Vicky's Reviews > Outlander

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
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Aug 10, 14

bookshelves: historical-fiction, romance, series-in-progress, favorites, zz-american-author, setting-scotland, time-travel, own-audible-library, zzz-temp-color
Read from January 03 to 08, 2013 — I own a copy, read count: 2

Re-read Notes Outlander was even better the second time, I picked up on tons of small details that I had missed and found a greater appreciation for Gabaldon's attention to detail.

During my re-read, I was suffering from an ear infection which made it difficult to listen to the whole book in audiobook form, so I switched between that and an eBook version. I am strongly in favor of the audiobook version, the emotion and skill with which Davina Porter narrates adds to the book in so many ways. Even when I was reading, rather than listening, it was her voices for the characters that I heard in my mind.


Note: This review contains comments on the audiobook narrated by Davina Porter at the end.

I was wary of reading Outlander, and wasn't sure what to expect. I had heard many conflicting things about the book and I hope to touch on most of them in this review. At any rate, I ended up loving the book.

The characters were easy to relate to them and I really felt and understood their emotions.

Claire, a WWII combat nurse and our heroine, was especially great. She is spunky, quick-witted, resourceful and has a great sarcastic sense of humor. Finding herself in the middle of the 18th century Scottish Highlands, she meets Jamie, who plays the hero. He's strong and independent (often to the point of stubbornness!), but he has his own monsters chasing him. The supporting characters were equally well drawn and unique. Even the main villain, who started out as a love to hate character, grew on me until I finally started to understand his viewpoint.

Historically, Outlander is beautifully researched, and paints a fantastic picture of the 18th century Scottish Highlands and clan life therein. I love when historical fiction ties large scale events into their world, rather than just taking place during a certain period of time.

Two of the main disputing points I've seen between those that loved and those that were disgusted by the novel are the sexuality and brutality of the novel, so I definitely want to say my peace in that regard. Yes, there is a lot of sexuality. Yes, there is beating, whipping, and rape - much if it with a good deal of detail. But I think that without it, Outlander would not be the book it is and, especially with the brutality, it really illustrates the time period where the book takes place. I didn't find any of it unnecessary or out of place. However, if you have a low tolerance for these types of things, Outlander may not be the book for you.

Davina Porter is an excellent narrator. She was able to distinctly portray both English and Scottish, male and female voices. It seemed as though almost all the major characters had a distinct voice. She's definitely going on to my list of favorite narrators.

I've already started the follow-up, Dragonfly in Amber, and plan on continuing with the series.

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Quotes Vicky Liked

Diana Gabaldon
“I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have.”
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander

Diana Gabaldon
“There are things that I canna tell you, at least not yet. And I'll ask nothing of ye that ye canna give me. But what I would ask of ye---when you do tell me something, let it be the truth. And I'll promise ye the same. We have nothing now between us, save---respect, perhaps. And I think that respect has maybe room for secrets, but not for lies. Do ye agree?”
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander

Diana Gabaldon
“Murtagh was right about women. Sassenach, I risked my life for ye, committing theft, arson, assault, and murder into the bargain. In return for which ye call me names, insult my manhood, kick me in the ballocks and claw my face. Then I beat you half to death and tell ye all the most humiliating things have ever happened to me, and ye say ye love me." He laid his head on his knees and laughed some more. Finally he rose and held out a hand to me, wiping his eyes with the other.
"You're no verra sensible, Sassenach, but I like ye fine. Let's go.”
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander

Diana Gabaldon
“When I asked my da how ye knew which was the right woman, he told me when the time came, I'd have no doubt. And I didn't. When I woke in the dark under that tree on the road to Leoch, with you sitting on my chest, cursing me for bleeding to death, I said to myself 'Jamie Fraser, for all ye canna see what she looks like, and for all she weights as much as a good draft horse, this is the woman.”
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander

Diana Gabaldon
“Because I wanted you." He turned from the window to face me. "More than I ever wanted anything in my life," he added softly.

I continued staring at him, dumbstruck. Whatever I had been expecting, it wasn't this. Seeing my openmouthed expression, he continued lightly. "When I asked my da how ye knew which was the right woman, he told me when the time came, I'd have no doubt. And I didn't. When I woke in the dark under that tree on the road to Leoch, with you sitting on my chest, cursing me for bleeding to death, I said to myself, 'Jamie Fraser, for all ye canna see what she looks like, and for all she weighs as much as a good draft horse, this is the woman'"

I started toward him, and he backed away, talking rapidly. "I said to myself, 'She's mended ye twice in as many hours, me lad; life amongst the MacKenzies being what it is, it might be as well to wed a woman as can stanch a wound and set broken bones.' And I said to myself, 'Jamie, lad, if her touch feels so bonny on your collarbone, imagine what it might feel like lower down...'"

He dodged around a chair. "Of course, I thought it might ha' just been the effects of spending four months in a monastery, without benefit of female companionship, but then that ride through the dark together"--he paused to sigh theatrically, neatly evading my grab at his sleeve--"with that lovely broad arse wedged between my thighs"--he ducked a blow aimed at his left ear and sidestepped, getting a low table between us--"and that rock-solid head thumping me in the chest"--a small metal ornament bounced off his own head and went clanging to the floor--"I said to myself..."

He was laughing so hard at this point that he had to gasp for breath between phrases. "Jamie...I said...for all she's a Sassenach bitch...with a tongue like an adder's ...with a bum like that...what does it matter if she's a f-face like a sh-sh-eep?"

I tripped him neatly and landed on his stomach with both knees as he hit the floor with a crash that shook the house.

"You mean to tell me that you married me out of love?" I demanded. He raised his eyebrows, struggling to draw in breath.

"Have I not...just been...saying so?”
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander

Diana Gabaldon
“You are safe," he said firmly. "You have my name and my family, my clan, and if necessary, the protection of my body as well. The man willna lay hands on ye again, while I live.”
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander

Diana Gabaldon
“I gave you justice, it said, as I was taught it. And I gave you mercy , too, so far as I could. While I could not spare you pain and humiliation, I make you a gift of my own pains and humiliations, that yours might be easier to bear. ”
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander

Diana Gabaldon
“Good," I said, completely provoked. "You deserve it. Maybe that will teach you to go haring round the countryside kidnapping young women and k-killing people, and…" I felt myself ridiculously close to tears and stopped, fighting for control.
Dougal was growing impatient with this conversation. "Well, can ye keep one foot on each side of the horse, man?"
"He can't go anywhere!" I protested indignantly. "He ought to be in hospital! Certainly he can't---"
My protests, as usual, went completely ignored.
"Can ye ride?" Dougal repeated.
"Aye, if ye'll take the lassie off my chest and fetch me a clean shirt.”
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander

Diana Gabaldon
“I swore an oath before the altar of God to protect this woman. And if you're tellin' me that ye consider your own authority to be greater than that of the Almighty, then I must inform ye that I'm not of that opinion, myself.”
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander

Diana Gabaldon
“Why, what's the matter wi' the poor child?" she demanded of Jamie. "Has she had an accident o' some sort?"

"No, it's only she's married me," he said, "though if ye care to call it an accident, ye may.”
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander

Diana Gabaldon
“He leaned close, rubbing his bearded cheek against my ear. 'And how about a sweet kiss, now, for the brave lads of the clan MacKenzie? Tulach Ard!'
Erin go bragh,' I said rudely, and pushed with all my strength.”
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander

Diana Gabaldon
“Black Jack. A common name for rogues and scoundrels in the eighteenth century. A staple of romantic fiction, the name conjured up charming highwaymen, dashing blades in plumed hats. The reality waled at my side.”
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander

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15.0% "Very slowly listening to this as an audiobook."
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