Series: Outlander #1
Published by Delacorte Press, Random House
Published on January 1st 1991
Genres: Adult, Fiction, Historical Romance
Source: Audible, Kindle Fire HDX Narration Integration
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Unrivaled storytelling...unforgettable characters...rich historical detail...these are the hallmarks of Diana Gabaldon's work. Her New York Times bestselling Outlander novels have earned the praise of critics and captured millions of readers. Here is the story that started it all, introducing two remarkable characters, Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser, in a spellbinding novel of passion and history that combines exhilarating adventure with a love story for the ages...
The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon--when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach--an "outlander"--in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.
Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life...and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
Outlander had been on my radar for quite some time, and once I heard that Starz would be adapting it into a series on their network, I felt like there was no better time than the present to dive into a thousand-page adventure. (More like 900-something pages…but let’s round up for bragging purposes.)
At first, I tried to kick it old school, by buying the hardcover…
Book in hand, I thought I was ready to conquer the world!
I open the cover…
Oh! A map! Love visual aides!
After staring at the map for a little too long, (I REALLY love visual aides in books, lol), I moved onto the first page.
Is it just me, or is that text awfully small?…never mind…
This was it. Time to tackle all those pages.
Nothing’s was gonna get in my way.
So many…words…on so many…pages…*shakes it off*
I was in it to win it.
Yeah, that venture lasted all of 2 minutes.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with reading a conventional book. But with my schedule and lifestyle, I was finding it hard lugging around a 3-pound book in my bag everywhere I went. #FirstWorldProblems
So, what’s a girl to do? First, she’s to get the e-book on her kindle. Next, she is to download the audiobook from Audible, as it’s only $3.99 if you own the Kindle version. (THANK YOU WHISPERSYNC!) #WINNING
Once both the Kindle version and audiobook were purchased, ’twas time to download it to my device:
Waiiitt….Does that say…1, 2, 3,..4…FOUR PARTS? *deep breaths* It’s okay, it can’t be too bad, right?
*Quickly does math to add up all the hours of narration*
…take that, carry the 1…that equals to…
SWEET. BABY. AUDIBLES. THIRTY-THREE HOURS, EIGHT MINUTES?
It’s okay, thankfully I had Benny to keep me focused.
Heeding Benny’s sound advice, I downloaded all FOUR parts of the narration, popped in my earbuds, and jumped in feet first.
Moment of Truth…
- I liked the heroine, Claire. I loved that her POV was enjoyable to read (or rather, listen to). Claire was a great character.
- I LOVED the hero, Jamie. I was intrigued by his character from the very start. In the words of my friend, Barbie: “Jamie is a wordsmith”. Any scene with Jamie in it evoked strong emotions within me. Whether it be sad, happy, mad, or steamy, JAMMF kept me fully enthralled, and thoroughly entertained. He brought many a LOL into my life.
- I liked the immense detail. I loved that I felt like I could feel everything Claire felt, smell the things Claire smelled. The imagery was on point. I think that that is something very important when reading Historical Fiction. The Devil is in the details.
- The banter between Claire, and just about everyone. I loved the Scots. Of course, this mainly applies to Jamie, but still, I loved the dialogue so very much. (This could’ve also been because the narrator’s performance.)
- I liked the cohesiveness of the story. Every scene served a purpose, and every character played their part by bringing their own flavor to the tale. From the horses, to the Loch, it all came together and provided for a great story, and a believable one too. I had to keep reminding myself that this was fiction.
- The beginning of the book. It went a little too slow for me. Introducing the setting, the characters, it just took too long for me. I think the fact that I was listening to the audiobook really helped keep me focused. When I tried reading it in print, I’d keep spacing out while staring at the page. I think the pacing could’ve used a pick-me-up.
- The length of the book. This is typically a soft limit for me. Page count doesn’t always scare me off, but it can deter me from being eager about starting a book. I think that seeing how long the book was definitely played a role in my short attention span in the beginning.
- The detail. Ok, I know I said that it was something that I did like– but it also was something that caused the pacing to be a little slow at times. I mean, I did love how it help visualize things in my head, but, there were times I would’ve been ok with overlooking how “a horse smelled like horse”.
Yes! A million times yes! I L-O-V-E-D the narrator Davina Porter. She was fan-freaking-tastic!
- The transitions between the characters were FLAWLESS.
- The accents, she totally NAILED IT! (And trust me, there were MANY!)
- Her performance was extraordinary. I believed everything that came out of her mouth.
- I loved that when she modulated her voice to portray the male characters (especially Jamie), it didn’t sound like an over-exaggerated feminine voice attempting to be masculine. It totally worked.
5+ Stars for Narration!
“For where all love is, the speaking is unnecessary. It is all. It is undying. And it is enough.”
“We have nothing now between us, save–respect, perhaps. And I think that respect has maybe room for secrets, but not for lies.”
“You’re mine, mo duinne,” he said softly, pressing himself into my depths. “Mine alone, now and forever. Mine, wether ye will it or no.”…”I want to own you, to possess you, body and soul.”
“I can bear pain, myself,” he said softly, “but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have.”
“No wonder he was so good with horses, I thought blearily, feeling his fingers rubbing gently behind my ears, listening to the soothing incomprehensible speech. If I were a horse, I’d let him ride me anywhere.”
“Even when I’ve just left ye, I want you so much my chest feels tight and my fingers ache with wanting to touch ye again.”
For the complete Outlander Series listing & reading order, click here.
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