire?
Love the ending -- that all I'll say! Please listen to this series.
As one of Diana Gabaldon's huge fan base, I came to this eighth "big book" expecting it to be wonderful -- and I was not disappointed!
Writt..Show More »en in my own Heart's Blood weaves four separate story lines effortlessly together, resolving all the cliff-hangers from An Echo in the Bone (while introducing some tempting new questions), enlarging our understanding of the characters -- and providing heart-stopping thrills pretty well all the way through!
When I get a new Outlander book, I find I have to read it very, very fast -- just to be sure everyone I care about will survive -- then I can go back and re-read it slowly, savouring all the delightful details, fascinating historical information and character development. And this is where the audio version really comes into its own: my first race through the book is always done on my Kindle, but enjoying all the details with Davina Porter's wonderful reading (she really is one of the very best readers around!) is utterly satisfying.
No spoilers in this review, I'm afraid -- but I cannot recommend this book too highly!