Wednesday, December 10, 2014

OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon - A Review

Time travel may not occur the way you imagine. . .





Beware of stone circles and places where witches like to dance. . .

Catapulted two hundred years into the past with no warning and no idea of where you are when you get there. . .here is a story of adventure, history, love and danger.


OUTLANDER, A Novel

When Claire and Frank Randall visit the Highlands in Scotland, she doesn't imagine she'll end up time-tripping to the 1700s without so much as a fare thee well. In the postwar forties of the 20th Century, a nurse who has seen the injured from the fields of a world war battle suddenly finds herself in the midst of an 18th century skirmish, meeting an rogue ancestor of her husband.

Not far into this new era, Claire discovers a man who will form part of her destiny. This man, known as Jamie Fraser to his familiars, follows a path of his own in a Scotland known for its harsh times and it's even more harsh forms of government. His interaction and crossing of fates with the ancestor of Claire's 'future' husband form a thread that weaves its way through this story. Along the way are excessive punishment, greed, familial killing, witchery, and a wonderful overlapping of history, tied and secured with a love story that will warm your heart. Claire becomes a home and field surgeon and herbalist to cope and to secure her place in the times in which she finds herself. Even that can be dangerous, keeping in mind the simplistic notions about medicine that many a common man held in the 1700s.

At first I found Claire a bit annoying in her refusal to accept where she was but came to appreciate her stamina after a few more chapters. Gabaldon tells the story in her usual deft manner, retaining the attractive aura that surrounds Claire's companion, Jamie, chosen by Fate, the proper laird of his own property but exiled for political reasons.I like the character of Jamie better than Claire, as she seems to do many ill-advised things in the beginning, but due to her herbal lore, I do come to admire her. She gets her come-uppance in several ways, and she does eventually realize what a gift she has been given.  I recommend this book if you like your stories to be the kind that crosses many genres, are full of historical research and hard to put down.

Future Review to Come:

I am not reading the books in chronological order, and have begun The Fiery Cross, as I was lucky enough to get a couple of her books at a library sale.  I'm also finishing Roland Yeomans' novel, The Stars Bleed at Midnight. It's another novel meant to be savored.

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Are you a fan of Gabaldon's writing? Have you read Outlander?

Please leave a comment to let me know you've been here, and I'll respond. I've been tending to family issues and have been a bit scarce.  I am posting when I can. I also wish all of you a Happy Holiday! Enjoy the family time!

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Outlander, a New York Times Bestselling novel, published by Doubleday in Canada, Seal Books, 2001.

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24 comments:

  1. I love The Stars Bleed at Midnight, it is really good. I read the beginnings of Outlander as a trial thing on my Kindle and couldn't get into it. After this review, I may try the book. I love the idea of a long series of books to occupy my somewhat worried mind. Hope all is going as well as possible and all the best for the holidays.

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    1. At first, Inger, I felt the same about Outlander, but the time travel aspect and the Jamie character won me over. Roland's books have that time travel element as well.

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  2. Sending good vibes and healing thoughts for your husband's illness; and your own peace of mind DG.

    Thanks for sharing the book.

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    1. Good vibes and healing thoughts are always a great gift, Donna, I appreciate that. I do like Gabaldon's writing, too.

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  3. I'm a big fan of the Outlander novels. Not sure how that will work to read them out of order, but I know you'll be entertained. And, yes, Jaimie does end up being most people's (women's) favorite character. :D

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    1. I read things out of order but I go back and catch up when I can. And the way Claire describes Jamie, it's easy to imagine him. . .and like his character.

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  4. I first read Outlander back in the early 90s... right after it came out, I believe. OMG. I couldn't put it down. It plagued me while I was working and wouldn't be put down at night. I think I finished it in two days. It was a painful, glorious experience. I think it's also the first time I've fallen in love with a fictional character (yep, Jamie Frasier is my first fictional love). I read the next few novels as they came out, but I lost track of the series when my migraines really amped up.

    I was reminded of my love for this series when Outlander came out on Starz. DirectTV allowed me to watch the pilot, even though I don't get Starz. It was pretty good, and it rekindled my longing to read this series again. So, I pulled out my copy of Outlander from the bookshelves and read it again. This time, with my vague recollections of how the story played out, I took my time with it and really savored it. It was just as good as I remember it being (and my infatuation with Jamie Frasier is once again alive and well!!!).

    I own the first four or five books in this series, so I'm looking forward to starting the next one, A Dragonfly in Amber, soon.

    So glad you loved this series, too. I was going to have to rethink our blog "relationship" if you didn't love this book!

    Hahahaha.

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    1. No worries about my liking Outlander, I am a big fan of Diana Gabaldon's writing and have met her in person. She's warm and friendly. Glad to hear you like the Jamie character, too.

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  5. I read this book a few years ago and loved it - along with Jamie Fraser :)

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    1. Seems LG was right, most women are attracted to the character Jamie.

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  6. I envy you meeting Ms. Gabaldon in person. Even more so since you say she is warm and friendly. The excessive punishments rather put me off reading the books. Samuel tips his Stetson to you and Inger for liking his adventures. :-)

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    1. Diana is great, and I met her at a critique during a writers' conference. I'm a fan of her and her writing. Those times she writes of were harsh times.

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  7. Hi D.G.

    Just here to wish you and yours happiness and healing this holiday season, sending lots of positive energies your way. Your reading list sounds awesome.

    Best always,
    Nila.

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  8. Nilanjana, Blogger won't let me reply beneath your comment, but thanks so much for your kindness. This will be a quiet Christmas for us, but I don't mind. Hope your holidays are full of cheer!

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  9. I have been thinking about reading these books for a while, but haven't gotten to it yet! Now I feel even more motivated to get on it!

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    1. I like her writing Julie, try checking out a book from the library to see what you think, but some of them are BIG, as in long epics. Nice to see you here again!

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  10. Hello D.G. Anyone reading Gabaldian has their reading taken care of over the holidays. I have Rutherford's Paris here and waiting.
    A quiet Christmas is sometimes just the thing. I wish you and hubs the very best. :)

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    1. Now I want to know what Rutherford's Paris is - I'm always interested in anything Parisian. Thanks for the good wishes, it's good to have him home.

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  11. Never even heard of Gabaldian, but I'm always ready for some time travel no matter how it happens.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I like time travel too, and Gabaldon handles it well. I also like the Scottish history aspects she brings to the tale.

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  12. I've never heard of Gabaldan either, but I'm a big fan of time travel done right. And 18th century Scotland sounds like a pretty cool setting.

    And hey, we're sorry to hear that your year's been pretty crappy, especially with family issues, but we hope you have a great New Year and that 2015 brings your whole family health and good fortune.

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    1. Thanks, guys. Much appreciated! I have Scottish background, so I find the history part of Gabaldon's work very interesting.

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  13. Hi, DG,

    Sorry I'm dropping by so late, but I wanted to say HI and wish you a very HAPPY and HEALTHY NEW YEAR.

    I've been in a whirlwind for the past few months and now I am sick with the flu... BOO... I hate being down, but I guess my body has had enough.

    Wishing you and you family a very HAPPY and HEALTHY 2015!

    See you soon....

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    1. It's not the end of the year yet, Michael, and even if it were, thanks for the good wishes! I can always appreciate that. Wishing you the best in 2015 as well. Hope you recover soon from the flu. Are you moved now?

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