Friday, May 17, 2013

Book Thoughts - Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
audiobook read by Davina Porter
published 1991

Synopsis from publisher -

The year is 1945. Claire Randall is traveling with her husband when she touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is hurled back in time to a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord 1743. Catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, she soon realizes that an alliance with James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, might be the only way to survive. Thus begins a work of unrivaled storytelling that has become a modern classic.

My thoughts -

It's so hard to even review something like this - it seems less a novel and more a life event, particularly after you've spent SOOO much of your life with these characters. (This book is long, folks!) And I would be lying if I said I loved every minute of it - there was a time around hour 15 that I was pretty seriously wondering why I'd decided to tackle this monstrosity. But something kept me listening, and then suddenly I was completely sucked in.

There were definitely parts of the novel that didn't sit quite right with me. There seemed to be A LOT of introductory stuff in the beginning - I realize it's a bit of a complex plot, but holy moly, just get to the good stuff already. And I realize that Claire is a "contemporary" women thrust back into a foreign time, but she says and does really stupid things REALLY often. Honey, learn the lesson - it's not 1945 anymore, and people will kill you.

Overall, though, I have to admit I enjoyed it. Once Gabaldon finally got the ball rolling, Claire and Jamie's relationship was a lot of fun to watch blossom. I love her cast of characters - particulary Jenny and Ian, and hope to revisit them in future novels. Claire gets herself into a whole litany of crazy escapades, and Jamie seems to manage to save her from them all - what more could you want in a novel?

I very much enjoyed the narration by Davina Porter - what a fantastic voice for this novel! She expresses so much with just a slight differentiation of tone - the perfect choice for this book. Again, the quality of the audio was a bit sketchy - I could clearly hear coughs and traffic noises in the background as Porter was reading.

Will this be the best novel I read all year? Probably not, but it was certainly entertaining while it lasted, and I will most likely be picking up the next in the series before the year is out.

Finished - 5/12/13
Source -
MPAA rating - R for a lot of violence and adult situations
My rating - 8/10

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