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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 (40403 )
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4.7 (32638 )
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Performance
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  •  
    SIMARA Bayamon, Puerto Rico 07-30-11
    SIMARA Bayamon, Puerto Rico 07-30-11

    Live, love, laugh...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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 :(.

    22 of 34 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bookworm 03-06-15
    Bookworm 03-06-15 Member Since 2013

    YA connoisseur-wannabe

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Really good, but SO long!"
    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The complex characters and the setting of 18th century Scotland were amazingly well done, you can tell the author did her research. The least interesting is all those unnecessary scenes that add to the bulk of the story.


    Have you listened to any of Davina Porter’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but she does a great job with accents and voices.


    Any additional comments?

    I think the author did an exceptional job creating the characters, story, and setting. The sex scenes are be a bit excessive, in my opinion, but I'm impressed at how the author wrote them in a very classy style, thus avoiding tipping the book into the raunchy realm *coughcoughFiftyShadesofGrey*. My only issue with this book is that it is WAY too long and the story drags because of it. There are plenty of scenes that could be taken out without it hurting the story or character development.

    Needless to say, as much as I want to know what happens next, I cannot sit through another 30 hours of a book, so I think I'll just wait for the story to pan out in the Starz show (which so far has stayed true to the book).

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristin 02-28-14
    Kristin 02-28-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dreadful!"

    I read so many reviews regarding how great this book is, I do not agree. It is interesting on the historical perspective, but in my opinion, worse than some bodice ripping romance novel....at least they are honest about what they are.

    Gratuitous sex (and not in a good way) just made it strange and uncomfortable to listen to. Perhaps, with the book in hand the experience might be different; however, in my opinion, a waste of time.

    13 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rob Kellyville, Australia 03-23-13
    Rob Kellyville, Australia 03-23-13 Member Since 2016

    Lorenzo I like fantasy, Science fiction and thrillers books

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Outlander not for me"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Well the idea of time travel sounded great and others said it is a great book.
    The problem is it is a love story and there is not much time travel.


    What was most disappointing about Diana Gabaldon’s story?

    The problems
    1. The main charter seemed dim in parts and did not notice the obvious.
    2. The two main characters were at it! so often that its a wonder they could walk!
    3. Jamie seemed to be invincible and turned up every time the main character was in any danger.
    4. Not enough time travel and the action was a bit weak.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The reader was very good she changed accent and tone so the could tell the characters apart out quite well.


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

    The good parts:
    1. The description of the era was very detailed and seemed accurate.
    2. The premise and ideas were original


    Any additional comments?

    This is not a bad book but maybe aimed a romantics that like historic settings

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maggie 04-02-14
    Maggie 04-02-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    "A bodice-ripping bore"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I think a teenager or young 20-something would enjoy the steamy scenes.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The narrator was superb and the reason why I listened to this to the bitter, boring end.


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

    Better historical context required.


    Any additional comments?

    I cannot imagine why this was picked for me. I kept hoping it would get more interesting but it never made it there.

    11 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyce Maroney Nahant, MA USA 01-01-07
    Joyce Maroney Nahant, MA USA 01-01-07 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "If you like Harlequin romances..."

    I'm perplexed by the overwhelmingly positive reviews this book has received. The characters are one dimensional and the plot simple minded. I bought this book based on the great reviews and what I thought would be the great interest provided by the time travel angle. Forget it - there is virtually no attempt made to leverage the time travel angle. I listened to the whole book - all 30+ hours - assuming it had to get better. Nope. This is a bodice ripper that happens to be set in Scotland. Don't waste your money

    11 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RSH 09-27-09
    RSH 09-27-09 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bodice ripper"

    If you're looking for an adventurous and historical period piece, "The Pillars Of The Earth" is a much more enthralling experience. Similarly, "The Time Traveler's Wife" is a vastly superior exploration of temporal dislocation as well as a stunningly moving love story. Where does that leave "Outlander"? It's a simple minded bodice ripper. The story line is repeatedly destroyed by dime store sex scenes that border on S&M. Don't be fooled by the high ratings. This is nothing more than formula fiction and gratuitous erotica.

    43 of 68 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. J. Benyei 12-24-08 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Borderline soft porn"

    I was really hoping for a historic novel, but its really just a trashy romance. The plot is thin and the characters are beyond the realm of possibility. They consist of the perfect hero, who always knows EXACTLY what to say, always shows up in EXACTLY the nick of time to rescue the heroine, is tall and handsome, quiet and strong, indestructible. He never starts a fight, but always wins them. He's bravery and principal are beyond reproach, but also beyond believability. He spends a good deal of the book standing up for children and damsels in distress. He doesn't have one single itty bitty flaw. The bad guy is absurdly bad to the point there are very few people in the book he doesn't try to rape. Not one itty bitty redeeming quality. As for the story line, even in the difficulty of life in 16th century Scottish highlands the hero and heroine spend most of the book fondling each other and having sex, or talking about sex, or thinking about sex. Its gratuitous and ubiquitous all throughout their capers which all end in predictable good-guys-win-and-get-the-girl fashion. In a word, the book is adolescent.

    31 of 49 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Mulcock CA 04-15-15
    S. Mulcock CA 04-15-15 Member Since 2012

    shanana

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    9 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dorothy 08-10-14
    Dorothy 08-10-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    164
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    8
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    Story
    "I've Grown Up ..."
    Any additional comments?

    I read this book years ago when it first came out. I remembered liking it, so when it came up for The Daily Deal on Audible, I bought it to re-read (listen) since the series is about to preview on Starz. As I listened, I could not figure out how I made it through the last time! I am 23 years older and my brain must have really matured! It is too long and could have been so much better if she had concentrated more on the mystery of trying to reconnect with the future. The book is 33 hours (!!) on Audible and needs to be 16 hours shorter! I must have skimmed the book for the highlights back in 1991 which made the story move along - I apparently skipped to the parts worth reading because the plot and premise are compelling and I remembered quite vividly some of the parts of the novel that moved the story forward. This is definitely an easy read in terms of quality of writing. It is better than a typical romance novel, just not literary fiction by any means. I did watch the first part of the new series and it did make fun TV watching. I have come to the conclusion I have outgrown this type of fiction.

    4 of 6 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.

    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.

    26 of 29 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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