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The Outlandish Companion (Outlander)

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4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,811 Ratings  ·  459 Reviews
New York Times bestselling author Diana Gabaldon has captured the hearts of millions with her critically acclaimed novels, Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, and Drums of Autumn. From the moment Claire Randall accidentally steps through a magical stone that transports her back in time more than 200 years to 1743, and into the arms of Scottish soldier Jamie Fraser, rea ...more
Hardcover, 608 pages
Published June 29th 1999 by Doubleday Canada (first published 1999)
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Barbara ★
I was rather disappointed in this companion book. After reading J.R. Ward's Blackdagger Brotherhood Insiders Guide, I kinda expected this companion to be similar with inside insight into the characters and little tidbits of information not presented in the books. It read more like a dictionary. There are synopses of each book (through book 4 Drums of Autumn). She actually broke down each novel into roughly 15 pages or so. No insight just straight text giving the highlights of each novel. I expec ...more
Alison
Mar 11, 2011 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Outlandish Companion is definitely for the lover of all things Outlander. A reader who has never laid eyes on Diana Gabaldon's series will no doubt find interest in the sections that delve into her writing technique and research, past career in academia, and the sprinkling of folk lore. But, I fear, the rest of the 600 page book will be lost on the non-lovers. Thankfully, I am a lover.

It has been quite a few years since I have read the first four books: Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager
...more
Mo
Dec 15, 2014 Mo marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
So excited that my secret Santa gave me an Amazon.co.uk gift voucher and I could purchase this!! Merci beaucoup, mon amie. Je t'aime. xxxx
Lori Anderson
I love love LOVE the Outlander series, so of course had to have this book. I thought it had many interesting bits, but also a bunch that I didn't care to read (and that's ok! That's what I expected!). I liked FINALLY knowing how to pronounce those Gailic words but WHY oh WHY didn't she have the Foreign Language Glossary in alphabetical order? What a PITA to look up anything.

I did like reading her email exchanges with her computer group as she was hashing out ideas -- that was interesting. And I
...more
Kitty
Apr 18, 2010 Kitty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was written as a "companion" to the Outlander series - a book full of fun facts, background details, and stories about "the making of" the series written by Diana Gabaldon. It was written after "Drums of Autumn" (the fourth book in the series). I waited until I had read the first four before reading this - and I would definitely recommend that, as there many "spoilers" included here, as well as a "synopsis" of each of those books. The fact that I would actually read this big, heavy har ...more
Susan
Sep 09, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are new to the Outlander universe, this is a gem of a book to pick up. Not only are there detailed summaries of the first books in this remarkable series, the author also has different chapters on where she got her ideas for the characters, her thought process on writing, information about herbal cures, a list of music that would bring Scotland to mind, frequently asked questions, Jamie and Claire's horoscopes, a listing of other books to read once this series reading has been exhausted a ...more
Julianna
Oct 08, 2014 Julianna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of the Outlander Series
Reviewed for THC Reviews
"4.5 stars" The Outlandish Companion is an indispensable reference guide to all things Outlander. This book covers the first four volumes of the Outlander series, but Diana Gabaldon is reportedly working on a second volume which will detail the books that have been written since this one was published. Being a hard-core fan, I read it from beginning to end, and for the most part found it to be very enjoyable. As with most books of this nature though, some sections were ve
...more
Liz
Feb 27, 2013 Liz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I discovered this book when I was in the middle of the series and found it useful, but I think it could be improved (and hope it will be when Diana completes the series and another such volume might be required).

1) It would have been easier to find negotiate the glossaries if the terms had been listed in alphabetical order rather than the order in which they appeared in the book.

2) What was the point of horoscopes for the two main characters? They are fictional characters, after all. I thought
...more
Suzie
Jan 20, 2009 Suzie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I really enjoy Gabaldon's books. I treasure her characters. I admire her imagery. Her fiction speaks to me.

But I can't stand her voice! I stopped in the middle of this book because it was ruining the magic for me. I don't want to know how unspectacular her inspiration was. I don't want to know her secrets. Let me remain blissfully uninformed!
Mimi
Dec 09, 2015 Mimi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, 2013
Like the title says, this is a companion to the series and should be read after reading the first four books. Since it contains whole book summaries and a full character index... spoilers abound. Obviously.

Recommended for: those who have finished the first four books and need an Outlander crash course
Lisa
Sep 15, 2010 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish i had this book as a reference when i was reading the first 4 of the series. It gives a synopsis of the first several books, and then delves into some of the "why" questions for character development.

If you have already read the books, and wondered how to pronounce all the Gaelic words, this book tells you the phonetic rules for Gaelic, and how the words are used. It also tells you some of the nuances of meaning that aren't obvious in direct translation. The words are arranged by book -
...more
K
Sep 20, 2015 K rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Oh, what a fun listen! The Outlandish Companion is a reference based on the first four books of the Outlander series. Ms. Gabaldon describes how she began writing novels, her research approach (fascinating), synopses of books one to four, questions she gets from fans, etc.

This audiobook is narrated by Davina Porter, as well as author Diana Gabaldon. Ms. Porter narrates most of the Outlander audiobooks (I believe the novellas have a different narrator) and is wonderfully talented. Ms. Gabaldon's
...more
Susan
Jan 06, 2011 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The introduction to this book chronicles Gabaldon's journey to becoming a ficion writer (quite a leap, considering her backround in zoology and comic books...yes, you read that right.) It is one of the funniest things I've ever read. She has such a fantastic voice in her writing, I feel as though we're hanging out gabbing over a bottle of wine. You've got to love a girl who writes: "What was the easiest kind of book for me to write? I didn't see the point in making things difficult for myself. A ...more
Sue
Excellent a great way to catch up on the series without reading 4K pages.
Lizz
Mar 16, 2010 Lizz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book! I find that her books are so involved and intricate that when a new one comes out I need a little refresher on what has come before. In the past I re-read the first books, but now that we are at this point in the series that takes some TIME. With the companion I'm able to read the synopsis of each book and remember where we left each character when last we met. Wonderful!! I do, however, wish that she could update it since 2 or is it 3 now?, books have come out since. *HINT*
Melissa
I enjoyed this book (especially the glossory and pronunciation guide). It was wonderful to get some more background information about the series, what inspired it, why some things happened the way they did, etc. However, I felt that the book was much too long winded and redundant in some places. Overall, a good resource, though.
Cindy Kirkland
Aug 17, 2013 Cindy Kirkland rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If I could give it a 0 I would. I should not have read this. It makes me like D.G. less. This book, to me, was all about D. and trying to justify something. The books are great with out this. It is NOT a companion. I thought that it would be references and stuff regarding Claire and Jaime. It was all about D.
Megan
Sep 19, 2015 Megan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I am not usually one to skim, speed-read, or skip entire sections of a book. But for a book in this format, I decided to make an exception. Some die-hard fans of the Outlander series have probably read every bit of this, and there really is a lot of interesting information in here, but not all of the content is worth taking the time to read (um, horoscopes? Really?). A lot of the information could have been posted on her website or blog. She already spends a lot of time on the compuserve forums ...more
Lisa Wolf
Jan 24, 2016 Lisa Wolf rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Update review for my 2016 audiobook listen, for the revised/updated 2015 edition of The Outlandish Companion, Volume I: Basically, this is a must-have for Outlander fans, and belongs on your shelf right next to the equally outstanding OCII. I wrote up a reading and listening guide for this volume -- you can view it here at Bookshelf Fantasies.

My review of the original edition of The Outlandish Companion (read approx. 2012):
For fans of the Outlander series, "The Outlandish Companion" is a must-h
...more
Andrea
May 19, 2015 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Outlander series who are curious about the author's inspiration and process
Overall, an interesting book. I enjoyed Gabaldon's tone, and her anecdotes throughout. I learned some interesting tidbits in regards to the Outlander series, the creation and thought that went into it, as well as her process. Even got a bit of a history lesson, which is always appreciated.

My only (personal) complaint is the book took on a professor/researcher tone at times, and that there were a section that was basically the art of research. Truthfully, I understand why this is included, so can
...more
Erin
Nov 01, 2007 Erin added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the outlander series
This book is a really cool companion book to the Outlander series. There are a lot of glossaries (characters, Gaelic pronunciations/meanings, etc.), so it reads much faster than you might think, given it's thickness (unless you want to read all that stuff, which if you've been reading the books, you already know about, os it's more a reference than anything).

Although I don't recommend reading it till after you've read through "Drums of Autumn". I read it while I was reading "Voyager", and it's g
...more
Abdz41
Jan 22, 2011 Abdz41 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's rather funny to think that I bought an 'encyclopedia' for my favorite book series, but well, there it is. If you love the Outlander series, you should own this book as well. It was really helpful in providing insight, helping you keep track of things, and overall just adding fun insight into the series. I'm sure that there will be an updated version coming out soon as this one only includes the books through Drums of Autumn. Still I love everything from Diana and wish I had just a snippet o ...more
Emma Axtell
Aug 03, 2016 Emma Axtell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Because I am currently obsessed with the whole 'Outlander' thing I bought this. I didn't actually expect to enjoy it as much as I did to be honest. It was kinda an impulse buy. So I could have the 'complete set' so to speak.

The synopses section didn't appeal to me, like I thought they would. BUT that is probably because the books are still fresh in my mind. Part 2 through to Part 10, I did find thoroughly enjoyable. And answered a few questions I had about certain things. I gleaned some interest
...more
Kait
Aug 24, 2014 Kait rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this - perhaps more than Outlander. I loved hearing about Diana's writing process - that, as a subject, is something I find very interesting - and it satisfied many burning questions. I am looking forward to starting book two even more now!

Some sections I didn't love: the synopses (especially as I've only read Outlander),

However, I really enjoyed the rest. The section on characters (how she created them, horoscope readings, etc.) was really interesting. The family trees and geneal
...more
Liz Cee
Oct 08, 2014 Liz Cee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book highly useful for keeping track of the characters in this series - which totals thousands of and thousands of pages so far. There is also informative chapters on herbs, Gaelic and more.

The book features a summary of all the novels up to and including Drums of Autumn. This makes reading the future books much easier if you need a quick refresher in between.

I recommend that if you are utilizing an ereader for the novels, get the actual book copy of "Outlandish". I found it easier
...more
Audrey-anne
Reading this at night, a little bit at a time, with a scotch wisky on the bedside table, was a small pleasure that I will miss, but not for long as the volume 2 comes out in October! Already preordered, of course. And I must say how surprised I was about the content. Obviously I didnt go through the 40 pages of bibliography but I read all the rest, with interest.
Laura
Mar 01, 2016 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In sum: if you've read the books (I'd say at least 1-4, maybe a little better to have read 1-6) and are at all interested in either the writing process and/or Diana as a person, then you would probably enjoy this companion book!
If you're just looking for a TV show companion, this is really not what you're looking for.

This companion novel was enjoyable, with lots of interesting tidbits for fans of the Outlander series. Would recommend for readers though, if you're looking for juicy stuff from the
...more
Danielle
Jan 18, 2011 Danielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be a fascinating insight into how Gabaldon creates her novels. She talks about the characters as if they were real people who tell her what adventures they're up to, and she writes them down. It's not the kind of thing you'd read cover to cover, just something to flick through when the mood strikes. An interesting book nonetheless.
Lexxie (un)Conventional Bookviews
I'm not sure why I thought it was a good idea to get the companion... I guess I just needed a little Outlander fix - and I did get that - but I don't think companion books are for me.
I am sure lots of people will appreciate it, though, but I'm just going to have to try to be patient until the next actual Outlander book comes out.
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Outlander Series: Outlandish Companion 55 386 Aug 03, 2016 12:08PM  
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Diana Jean Gabaldon Watkins grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona and is of Mexican-American and English descent. She has earned three degrees: a B.S. in Zoology, a M.S. in Marine Biology, and a Ph.D in Ecology.

She currently lives in Scottsdale, Arizona .
More about Diana Gabaldon...

Other Books in the Series

Outlander (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Outlander (Outlander, #1)
  • Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2)
  • Voyager (Outlander, #3)
  • Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4)
  • The Fiery Cross (Outlander, #5)
  • A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander, #6)
  • An Echo in the Bone (Outlander, #7)
  • Written in My Own Heart's Blood (Outlander, #8)
  • Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone (Outlander, #9)
  • Met het bloed van mijn hart deel 1 (Outlander, #8)

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