I downloaded this book years and years ago and settled down to a 30+ hour listen. Based on many raving reviews I thought the book was a time travel t..Show More »ale of beloved fiction. There was so much about the book that I knew I would enjoy. The time travel, the Scottish highlands, medicinal herbs, life hundreds of years ago, gardening...the list goes on.
However, I have to state up front I hate romance novels. At the half way point I had the sudden realization--I know I'm quick-- that this book was a dreaded romance novel. I was horrified and had heard enough of what Jamie wore or didn't wear under his kilt to last me forever. The heaving bodices were weighing me down as well. This was before Audible allowed returns of hated books. So I shelved the book with a shudder, gave up, and it sat there in my library untouched for years.
Fast forward to last month when the Outlander cable program started and I watched just to see what it was like. Well--to my shock--it is wonderful. The filming, the setting, the costumes--all fantastic. So I'm listening again with renewed interest. I cringe a bit every now and then to be honest. But I am enjoying the book at long last. I can see what those positive reviewers were about. Living proof that if you don't like a book give it time. You might like it after all.
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 have enjoyed everything Diana Gabaldon has written, but am most fond of the Outlander series. While this third book in the series isn't my favorite..Show More », there is so much to recommend about it. First, it fills in gaps. This is where you learn what happened in the 18th and the 20th century during the years between Culloden and when Jamie and Claire are finally reunited. It also deals with the fact that the lovers are middle aged when they reconnect and yet the passion remains. The characters are fully developed, older and wiser. It also introduces and fleshes out secondary characters that play important parts going forward. And finally, like all of her books, it provides several great jumping off points - those story-lines in her books based on real events and/or real people that encourage you to investigate and learn more about that time, place or person on your own.
I think some of her very best writing is in the book's beginning, at the end of the battle when Jamie is waiting to die. And in the middle of the book in the scenes where Jamie and Claire are nervously and clumsily reunited. The section written that introduces Mr. Willoughby is priceless. As are the sections dealing with everyone else's reactions to Claire's return.
The end gets a little confusing and bogged down, but the first 9/10ths of this book more than make up for that.
I have only huge enthusiastic praise for this enthralling, mesmerizing series.
I am completely wrapped up in the characters and they are so viv..Show More »id, so beautifully drawn that I feel I am in their world along with them.
I also cannot heap enough praise upon Davina Porter, the narrator of this extraordinary series.
She is magnificent---her voices make every character come alive and her accents are impeccable, as well as her tone whether the character be male or female.
I have to drag myself away from listening and I am continually finding things to do just so I can continue listening.
This is the 4th book in the series and I keep wanting to slow down because I don't want it to end.
I have got to write Diana Gabaldon and lavish her with overwhelming praise as I genuflect before her!
I don't want to give away any plot and spoil anything for those who haven't yet read this series. But the twists and turns; the wonderful way that Ms. Gabaldon weaves the characters in and out of the saga; the horrific events and the charming moments as well as the absolutely gorgeous, romantic sex will keep you enthralled.
Okay. Can you tell that I like this book?
I have been thoroughly enjoying the Outlander series. The first book, "Outlander" was just brilliant, and I also liked "Dragonfly in Amber" quite a bi..Show More »t. "Voyager" left a bit to be desired and "Drums of Autumn" was a good story but had slowed down the storyline and needed an editor badly. Gabaldon has become enamored of deeetaaaaaiil. She clearly does a lot of research into the subjects she writes about, even including excruciating detail about how things smell and what seasickness is like and the diets of Scottish farmers and... well... a lot of detail.
And in "The Fiery Cross" she really let loose. It's almost as if she can't help herself. It took several hours just to get through the first day of the novel. The book is much, much too long and clearly is intended as a transition to get the reader into the life of Jamie and Claire in the American wilderness. But there were many places where I just wanted them to MOVE ON ALREADY.
Why did I continue listening? Well, principally because Davina Porter is an absolute genius at narrating these books. I cannot praise her enough. She is simply perfectly brilliant. She has the wonderful Scots brogue down pat, and it contrasts beautifully with British accents she uses - several different ones. And her Scots brogue is distinctly different from her Irish brogue. And she delivers non-English as if she were a native speaker of each of the languages, from Gaelic to French to Mohawk to Iroquois. She even figured out how to deliver French spoken with a Gaelic accent! The only thing she can't do is American English. The Americans in the novel all ended up sounding like British. But that's OK. I'd listen to these books just to listen to her amazing skill and range.
I finished because I had to move on to "The Fiery Cross" as I'm not ready to abandon this wonderful saga. Gabaldon is that amazing a writer.
Fortunately the author and her agent have negotiated a change in her copyright contract to allow the sale of the unabridged version. Part of the agr..Show More »eement is that the abridged must remain available but that hopefully won't tempt anyone with a modest amount of good sense. After all how can you modify a book so large into such a small recording? (not without mangling it bad) The author is well known to dislike the abridged versions of her novels and is anxious that the remaining one, The Fiery Cross, be available in unabridged form around Nov. of 2011. As always I recommend reading the novels in order to get full benefit of the story of Claire and Jamie: Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, and Echo in the Bone. Each is technically self standing but each builds on its predecessors and you will be very happy to discover older characters and evens. So if you haven't read any of the Outlander series yet do start with the first, Outlander. You'll be glad you did. A Breath of Snow and Ashes is worth waiting for anyway. :)
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!!
Ooooh, what can I say about this epic saga? Is it over? It could be. I would be alright with the way it ended. A few lingering questions, but overall,..Show More » satisfying.
It is difficult to rate just this one book, really, as the lives of the many complex characters have ebbed and flowed over the course of all 8 novels. However, I will surely report to any fan that has not read this one yet, that I was not disappointed.
As I always like to mention (when worthy), Davina Porter, the narrator of the series in audio is vying for 1st place in my heart along with Jim Dale. Distinguishing and consistently performing such a huge cast of characters in different and memorable voices is a rare talent. Seriously, I have listened to hundreds of audiobooks and only few narrators stand out as having this unique and rare ability. Bravo! Standing O and all that.
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!
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!
It was not what I was expecting from Diana Gabaldon, It had the horror paranormal quirkiness. If You're not into zombies, and para-normal you won't li..Show More »ke this story. I have enjoyed all of the "Highlander" and "Lord John" series....This is just very different and has is not for everyone who likes Ms Gabaldon's books
Don't get this book if you're expecting another Claire and Jamie story. That's not what this is!
it's exactly what it says it's a "compan..Show More »ion" to the first four books. In the beginning, you get a foreword from Diana Gabaldon herself. Then you get basically the "Cliff's Notes" for the first four books in the series Outlander, Dragonfly In Amber, Voyager, and Drums of Autumn.
This book is mostly narrated by Diana herself. I find this fascinating .... some listeners say they thought she was a terrible narrator and that parts of this companion are boring -REMEMBER this is NOT a story - this is more like an educational guide and a journey into the mind of Diana herself. We find out how she goes about creating the most wonderful book series in the world. It's like getting into the mind of a mad scientist. She has such a quirky way of reading - I find her narration wonderful.
Maybe some people don't like this companion book simply because there's not enough Jamie and Claire (and while I love Jamie and Claire) - this companion book is absolutely fascinating to learn a little bit of the magic behind all of the madness or the madness behind the magic whichever you want to say! She delves into all kinds of things that's readers may have questions about - not only in the story but in her personal life.
What I think is really great that and author would open up to her audience like this! She even includes a couple recipes! (she does read them out - it's an audio book if you don't want to hear her read out recipes - just FF through that part!)
Without a doubt, the best part of the entire companion is her letter to a friend about how one of her days went. I was rolling laughing! She truly is amazing - she just has such a gift and it's not just when she's writing Outlander books - she can write a plain ol' letter and have you riveted!
She's let her readers and fans in on a little piece of herself. I am so thrilled that she decided to narrate most of it herself. If you're a true Diana Gabaldon fan (not just a Jamie and Claire fan) you're going to love this!
I do recommend purchasing the hardcover book as well so that you can look at the pictures, the horoscope chart, and recipes.
Oh my goodness the "Butt Cooties" section is hilarious - I'm talking laugh out loud type stuff.