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.
For months I put off buying the abridged version of this audiobook in hopes of buying the unabridged version. Finally, after months of waiting and an..Show More » e-mail or two to Audible Customer Service, I bought the abridged version. Alas, the very next month, the unabridged version came out. As such, I've had the opportunity to listen to both.
Admittedly, the abridged version gives the highlights, however, it can't give sufficient background info or do full justice to Gibaldon's outstanding storytelling ability. While 38 hours for the unabridged version might seem daunting, it's a delightful sojurn. Who, in the midst of a love affair is anxious for it to end? That's the journey this author offers.
If you're new to Diana Gibaldon's "Outlander" series, start with the first book, "Outlander." Once again, I highly recommend the unabridged version. "Dragonfly in Amber" is the second of six or more books in the series.
The narrator, Davina Porter, does a fine job of presenting Claire Randall, the story's spunky protagonist (complete with captivating British accent) as well as the other characters.
This is an outstanding book! Please enjoy it to it's fullest--unabridged and at your leisure. It's a great way to pass hours in the car. (Handheld computer or MP3 player via FM transmitter through the car stereo). Besides, listening to the full version will allow time for audible.com to obtain the next book in the series in unabridged format.
I LOVE these books! Davina Porter is AMAZING and brings all the characters to life in this series. I listen to them about once a year and cannot wai..Show More »t to have them ALL on my ipod (right now they are on tapes...ugh!) You will not be disappointed (as long as you get the UNABRIDGED version..you won't want to miss a minute of this story!)
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!
It is about time The Fiery Cross was made available in the unabridged version!!! I love this whole series and was devastated at the abridged version ..Show More »of this book! It was total butchery! Diana is an amazing writer encompassing history and romance with action/adventure, myths and legends and time travel all within an amazing story! And NO ONE could narrate these books other than Davina Porter! Her ability to give each of the characters their own distinct voice allows the reader to know who is speaking without being told and she has a firm grasp on each personality so that it makes the listener feel as if they are not only a part of the story but a part of the family as well. Can't wait for book 8!!!
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. :)
I've listened to all the books in this series and love them all! I'm anxious for the unabridged versions of "The Fiery Cross" and "A Breadth of Snow ..Show More »and Ashes" to become available on Audible. You might think that 45 hours of listening is daunting, but this book includes many new characters and their integral roles with the main characters. I'm curious to see if D.G. is going to flesh out Ian's character in her next book since I felt like she teased us with his role in this book. I was however, disappointed with the ending, it just seemed to stop. D.G. is such a wonderful writer that I expected a better ending than she delivered. Don't let this stop you from purchasing the book, it is well worth it.
Did not care for narrator, maybe if Davina Porter had done it, it would have meant something. Boring and just seemed like it had nothing to do with Ou..Show More »tlander series. Wasted money, I prefer thinking it happened the way Outlander explained it. Thought it might bridge the gap while waiting for next book to come out, I was wrong.