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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 (42202 )
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4.7 (34283 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Annie Slasher (Booked & Loaded) DALLAS, TX, United States 02-25-14
    Annie Slasher (Booked & Loaded) DALLAS, TX, United States 02-25-14 Member Since 2017

    Booked & Loaded

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    "Great Narrator - Not a Romantic Escape"

    Outlander by Diana Gabaldon is her first book in the Outlander series. It is normally tagged as Romance/Historical/Fantasy. 2 out of the 3 tags confuse the crap out of me and this might be one of the harder reviews I have ever had to write. Seriously.

    Apparently, this review needs actual discussion points. So let me start with the writing. There are many and it is entirely in first person. 800+ pages in first person is a lot. That being said, the words held that classic feel and undeniable talent of a word artist. The audiobook certainly did the author justice with beautifully spoken accents that captured the essence of every character.

    Point two – Characters. The two main characters being Claire and Jamie. Claire’s character seemed to take on many different feelings throughout the book, but I am reluctant to call it character growth. Claire felt undefined and muddy at times. As if the author had not made up her mind on how the character should be portrayed. At times I liked her and at other times I felt she needed more than a good swift kick in the ass. I felt Claire was especially disconnected in the first half of the book, which should not have happened with her first person point of view. The TV show is a hot topic of discussion lately – Jamie being most of it – the allure of him through most of the book was obvious. A wronged and beautiful man, especially in a kilt, conjures so many great fantasies and dream worthy thoughts. He was swoon worthy and glorious. His character, in contract to Claire’s, did feel especially well defined and level. However; the ending of Outlander pretty much takes any hope of keeping this appeal and throws it through a wood chipper.

    Point three – Secondary Characters. I thought the secondary characters were quite brilliant. They varied greatly and really added a nice texture to the story. I think it spoke a lot to that time, where good friends and family are the defining point between life and death.

    Point four – the Story. OK, so I am going to start by just saying that this not a romance. Sorry for those of you that feel it is. I don’t think so. Happily Ever After is what defines romance. Outlander did not have a HEA, therefore not a romance. I am not saying Jamie is not swoon worthy. I am not saying that there was no sex. You can put these two things into any genre – it does not make them romances. This makes me wonder what direction the series on TV is going to take, but that is not really the discussion of this review. I think that the overall story is a deep and unique tale, but not mind-blowing like I was expecting. It is hard to go into why this book effected me as negatively as it did without there being a huge spoiler. I will leave you with this thought: I read as an escape. An escape from reality where things are brutal and gruesome at times. I work in a high stress environment with high conflict and abuse. I don’t want it to be a big part of a characters story and I certainly don’t want to be left with the brutality of it lingering on my soul.

    Audiobook thoughts: Davina Porter narrates Outlander like a boss. Her artfully spoken accents added so much to the story. I don’t think anything could have changed that would have made this a better listen. I loved the timing and emotion Porter brought to the story.


    I rate Outlander 2 out of 5 Bullets!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret 02-23-14
    Margaret 02-23-14 Member Since 2016

    Tell me about a good book. No other gifts necessary.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Some Woman's Fantasy Life?"

    If you dream of loin cloths, spears, six pack abs, campfires, glistening muscles,Scottish brogues, and find that kind of literature thrilling, I guess this book is for you. I couldn't stand it after about four chapters, haven't finished it, and don't intend to ever. This type of escape could be perfect for some. It seemed to convey some accurate historical information, but the needy confused female main character who panted after the muscles who saved her in the midst of it, turned me off. I just wanted her to leave. Of course she couldn't, so I did. Perhaps this is a lusty fantasy novel perfect for some. I haven't had a day yet that I'd want to spend with this entire book.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandrine Differdange, Luxembourg 02-05-14
    Sandrine Differdange, Luxembourg 02-05-14 Member Since 2016

    Nicely tall and intelligently open-minded

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    "I've made it through"
    What did you like best about Outlander? What did you like least?

    First, it was a long ride. Second, it was up and down. Third, it left you with a fuzzy warm feeling (well mostly if you are a woman). Fourth, may I also step through the portal and meet a Jamie Fraser?


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

    Mrs Porter gave a remarkable performance. I really enjoyed listening to her voice and how she gave those characters life.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    They would probably censor out most of the good graphic stuff ...


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer Redding, Ca, United States 02-03-14
    Kindle Customer Redding, Ca, United States 02-03-14
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    "Coughing in the background"
    If you could sum up Outlander in three words, what would they be?

    Magic meets history


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

    Yes, she spoke very well. She altered her voice ever so gently when speaking for Claire. But beware the coughing from someone in the background.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I loved it.


    Any additional comments?

    It was hard to get lost in the book as when I would just start to get into it, someone in the back would sneeze or cough. I really disliked this about the audiobook. REALLY DISLIKED!! The background noises are easy to control but someone coughs through the whole book periodically.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles La Porte, IN, United States 12-28-13
    Charles La Porte, IN, United States 12-28-13 Member Since 2009
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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
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    "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
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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

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    "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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    "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
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  • 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.

    48 of 53 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!

    33 of 37 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.

    11 of 12 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!

    28 of 32 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.

    27 of 31 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.

    43 of 50 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!

    45 of 54 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.

    22 of 26 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.

    26 of 31 people found this review helpful
  • Katrina
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    8/12/11
    Overall
    "well worth listening to"

    I was never sure about reading audiobooks until an injury meant that I couldn't hold a book to read. So I bought Outlander a historical novel - has wrongly been labelled a romantic fiction - should be relabelled as a historical fiction, I enjoyed in paper form but listening to it on Audiobook really really makes a difference, Davina Porter (the narrator) has a natural gift at bringing the various characters to life. I absolutely love this book, so much so that I rave about it to all my friends and I have listened to the book on more than one occassion. I would definitely recommend it.

    14 of 17 people found this review helpful

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