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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 (39838 )
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4.7 (32117 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Tony 02-13-13
    Tony 02-13-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thank goodness it's over !!!"

    I should have paid more attention to the reviews. I guess this is a historical romance but it left me hoping for something else. I found the story to be tedious and yet I completed it as I kept thinking that the action may improve and provide a counterbalance to the lengthy descriptions of the love evolving between the two main characters. Anyway, on to something better but I will never get those many hours back. I take it that I am not a hopeless romantic just hopeless!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann 02-13-13
    Ann 02-13-13 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "LOVE THESE BOOKS!"

    I listen to an average of 100 books a year, and the Outlander books are some of my most favorite! I find myself going back and listening (they have to be fantastic for me to want to re-listen) time and again. Davina Porter does a brilliant job with the narration!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Harrison 02-12-13
    M. Harrison 02-12-13

    Just my .02."

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "BORING--Grass Grows Faster Than the Plot Moves"

    I usually really enjoy romantic historical fiction, so I was eager to give this one a listen. I have just downloaded the third part of this book, and I keep waiting for it to be a good book, like so many of the reviews here say it is. So far, I've been disappointed.

    I've seen grass grow faster than the plot moves. (I'd try to find other witty comparisons, but you get the idea.) We're expected to believe this otherwise intelligent, well educated female gets transported back 200 or so years in time, and her reaction is, essentially, oh well.

    A lot of time is spent describing the day to day of your average Scottish keep, and while detail is appreciated, especially if it's historically accurate, I think Gabaldon really overdoes it. She drones on and on about trivialities. I was almost to the second part of the download before any movement in the plot caught my attention.

    I have to say to those who download a romance novel then complain about lovemaking interludes--why did you bother downloading, then? Gabaldon is actually pretty mild compared to some I've read.

    Overall, I want my money back. I've read more interesting phone books.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Garcia Los Angeles, CA USA 02-11-13
    Jennifer Garcia Los Angeles, CA USA 02-11-13 Member Since 2017

    itlnbrt

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Jamie and Claire"

    When I realized this author was American and wrote a book with such accuracy in locations, language, references, wars, and old wives tales I was amazed. the book is so good and it made me want to transport myself to Scotland. I will admit that at times I was tired of all of the action... the characters in the book always seemed to find themselves in trouble, but it also made it quite adventurous and interesting. I will definitely follow the series as I am completely invested in these characters and must know how they go on.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    vicki CLINTON, OKLAHOMA, United States 02-09-13
    vicki CLINTON, OKLAHOMA, United States 02-09-13 Member Since 2017

    Nurse Anesthetist. Love audiobooks!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "like spending time with longtime friends"

    I am listening to this series again for the fourth or fifth time and each time I learn something that I didn't hear the previous times. The stories are amazing. Full of history and emotion that takes the reader right into the story. I can't wait to someday go to Scotland and see the many geographical sites that are sprinkled throughout the story. I can see, in my minds eye, the characters so clearly as described by Diana Gabaldon. Davina Porter is wonderful as the narrator. She has a way of doing the voices of the different characters that makes them feel so real. Her accents are great!
    I have listened to well over a thousand books and would have to say that this series is by far, my very very favorite. If I could only have had history teachers that could have brought history alive like these books I would have never found history boring. Do yourself a favor and listen to these books, in order.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Ocala, Fl USA 02-07-13
    Amazon Customer Ocala, Fl USA 02-07-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    132
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    "Very well written book"

    This book was well written with good development of characters. Some good action and a lot of sexual situations. I prefer books that are more concise. This book could have been less lengthy and not have lost any appeal.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jolanta 01-05-13
    jolanta 01-05-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "not into it"
    What did you like best about Outlander? What did you like least?

    i know people love this, maybe i will try again but at this point i haven't been able to get into it


    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sherry Salamina, Greece 01-03-13
    sherry Salamina, Greece 01-03-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointed"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The story began so promising, such in interesting premise; but as it progressed into what I found to be silly, repetitive lovemaking scenes, without propelling the story forward, I finally gave up and actually never finished listening.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Sadly, I never got that far!


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disapointment


    Any additional comments?

    I did enjoy the narrator and the character sketches were very good. Just too much silly, repetitive sexual descriptions, which took away from, didn't add to the story line.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nana 12-27-12
    Nana 12-27-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A romance novel, not sci-fi"
    Would you try another book from Diana Gabaldon and/or Davina Porter?

    I really like the narrator, Davina Porter. She has a wonderful voice and the only reason I made it to chapter 17-18.


    Has Outlander turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes. Romance novels are not my cup of tea.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Historical referenses


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, United States 12-19-12
    Anna COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, United States 12-19-12 Member Since 2012

    I listen to books as I work. It's a beautiful life.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Worth your credit, but not a five star rating"

    I find this a hard critic to write, because there are so many different aspects to this book, some that I liked and some that I disliked. I’ll form my critic in bullet point format by my likes & dislikes for the first half of the book (the weakest in my opinion).

    The second half of the book (Part 3 & 4) got a lot more interesting & action packed. The story flew along by the awesome narration of Davina Porter.

    First Half

    Dislike:

    1. The introduction of the book, which takes place in current time (1944’ish), was very short. The author did not delve into Claire’s relationship with her husband in depth, except to express that they had sex a lot. The author seemed to indicate that there was commitment & love between Claire and her husband, but she didn’t elaborate.
    2. Because of the good marriage that Claire had with her husband in current day, the book seemed unrealistic in how quickly she gave up the idea of her marriage and fell in love/lust with Jaime (from the past) instead. She hardly seems to miss her husband at all and didn't try that hard to get back home.
    3. Let’s face it; there is a LOT of descriptive sex in the first half. I chose to ignore it, for the most part, by fast forwarding my iPod. It just gets excessive and boring.
    4. The most unrealistic part of the 1st half (spoiler alert) is how she responded after receiving a brutal beating from her Highlander husband, Jaime. She is angry about it for a couple days, but pretty quickly accepts that it was probably the right thing and forgives him and goes back to loving/lusting after him. That’s not a normal reaction from any woman that has never been struck in her life, and I thought that was an odd/unrealistic response from the main character.

    Like:

    1. The author does a really good job with character development of the Highlander characters. She does a good job of bringing the reader into the past with Claire and painting a believable picture of what it would have looked like.
    2. The narrator is awesome! She does a great job with the different accents that are required of her and it’s an easy listen.

    Overall ~ a interesting listen and a different plot then I've heard before.

    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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