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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
  • 5 Stars
    31,946
  • 4 Stars
    7,350
  • 3 Stars
    3,031
  • 2 Stars
    1,526
  • 1 Stars
    1,326

Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    29,510
  • 4 Stars
    4,868
  • 3 Stars
    1,557
  • 2 Stars
    508
  • 1 Stars
    504

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    26,571
  • 4 Stars
    5,558
  • 3 Stars
    2,439
  • 2 Stars
    1,169
  • 1 Stars
    1,081
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  • Renee
  • Spokane, WA, United States
  • 04-26-13

Over the top

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Any one who doesn't care if the author has any accurate concept of time. One can't pick cherries and apricots in the same season and then a couple of weeks later wander through falling cherry blossoms. Anyone who likes chapters and chapters of descriptions of sexual acts that really do nothing to add to the interest of the story, this is for you but I about puked!I am no prude but enough is enough. I mean a woman from the 20th century, no hygiene, so many other flaws with details, and I can't see the rugged Scots, poetic as they might have been dribbling on as young Jayme. 23 Year old men, in no matter what century aren't that different...ok so that explains the endless sex ....so many things were just so out of character. But what about literary restraint...elegance. Not in this story!OMG! I fast forwarded through the endless sex dialogue and excruciating detailed descriptions of sex acts, hoping for something more meaningful but it went from one improbable situation to the next and left off every potential for interesting character development after the other. What a pathetic ending! And I am surly NOT going to continue the sex saga in any other country no matter how hopeful I might be in thinking that the author might get over her obsessions and finally get on with a real story. I apologize to anyone who loves these stories. Given the glowing reviews, I acknowledge that I must be in the minority...and happy for it.

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

No, but I certainly will be more careful in considering other peoples' rave reviews, I erased all the sequels because I just could bear the thought of more ...I can't think of anything I would like less and made an appointment with my dentist with joy!

What about Davina Porter’s performance did you like?

I adore Davina Porter and felt sorry for her reading all that endless twaddle. She is one of my favorite narrators.

What character would you cut from Outlander?

All of them..except for poor Frank who seemed a likeable character because of his absence. I was nervous about him in the beginning...something about him was just slightly unlikeable but when he was out of the picture and only mentioned after or before Clair and Jayme's sexual encounters of endless dribbling conversations about sex, I thought he, Frank, was the most likeable character in the story.I just wanted Clair and Jayme to die in some glorious fight and be done with it!! Please oh please.

Any additional comments?

It could have been interesting..so much potential but the writer must be a sex addict with a weaker love of history. I would never recommend these books!

28 of 42 people found this review helpful

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  • SIMARA
  • Bayamon, Puerto Rico
  • 07-30-11

Strange definition of romance

I buy my audiobooks based on reviews I read. Outlander had excellent reviews so I bought it. And I regret it so bad I wanted my money back. This is not a romance novel!! The authors definition of romance seems to include bigamy, infidelity, S&M and a marriage out of convenience and desire to stop being a virgin. Mr. Jaime severy beats his wife Claire because she disobeyed him. And later on tells her that beating her turned him on. Romantic ha!! And what is the authors obsession with rape? Claire was almost raped several times in this book by different men. I sure hope that is not what 18th century men behaved. There was no romance in this long slow paced book. It was an agony to stand 32 hours of a relationship with no nice words, no equality, not so sexy S&M sex and so on. I will not listen to the next books even if I receive them free. If you are a romance book fan as my self, you will be repulsed by the so called Romance in this book. I believe that only history lovers will enjoy the descriptions here. So disappointed :(.

24 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Paul
  • parkland, FL, United States
  • 09-13-06

outlander

The narrator is terrific. The book starts out well. But it is not what it seems. I thought that it was to be an adventure that would also have insights into the 1700's in Scotland. After part one, it became a flat out romance novel with romantic interplay between the two main characters going on and on and on. Put another way, guys beware, this is a literary 100% chick flick. By late in part three I found myself very tired of the romance and pining for more plot, and then just wishing that it would be over.

24 of 36 people found this review helpful

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Will it ever end?

I bought this book because several friends/coworkers recommended it, they raved about it. I listened to this book and attempted to read the second so I could skim through it, couldn't do it, stopped less than half way through. I think you either love it or hate. I tried really hard to get into the series and just couldn't do it.

20 of 30 people found this review helpful

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  • Joki
  • Helsinki
  • 04-10-13

Felt Stale

I had heard about how loved this book was for many years and finally got a chance to sit down and listen to it thanks to a great sale at Audible. My first thought is that it does feel a bit dated - lacking the highs and lows of the modern romance novel. It is also very well written - something not necessarily demanded in modern novels, either, sadly.

It is a big book because it is definitely a slow burn - allowing the reader to be drawn in slowly over time. And in a novel that has nothing new to add these days (a time travel historical romance is almost vanilla in the crowded paranormal romance category) and so it succeeds or fails purely on the characters.

Unfortunately, for me, the characters kind of fell flat. I didn't really feel any affinity (or Mary Sue) for Claire, the protagonist. A war nurse in the 1940s, married with a husband, certainly didn't make her the typical heroine. That said, it was hard to root for someone who had very little angst about sleeping with a young hot guy in a kilt fairly soon after the time travel. The author is clever enough to help alleviate the guilt by making the husband's ancestors particularly nasty (I kept having a "Rob Roy" movie moment throughout this). But really, you'd think she'd be a bit more freaked out or go more into survival mode. It just felt so unrealistic in so many ways.

I think the real problem for me is that this fell back on the 1980s "spirited spitfire" heroine who always manages to get herself in trouble by doing spirited things that backfire - and then having to be saved by the hero. It gets old (and really feels unrealistic) at all the stupid chances she takes. It also doesn't help that I could come up with a lot better ways to accomplish the things she just spur of the moment decided to do randomly - just to give the hero an opportunity to come to her rescue (or prove how dastardly her husband's ancestor was). It got old.

I give the book 3 stars for being a solid read, well written. But 2 left stars for feeling very dated in the 1980ss and for a lot of nothing happening other than heroine gets herself in trouble, heroine gets rescued by hero, heroine gets in trouble again by going off on her own, gets rescued by hero before injury again....ad nauseum.

20 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Did not like this one

This book is very violent with details of flogging, attempted rape, brutal beatings, rough sex, and even the child birth is brutal. The Author barely even addresses the fact that Claire has left behind another life. Very little is said about her former life. The narrator is very good with the voices and the accents.

20 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Ho-Hum

Don't review many books, but thought I'd throw my two cents in here because the reviews seem pretty heavily weighted towards "wonderful". I got this for a few reasons; excellent reviews, it is unabridged, time travel, etc. But ... nobody can get zapped back 200 years and girlishly giggle with her new 1740's husband in the span of a month or two; the heroine also mentions the name of Roosevelt in the 1740's and doesn't get asked "who's that?". If you are into descriptive male homosexual rape, multiple instances of heterosexual sex and rape attempts, are into watching serial tv or soaps and a femme fetale cliche heroine, I suppose you'll give it five stars. Kudos to the narration, which is excellent, but not the story ... there would have been room in more than 30 hours for much more intrigue. But, I suppose sex sells more than research of time travel.

25 of 38 people found this review helpful

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No scifi all sex (and sex, not romance)

Just because it takes place in two centuries does not make this scifi. It should be removed from that category now. If you're interested in a story, don't bother with this book.

It is all sex, then learning how to be disciplined, followed by the very disturbing and ongoing torture and rape of a man by a man and then hours of graphically recalling the rape while he tries to overcome it with his wife.

I'll admit, she is a good character writer, but the story... Well, I kept waiting for something - anything - to happen. I kept thinking there must be some payoff in the end. But then it just ends. And seriously, nothing really happened but running and sex. And nobody learned anything. To me, that's not a story.

I was bored and disturbed most of the time. And for those that say it's only men who didn't enjoy this, I'm a woman.

10 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Love it or hate it

I should have listened to the other reviewers...ugh and I listened to the bitter end...30 hours! Creative plot which drug on and on. Too many "Perils of Pauline" escapes and the repeated, detailed torture of a loved husband let me bewildered and wondering why this is a "romance"!! An abridged version is definitely needed in the worse way

10 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Parts of it read like a Harlequin romance novel

I only made it about 1/3 through-- that's all I could stand. I'm sure it may get better as it gets on, but it just wasn't for me. I did quite enjoy the narrator, in spite of that.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • sarahmoose2000
  • 11-27-16

Superb

or as my gramps used to say, "Brallies mean" (brilliant man!) and just how much better a listening experience is it with the kindle? So much easier to rewind than the stupid spinny wheel on the iPod.

Anyway I digress, this is the story of a lady, Clare, visiting the Highlands with her husband. She visits a set of standing stones like a mini Stonehenge and gets sucked back into the past and the time of Bonnie Prince Charlie.

It sounds rubbish and I was loathe to listen to it, despite a few recommendations, but I can admit I was wrong. I really loved this and listened to the whole lot in three days!

Clare must survive among the clans despite being a dreaded sassanach (English woman) and adept at medicine, which appears to be witchcraft to the locals. Her situation involves the necessity to wed and the happy couple cope with a risky life on the run from the Redcoats.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • erica
  • 11-26-16

Outstanding!

So pleased that I decided to ignore the poor reviews of this book and judge it for myself! I found it to be a masterpiece from start to finish! A powerful piece of writing by Diana Gabaldon that is fantastically narrated by Davina Porter. I could not stop listening and am already looking forward to the next book in this incredible saga.

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  • leonor
  • 11-16-16

great yarn

If you could sum up Outlander in three words, what would they be?

great escapist yarn.

Who was your favorite character and why?

jonathan randall . Such a convincing English psycho villain

What about Davina Porter’s performance did you like?

absolutely brilliant

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

no it was too long for that but always looked forward to picking it up

Any additional comments?

was sorry to realize it was a series.

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  • boyo
  • 11-11-16

Wasn't sure about choosing this

Wow! I'm so glad I did. A beautifully observed book.
I couldn't stop listening.
Wondered how I would get along with such a long book. In the end I didn't want it to end and was disappointed when it did.

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  • Natalie
  • 11-06-16

time travelling romantic adventure

having watched the show, I was eager to read the story and wasn't disappointed. fantastic

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  • SilverScot
  • 10-30-16

Start of the saga.

This first part of the sublime love story between Claire and Jamie is a fabulous read/listen. The premise is not unheard of - but the way Diana Gabaldon handles the ideas, the setting and most of all the plethora of characters,is masterly. I love the way she mixes the mundane with the splendid, the greatest spiritual devastation with earthy laugh-out loud humour.
With a central character like Claire, we get a woman who is independent, intelligent, resourceful, vulnerable and who knows and accepts the costs involved in loving without measure. With Jamie, we have a man who is not only a strong provider, who accepts the burdens of using his gifts and qualities not just for himself and those closest to him, who can inspire not only physical passion but who can be a true friend and soulmate to his love.
Diana Gabaldon's "Man in a Kilt" has made countless others fall in love with him!
I only deducted one star from Davina Porter's narration because it isn't EXACTLY the voice that I have in my head! She is great with the Scottish accents, has an easy differentiation between characters without falling into the fault of parody and sustained the continuity for the whole book.
I cannot rate the book more highly and if you have already read this or the others in the series, listening will reacquaint you in an enhanced way with the characters and the tale.

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  • William Bradban
  • 10-29-16

Turns out I am not a fan of whimsical romance.

The narration is superb, however I found the characters frustrating as their morals and behaviours were dictated by chapter and lacked consistency. To be honest this was the first book I didn't finish.

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  • C L Dix
  • 10-22-16

Outlander - superb

Perfect mix of historical fiction (masses of details relating to life in the highlands during the period), romance (but not too soppy!), and fantastic characters brought vividly to life by the superb narration of Davina Porter. First audiobook that I've been glued to from start to finish. I already have the second book ready to go :)

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  • Marie Webb
  • 09-30-16

Perfect company for my commute to work

Good narration, unintrusive. A beautiful story and I enjoyed every single minute of it! Looking forward to the next installment.

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  • kmcnea
  • 09-22-16

Superb

Superb writing. The excellent audio recording immerses you in the atmosphere and events, bringing the book and characters to life

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  • Alisha
  • 08-06-15

Takes you to another place...

Great book. Has all components necessary for a great book- action, suspense, love, lust, magic, mystery... Now I'll need to read the next book in the series! Hooked!

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  • Rachel
  • 07-29-15

All your listening for the next 6 months at least

Shortly after I started listening to Outlander, on a friend's recommendation, I was asking around about audiobook recommendations and the same friend said "What are you talking about? With Outlander you're set for the next 6 months at least". You know what, she was right? The story is gripping and a breath of fresh air with it's difference from everything else I've listened to. I can't recommend this enough, whether it takes you 6 months or 6 years, this is an amazing series. Since getting this book I've been progressively devouring all the books in the series.

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  • Lisa
  • 07-20-15

The beginning of a wonderful story

Fantastic story, so moving and intriguing. After reading the subsequent novels, I always come back to this one.

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  • Elizabeth Gillam
  • 07-04-15

outstanding

great story of life in the 1700s amongst the clans of the hi h landers of Scotland

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  • dale
  • 07-01-15

captivating

I loved this audio. I had read the book previously a few years ago and listening to the audio reminded me why I loved this novel so much. I felt I was living this adventure with the characters and at the same time I felt I was learning something about the Jacobean period in history. I can't wait to listen to the next instalment.

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  • Di
  • 06-06-15

Fantastic Audio Book not to be missed

Excellent compelling Audio book I was completely captivated by the time traveling theme a very exciting story. Without hesitation I highly recommend it to all

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  • Jennifer
  • 06-06-15

Simply awesome!

Totally amazing book and accents perfect, most enjoyable. Can't wait for the next book in the series. Listening to audible books makes my commute to work more interesting!

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  • Ally
  • 05-24-15

my escape to another world ...love this!

iam hooked... i am so glad there are more books to come.. i want to stay in this space thankyou

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  • Kathy
  • 05-17-15

Listen before you watch the TV series if you can

I listened to this book prior to watching the series and I was so glad I did. It has still been great to watch the series but the book has so many complexities and so much to offer - it is addictive. Davina Porter's accents are outstanding - you can tell the varying characters upfront!

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  • Naomi
  • 05-17-15

My very favourite story of all time

I have read too many books to count in my life so far yet this book remains my very firm favourite. The characters are relatable and colourful, the storyline rich and intriguing. The whole book is borderline addictive and I still struggle to put it down after I start. I find the Audible version to be just as enjoyable as the real book, if not more so courtesy of the wonderful accents.