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The Custom of the Army

An Outlander Novella
Narrated by: Jeff Woodman
Series: Outlander, Lord John, Book 2.75
Length: 2 hrs and 35 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (972 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

London, 1759. After a high-society electric-eel party leads to a duel that ends badly, Lord John Grey feels the need to lie low for a while. Conveniently, before starting his new commission in His Majesty’s army, Lord John receives an urgent summons. An old friend from the military, Charlie Carruthers, is facing court-martial in Canada, and has called upon Lord John to serve as his character witness.

Grey voyages to the New World - a land rife with savages (many of them on his own side) and cleft by war - where he soon finds that he must defend not only his friend’s life but his own.

This novella also appears in the collection Warriors, where it is narrated by Patrick Lawlor.
©2010 Diana Gabaldon (P)2012 Recorded Books

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • DG
  • 07-25-12

Excellent Interpretation

Would you listen to The Custom of the Army again? Why?

I would listen again because the story comes alive with this narration. This is a long series and as time goes by I want to revisit old friends and be reminded of what I've forgotten.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Custom of the Army?

John's confusion after the duel. It was very well done.

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

Not yet, but I will

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Lt. Col. John Grey travels to 18th century Canada to come to the aid of his former lover and comrade in arms.

Any additional comments?

This is my first listen of a Lord John book and I just love it. Jeff Woodman is excellent; it's as if he "knows" Lord John. I'm truly enjoying it. Jeff did a particularly good reading of the duel scene, when John was confused and didn't know quite what was happening. Jeff was also very comfortable during the scene between Hal and John when Hal visits with his baby daughter. The sibling intimacy and warmth each man felt while in one another's presence coupled with the English reserve (not easy to do), while discussing a crisis came across perfectly, as did the humor.

The voices are so distinct you forget it's just one man narrating. Of course, that's the point and well done.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fills in Several Blanks

The first 15 minutes alone of this short novella are worth reading. Gabaldon's ability to start her stories with a bang is one of her greatest skills. The beginning to this story rivals the first 15 minutes of The Scottish Prisoner.

Jeff Woodman has become the voice of Lord John to me. So much so that this is the single character in the Outlander series that I wish someone other than Davina Porter would narrate. And since I think the Porter and Outlander combination is pretty close to perfection, that is saying a lot.

A lot happens in a very short period of time in this piece. And by the time it is finished, a few more questions are answered and blanks are filled in about the Lord John character, his history and how he became the man he is in the Outlander series. I highly recommend it.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Carol
  • Massachusetts
  • 07-29-12

Lead-up to "Scottish Prisoner"

I'm a big fan of LJG and can easily see why Diana Gabaldon gave this character his own spinoff series after his relatively brief but completely endearing appearance in the Outlander series' "Voyager." (He appeared even more briefly in "Dragonfly in Amber," but hadn't yet achieved endearment in that one.)

This is a very nice story--not wonderful, but a good, short Saturday afternoon read. A conversation between Lord John and his brother the Duke (interrupted by gurgles and demands from the Duke's treasured baby daughter as she's passed between Daddy and Uncle John) sets up the story and is a priceless example of what lifts Gabaldon's books out of the run-of-the-mill romance/adventure fantasy category and into a class of their own. Humor and melodrama grounded in likeable characters that somehow feel completely real.

This novella describes the events immediately preceding those of "The Scottish Prisoner."




6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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"Outlander Novella" is misleading

I am a huge fan of the Outlander series. This story was not bad, Diana Gabaldon is a good storyteller, but it is not an Outlander book, it belongs to the Lord John series of books. It even has the same narrator as the Lord John series, not the narrator of the Outlander books. Since I have not read the Lord John books, the story was a novella about characters I didn't know (aside from Lord John). I kept waiting for it to come around to the Outlander storyline, but it never did. I assume they called it an "Outlander" novella since that series is more popular than the Lord John series, but I feel that doing that is a misleading way to try to encourage sales.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Bonnie
  • Bellmore, NY, United States
  • 08-11-12

I've read all Diana Gabaldon books......however

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No, the story was very choppy, even though the narrator was excellent, I really felt cheated the end of the book left me empty. Lord John went to Canada to attend a court martial. It didn't even get into that. It touched on other things which really had nothing to do with why he was there.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The narration was great, and Jeff Woodman does accents and voices wonderfully however it didn't make up for the lack of content as far as I was concerned. I thought Scottish Prisoner was a MUCH better story. All the other Lord John books were much better, for that matter. My opinion of course.

Which scene was your favorite?

Lord John confronting his cousin by marriage, who has a child out of wedlock with an American Indian woman. It truly explains a lot about what solders suffer during war.

Did The Custom of the Army inspire you to do anything?

No not really, like I said it disappointed me because it just left the ending up in the air. If people don't follow all the books they will be confused and it just doesn't create interest to follow series.

Any additional comments?

This book should not have been issued as a separate book but part of an anthology perhaps. (about Lord John) I felt that the money I spent was not worth it, even though the narration was wonderful.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Karen
  • Raleigh, NC, United States
  • 07-21-12

An entertaining story, and great narration!

Diana Gabaldon's novella, "The Custom of the Army", is a highly entertaining story that will appeal to fans of her Lord John books as well as the main OUTLANDER series. Jeff Woodman does an excellent job with all the voices. I particularly liked his voices for Lord John, Hal, Tom Byrd, and the gravel-voiced Sgt. Cutter.

My only complaint is that this audiobook seems expensive for only 2 hrs and 35 minutes worth of recording time. But the recording was well done, and Jeff Woodman seemed to me to be enjoying himself. The enthusiasm comes through in his voice.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Nice

It was good, but a bit shorter than I thought I’d be. Also rather quick, so it was a bit of a disappointment on tying things up in the end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good company

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

Yeah, it's like comfort food, but it never really drew me in. It felt more like a journal entry in that it seemed to wonder a bit, or I did; which is my point.

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

Of course; if it was acted very well. The actors would need to compel me. It seemed more an episode than a movie.

Any additional comments?

It was still good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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custom of the Army

this story was by far the most pointless of all John Grey adventures. It took me off tract several times. I lost interest and had to rewind and listen to it over and over again. so it was a futile effort to try and enjoy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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The Custom revealed

Where does The Custom of the Army rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Good book and enjoyable to see part into the next stage of Lord John

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

Couldn't believe it was over-because it was quite short.

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

Love the reader. He's got an engaging voice

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

No extreme reactions

1 of 1 people found this review helpful