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Outlander Audiobook

Outlander: Outlander, Book 1

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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

4.5 (39903 )
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4.5 (32074 )
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4.7 (32175 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Charles La Porte, IN, United States 12-28-13
    Charles La Porte, IN, United States 12-28-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Romance Novel, Not Much Action"

    If you like a romance novel, then you'll probably enjoy this book. I don't, and I didn't. With the apparently large number of favorable reviews on Audible, I thought that this book must be pretty interesting. After about 8 hours of listening, I realized that the book is nothing more than a romance novel. I don't enjoy that genre of writing, and found the book disappointingly boring. I tried to keep listening in the hope that the writing would move on to some interesting plot twist and action, but I finally had to give up. My wife and I listened to this book together for the approximately 8 hours, and she agreed that the plot was just too boring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Bettridge Co 12-11-13
    J. Bettridge Co 12-11-13

    John

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wasn't for me"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I purchased this book despite the warnings about the extensive, near ridiculous romance scenes. I think those who enjoy romance novels will appreciate this book, it just wasn't for me.


    What was most disappointing about Diana Gabaldon’s story?

    Fair warning: mild spoiler below.

    In general she started with a compelling plot, and a fictional history that I enjoyed very much. But as soon as the protagonist was wedded to her Scottish lover, the entire book seemed to become about their love making. It became tedious fast.


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

    Cut about 1/2 the sex scenes, and you have a compelling, well moving novel.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Alameda, CA 12-03-13
    Amazon Customer Alameda, CA 12-03-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
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    97
    18
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    Story
    "Why is this so popular?"

    I saw all the positive reviews and thought "this many people can't be wrong." However, this many people also find professional wrestling entertaining, so, I guess this many people CAN be wrong. I didn't like this book. It was listed as Fantasy, but is mostly, almost entirely, not. It was a frustrating listen as the main character stumbled along into one calamity after another. She also spend a fair bit of time getting serviced, which sounds find and good, but really started to get a bit dull after, oh, I don't know, the 800th time. I'll skip the next in the series, and all others from Ms. Gabaldon. I'm sure she has her place and her following, but it was soooo far from what I was looking for. It felt like it really belonged in the paperback section with Fabio on the cover.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Austin, TX, United States 11-30-13
    James Austin, TX, United States 11-30-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    30
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    "Too much of a harlequin type of feel"
    What disappointed you about Outlander?

    The story just sucked. For what the author wanted to tell, it took way too long. And maybe I misunderstood what I was getting. I felt there was too much of the romance than the historical fiction that was described. I just don't need to wade through 200 pages describing the different ways the lead characters make love. It doesn't move the story along.The reason I bought the book is that the plot was intriguing to me. Woman goes back in time and has to deal with those issues. But that was never explored and, in my opinion, the story just got stuck in quick sand. Or more to the point, a gif. Just regurgitating the same thing over and over again.


    What was most disappointing about Diana Gabaldon’s story?

    Again the endless time wasted on describing how the two leads made love. Describe it once and your good. I am not interested in listening to how it was in the straw, or hot springs or in the inn with everyone listening or ...


    Which character – as performed by Davina Porter – was your favorite?

    She did a good job with them.


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

    No.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie Stern Durham, NC 10-19-13
    Leslie Stern Durham, NC 10-19-13 Member Since 2016

    springcleaningnow

    ratings
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    6
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    Story
    "Amazing Narrator Amazing Author Amazing Book"
    What did you love best about Outlander?

    Davina Porter has to be my most favorite female narrator EVER (Jim Dale is my favorite male narrator). She is able to nail Claire's British accent and a sexy lower register Jamie Fraser...and all kinds of other characters and accents in between. I am amazed every time I hear her narrate this story.


    What other book might you compare Outlander to and why?

    I wish I knew what other book compares.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I don't have 1 favorite scene. It's impossible to pinpoint just one.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Absolutely, but there aren't enough hours in the day. I have listened 3 times already and will probably again. I steal away to this book whenever I have the chance...driving in my car, folding laundry, laying down in my bed at night, whenever!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hoheria 10-18-13
    Hoheria 10-18-13
    ratings
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    145
    6
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    Performance
    Story
    "I really tried but ..."

    I really persisted with this one but couldn't get past the totally unbelievable reaction of the protagonist to being transported a couple of millennia into the past. The narrator was pleasant to listen to but the performance was crop,ed by the material.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine 10-18-13
    Katherine 10-18-13

    I love to read mysteries, histories, biographies, humor, and Jane Austen.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent performance, the story not so much"

    So many folks have told me that I simply MUST read this series. So I gave the audio book a try.

    The good - the performance was excellent. The reader does a fine job of seamlessly shifting from English to Scottish accents, and her characters are well-defined vocally. No problems following the plot or which person was speaking.

    The bad -. I simply could not stand the central character. She stupidly gets herself into trouble repeatedly because she won't accept that her values and mores clash with the time into which she has been thrust. I also hated a lot of the dialogue. Do people really talk like that? Conflicts continually arise because characters jump to bad conclusions and won't say what's on their minds. The prolonged and frequent sex scenes were frankly boring after awhile. Finally, the male characters - no matter how wounded, no matter how close to death - were almost always the savior of this annoying damsel in distress. She does get herself out of a few scrapes, and helps to save her beloved at a couple of points, but mostly she waits to be saved. Very tiresome!

    I finished the audiobook but have absolutely no interest in continuing the series.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tedd Dover, NH, United States 10-17-13
    Tedd Dover, NH, United States 10-17-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I dont understand the great reviews from everyone"
    What disappointed you about Outlander?

    SLOW story, very predictable. At no point did I care. This read like a teen girl romance, where the actual plot wasn't even important in comparison to the "strong female lead."

    I gave it about a quarter of a way through before I had to bail.

    It's not a terrible book, but it's just not any good.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    narration was fine.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    VT 10-06-13
    VT 10-06-13 Member Since 2015

    Bookworm

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Feels just like a romance novel"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I don't really feel there is much of a story to this except it really just feels like a romance novel with a sadistic twist. Story-wise, it's a bit weak for me and I really don't like the female lead. Hard to like someone who can just forget about her husband (presumably she was still in love at the time) after just a month.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brenden Rocky Mount, VA, United States 10-05-13
    brenden Rocky Mount, VA, United States 10-05-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I really wanted to like it"
    What would have made Outlander better?

    This book was the typical seemingly strong independent woman who really just wants to be dominated by the "bad boy who is actually a good guy" type of romance. I really wanted to love it, but the pacing was dreadfully slow, and I actually never finished it. I had wanted a series to pull me in, so I even looked, after finishing about 90% of this, to see if maybe it was just a fluke, and maybe the later books would be more engrossing, but from the reviews I read, it sounds like the other books are more of the same.


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

    Definitely the spanking scene. Domestic violence is not okay. Romanticized domestic violence is even worse. I understand it was part of the culture, but this really made me dislike Jamie. Especially when it has the other men telling him afterwards that he didn't need to be so rough. If he would have done it reluctantly, it would have been one thing, but she made it clear that he took great pleasure from it, and that is simply disturbing.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • L
    BridgendUnited Kingdom
    10/1/06
    Overall
    "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.

    45 of 50 people found this review helpful
  • John
    United Kingdom
    12/2/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Get out of bed and get on with the story!"
    What would have made Outlander better?

    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.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Diana Gabaldon again?

    Emphatically not!


    Would you be willing to try another one of Davina Porter’s performances?

    Highly unlikely.


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

    About 60% of it.


    Any additional comments?

    I can honestly say that nothing I have read has annoyed me more than this series.

    40 of 45 people found this review helpful
  • Sceptical Shopper
    UK
    3/6/12
    Overall
    "Entertaining romp"

    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.

    25 of 28 people found this review helpful
  • Alan
    Northwich, Cheshire, United Kingdom
    3/28/07
    Overall
    "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!

    31 of 35 people found this review helpful
  • Marcus H.
    Oxfordshire. United Kingdom
    9/14/12
    Overall
    "Clichéd chick-lit"

    I actually fell for the 5* reviews on this book and feel like a bit of a fool for doing so. This really is "chick lit" and quite poor at that. The story is historically very weak indeed and is really aimed at female titillation because every other scene revolves around sex and, to be honest, it's so damned boring! What's more it has the clichéd goody v baddy storyline that has been done to death since time immemorial.



    It took so long to get going that I almost gave up on it on three or four occasions. It's a shame really because when it did get going it was actually quite good but for 70% of the time it wasn't. If it wasn't for Davina Porter's amazing narration I don't think I'd have stuck it out til the end. Without her wonderful voice the whole thing would've ground to a halt rapidly.



    To put it in the sci-fi/fantasy section is a bit misleading because the only thing that is faintly related to this genre is the initial time slip. With a bit of imagination from the author we could've really been put into the excitement and terror of a 20th century woman suddenly finding herself in the 18th century but instead we have a main character that knew exactly how to behave and speak from the start and was all too accepting of her situation.



    Because the times where the story got moving were quite good I give it 3*s but for the most part it was a load of tosh and I certainly shall not be listening to any more of the series!

    26 of 30 people found this review helpful
  • Karen
    Douglas Water, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom
    5/10/07
    Overall
    "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.

    25 of 29 people found this review helpful
  • R
    Templeogue, Ireland
    2/27/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrible Story, Terrible Charactars"

    I found this book one of the worst books I have ever had the misfortune to purchase from Audible. The basic premise of the book is fine, however...... it completely lost me when the main characters new husband is basically forcing himself on her, she then decides that he is doing such a good job that it is not really rape after all.

    Similarly, when her husband beats her for wandering off and needing to be rescued she is first extremely put out. But after thinking about it for a while she decides it was probably for the best.

    This book is a wife beating rapists wet dream.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Victoria
    High Wycombe, United Kingdom
    4/26/12
    Overall
    "Mind-numbingly dull"

    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.
    Dreadful!

    42 of 50 people found this review helpful
  • Stewart
    Manchester, United Kingdom
    11/3/11
    Overall
    "Excruciating!"

    I acquired this as the free title in a 3 for 2 offer. Thank goodness I didn't pay for it!
    Be very careful, the sample is taken from the sensible start of the book.
    I only managed half of it - 16 hours of sex and violence fantasies are more than enough for me.
    If your idea of fun is a huge 18th century be-kilted Scotsman being beaten and having sex incessantly, this may be for you.

    20 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • Paul D
    Normandy, France
    12/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Eat your heart out Barbara Cartland!"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Some degree of historical reality/accuracy is useful in a historical novel,.


    What was most disappointing about Diana Gabaldon’s story?

    Lacked any depth, just a bodice ripper using a historic setting - the Scottish highlands. No conception or the era or realistic characterization.


    Did Davina Porter do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

    No. Heroine, "oh gosh, I've time travelled, never mind."


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

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    19 of 23 people found this review helpful

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