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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.

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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    31,293
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    2,993
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Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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  • Story

Science Fiction?

The only science fiction in this novel is the fact that the main character travels back in time. Perhaps there is more, but so far I am 3/4 of the way through and am still waiting. I would call this book a fantasy/romance instead. Classifications aside, I am pretty disappointed in Outlander. The plot is basically non existent, aside from the fact that our main character needs to get back home, and then makes a choice not to. From that point on, the book is a boring fantasy. I do not for one minute believe that life with a Scottish clansman in the 17th century was blissful and as wonderful as the author is having us believe. There is also the fascination with beatings of children and wives - almost as if the author is trying to get us to believe that it wasn't that bad. Sorry...beatings are beatings! The other odd factor is the man on man rape. I find it totally unbelievable that a clansman could endure this without shame (being that he is not gay) and then later tell his entire clan about the incidents, only to have them all say "oh I'm sorry that happened to you". Ha! right..... So much of this novel is "pleasant" and nice that it has become nauseating! YUK

31 of 44 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Good book if you're an undersexed minister's wife

...with a lot of time on her hands. Bear with me: It has a good premise and excellent narration. But it reads like the author decided to rewrite "The Total Woman" as a pseudo-historical romantic adventure. If you love the first 8 hours you're in luck, because you're getting about 24 more of the same. However, don't look for character development or anything more than glancing historical detail. Also, fair warning: the author practically luxuriates in both repetitious sex scenes and homophobia.

28 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Isabelle
  • Middlesex, VT, United States
  • 04-05-10

Fun book, Great Narrator

This is the author's first book, and I'd say she has natural talent for writing fiction. The time travel is fun. The Scottish clan is fun. The descriptions of sex are great. I like women with a big appetite for sex, so I like this author and her main character.

The narrator is excellent.

I'll probably continue with the series. I've read that the series gets more gripping as it goes on, and that will probably sway me.

21 of 30 people found this review helpful

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I'm on the fence with this one

I've wanted to listen to this book for years but never did due to the length. Long books require too much commitment on my part. Although this was a very entertaining and well written book, I thought it dragged in too many places and was in desperate need of a good editor. I didn't hate the book but I didn't love it either. I just simply enjoyed it. The narration was amazing which really added to the overall experience. I will probably move on to the 2nd book, but for now I need a break from such a long listen.

Overall 3.5 stars

23 of 33 people found this review helpful

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  • Elise
  • United States
  • 01-22-13

Offensive

I felt the need to write a review for this book because I was fooled by the positive reviews. If you find abuse against woman offensive, then don't read this one.

First off, the beginning of this book is very boring and I found myself hardly listening at all. It got a bit more interesting once she time-traveled, and then I was actually into the book once the love story started to develop. Everything changed the moment the love interest decided to beat his wife, the main character, in order to punish her. She then got over it pretty quickly and told him that she loved him the day after the beating. He then later admitted that he enjoyed beating her because of the sexual arousal he obtained from it. This book then seems to go down a BDSM type pathway, but I can't tell you much more because I stopped listening at that point.

I just can't understand how so many people can praise this for being such a wonderful love story. Yes, I understand this was a different time period where wives obeyed their husbands and husbands punished their wives, and I know this was a difficult time in Scotland, but I still believe it's wrong for a husband to beat his wife despite this. I cannot approve of a book that not only shrugs off the seriousness of the abuse, but promotes it as part of the love story.

22 of 32 people found this review helpful

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Subject matter not well described in summary.

Only listened to a few minutes then realized the content and deleted. Black magic, demonic rituals. Not my cup of tea.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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More pornographic than literature, sexual violence triggers

Attn abuse and assault survivors - be aware there are triggers. I’m not fond. There’s a bit here and there where the story is good, but most of it reads like porn. So much sex, so much attempted rape, and sickening bits where marital rape happens but oh then she’s aroused so her “no stop you’re hurting me” and his ignoring it makes it “rough sex”. Not to mention the abuse. I honestly don’t know what the author is thinking. This is the kind of writing that supports rape culture. It’s disturbing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I may be the only woman alive who didn't like this

I am almost an hour in and have yet to become invested in any of the characters. This book just doesn't work for me. It seems to drag and I find my mind wandering. I had high hopes but perhaps I am just not the kind of girl to get swept up in verbose historical romances.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kristine
  • NEW LENOX, IL, United States
  • 10-03-17

18th century Harlequin romance.

This story has more gratuitous sex and violence (spoiler, it's horrific) than any book can have without any actual plot to go along. While the performance was spectacular and Gabaldon can string words together well, I COULD NOT WAIT for it to be over. How this ever became a tv series escapes me as my intellect was not tickled once.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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DON'T WASTE A MINUTE ON THIS.

You've got to be kidding me. No clue why the great reviews. I kept pressing on hoping it would redeem itself. I was mistaken. Gave up after around 5 chapters. Poorly written. Narration just makes it sound more preposterous. Don't waste your time. So many MANY better reads/listens out there.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Georgia
  • 03-17-16

Disappointed

Having been recommended by someone who read the book I was disappointed. I just couldn't suspend my disbelief! Oh well! The narrator was also a factor with slipping accents etc.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Deborah Allen
  • 09-21-15

Absolutely dreadful narration!

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend the written version of the book but not the audiobook

What was one of the most memorable moments of Outlander?

I love the first 2 books but they steadily decline.. having just finished the 6th book I shan't be continuing. But the first 2 are excellent.

How could the performance have been better?

By not being narrated by Davina Porter! She sounds more like she should be reading from Beatrix Potter than from a distinctly adult book. I enjoyed reading the book for myself and LOVE the TV adaption, but even so found myself zoning out while Davina was drawling on. Also I found her attempts at a Scottish accent cringe worthy - and considering there's more Scottish characters than anything else in here that can't be good!

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

It already is.. well a TV series anyway - and it is excellent

Any additional comments?

If like me you watched the TV series and want to know more, buy the book and read it for yourself (if you are able) you will enjoy it better than listening to this

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ian
  • 04-19-15

lost for words

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Nothing - the writing is way too banal for me.

What was most disappointing about Diana Gabaldon’s story?

The style which defies description other than "1950's jolly hockey sticks"

Would you listen to another book narrated by Davina Porter?

Possibly - but unlikely that a story she would read would be one I would listen yto

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

Disappointment, boredom and incredulity.

Any additional comments?

Don' ... just don't.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Diane
  • 10-09-13

Too long

I thought I was going to enjoy this book but sadly it was too long and so very detailed it was hard work to get through. I felt the actual story was lost with so much detail and indepth descriptions of just about every little thing that it became somewhat boring although the narrator did a good job with the voices of the different characters. I shalln't be listening to the other books. Maybe the mini series they are filming in Scotland will turn out better than the books !

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Ghost Writer
  • 07-18-13

Good idea for a story, bad realisation.

The idea of this story is good in context. However, the writer has spoilt what could be a good tail by excessive, frequent, monotonous and frankly boring sex scenes. I am very grateful that Audible provide the facility to return an unsatisfactory audio book, and I am about to do so.
If you're looking for a good story then don't buy this. If you have a dull sex life and are looking for something to spark it up, then don't buy this either!

My compliments to Davina Porter for her efforts in reading, she is wasted on this this "novel".

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Miss P.
  • 06-30-11

Not what I expected

I was expecting a lot from this book. I love historical novels and when I saw all the rave reviews for the Outlander series I thought I'd stumbled across a goldmine of books that would keep me entertained for months.

Not so, unfortunately.

I persevered with the book until the end but it really was hard work. It had all the makings of a great story but somehow it just didn't get there. Its weird tangent of what turned out to almost be S&M soft porn is really not what I was expecting, and there didn't seem to be any kind of "ending" to the story. I know it might lead into the next book of the series but I certainly won't be buying it.

On the plus side, I did find the narrator quite good.

11 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Pamela
  • 02-08-10

Applaud Writer and Narrator

I found this book to be so enjoyable and the characters really bring the story alive. I must say the book is fantastic but you have to listen with Davina Porter narrating as she is great with the difference voices and accents that she draws you in, it would not be the same without her. I coudn't put my Ipod down at times and even sneaked to listening while at work. I have never done this with any other book. Will now be going through all the books in the series.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Adrian
  • 04-04-09

Funny, energetic and alive. A stunning work.

From the very beginning you can tell this is going to be good. It takes exactly 60 seconds to settle into and never lets you go. It is both well written and well read. Both author and narrator come together to bring this to life.

I really thought I would not like the subject matter for this book. I tend to go for things set in the future not the past - preferring Sci-fi to "Historical" works.

I was wrong.

If you are like me, not sure if you'd like the subject matter - give it a go.

The story progresses well with good pace and characters you can relate to. There is just enough humour - it will make you chuckle without going over the top and detracting from the story.

Enjoy!

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • scarletangel
  • 07-03-09

Outlander

This title would have been good if it weren't for the countless explicit descriptions of her lovemaking, I thought I was going to get an historical adventure but this should be labelled under erotic fiction, there was far too much descriptive sex and not enough action and had I known I would not have bought this title, this isn't really about adventures in Scotland but more about her sexual adventures.

10 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Paul
  • 09-26-11

Not riveting

Was recommended the story and expected more tbh. Thought a the story to major on time travel and the impact on the main character. But actually she hardly refers to it, concentrating instead on 'manhoods', lusty romps with Scottish lairds and completely ignoring her hubby back in the 1940s. What a trollop! Dont bother unless you are a) female and like that kind of thing (sorry!) or b) you like audio versions of costume dramas!

8 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-12-17

Highly recommend!

This story is a masterpiece filled with love and adventure, that comes alive with Davina's narration.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-12-17

love

I love this series and Davina is awesome love her voices wonderful and very easy to listen too

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  • Kerry
  • 08-07-17

Addiction ++ can't get enough of Outlander!

Where does Outlander rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In my top two!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Outlander?

Jamie and Claire's wedding!

Which scene did you most enjoy?

All of it

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

#Addictive #Scotland #JAMMF #RealMenWearKilts

Any additional comments?

I absolutely love this series, Davina Porter is amazing to listen to and really brings Diana's characters to life. Recommend ++, thank you for letting my be apart of the outlander journey. Love it!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-03-17

Background noise

I could hear muffled voices in the background for most of the recording, kind of irritating.

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  • Louise
  • 08-01-17

Very disappointing narrator

I was so looking forward to hearing this book. Unfortunately the narrator just didn't understand the characters. She read Claire like she was a 15 year old, the story like it was a children's book and every man like they were 90!!!

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  • Trevor
  • 07-17-17

Drawn out , too long and boring and no real story

goes into so much other detail apart from the actual story line. i wasnt going to finish it, but decided too. i regret the book purchase and should have got something else.

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  • samboh
  • 07-13-17

Love it!

Second time I've listened to this. The narrator is great, as good as the story!

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  • Stephen
  • 07-03-17

Almost perfect

A well rendered reading made slightly less so by the background noise, voices and coughing that is captured from outside of the professional or home studio where it was recorded. Not enough to turn the listener off but it is a take away from what could have been a flawless performance.

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  • Tina Cuffe
  • 06-27-17

Brilliant story

Brilliant story read very well however feel the narrators voice makes the characters sound older than they are meant to be.

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  • krystyna
  • 06-10-17

Completely encompassed by fantasy

This book is wonderful, in that something so unbelievable, is so believable. I fell head first into the drama and intrigue and can't wait to read more.