Becky's Reviews > Outlander

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
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Sep 10, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, library-books, romance-y, historical-fiction, 2009, multi-dimensional, reviewed
Recommended to Becky by: Allison (The Allure of Books)
Recommended for: hopeless romantics with a strong stomach
Read in September, 2009

I have to admit that for a large chunk of this book, I was hovering right around 3-3 1/2 stars. It was very good, but not amazing.

Gabaldon really knows how to tell a story and suck you in. I felt like I was there, in 1743 with Claire and the clans and the Redcoats. I could smell the trees and feel the clear air, and could hear, or not hear, the silence that is the absence of 20th century noise pollution. I even dreamt about the book, which is a sure indicator of my being absorbed.

But that being said, I did find her writing a bit distracting at the same time. Certain conversations and situations would be incredibly vague to me, but would have Claire jumping to a conclusion or answering in a way that made no sense to me. I'd have to read it several times and I still wouldn't know what was going on. And then later, when the resolution or explanation came, I would be confused as to how the previous thing led to it. Around the third time, I just went with it, but it annoyed me.

I do like to have a little mystery, or suspense, or whatever in my stories. I don't expect everything to be handed to me on a silver platter- that would be boring. But, I do want to be able to follow the action or dialogue without feeling like I'm watching a one-sided conversation in Spanish, which I don't speak. Ideally, I would read the passage and come to the same conclusion as the character does. This was a small thing, but it happened a couple times, and frustrated me.

Anyway, let's move on to what everyone is dying to know: How much I loved Jamie.

It seems that Jamie is legendary in the 20th century. Mention this book within 50 miles of a girl who's read it and they start to swoon and fan themselves. If the poor guy was real, he would really have to live in the highest and most secluded of the Scottish Highlands just to get some peace, but even so, he'd probably never leave home without a stick to beat the teeming female masses back.

He really is like 99.8% perfect in every way. Too good to be true perfect, actually. He's attractive (if you like red-heads, which I don't as a rule), smart as a whip, witty, funny, brave, chivalrous, fair, wise beyond his years, makes a girl feel all warm and safe, etc etc etc. Really, if there's an adjective that indicates a positive trait, Jamie would probably embody it somehow. He accepts absurd and unreal situations that would have most other men of the 18th century shouting "WITCH!" and building the bonfire themselves without batting an eye.

I think that it was this near perfection that I just couldn't get over. His ONLY poor trait was his stubbornness. I really do love chivalry, intelligence and a sense of humor are absolute musts, and I'll even settle for an attractive guy if necessary, but keep going on past those things, and you start getting into the realm of fantasy. Jamie doesn't exist, because no man can be that perfect.

And this, in itself is what held me back from loving Jamie like the hordes of women mentioned above. Don't get me wrong, I did like him a lot, but love it wasn't. I want to be able to love a fictional character that is REALISTICALLY perfect, and Jamie is just perfect, no realism about it. But that was before I reached the last 50 pages of the book when Jamie is describing the torture he endured.

I won't go into a lot of detail here, to avoid spoilers, but I will just say that my heart BROKE for Jamie. His fear and pain made him vulnerable, and THAT made me love him when all his perfection could not. I'm not talking about fear of death, or physical pain from his injuries, I mean his fear of being with and being without Claire was causing him pain, and just watching him in so much agony tore my heart out.

So, the short answer would be that yes, I loved him, in the end.

I did enjoy the story, and might even read it again one day, but I don't think that I will continue the series. I think that this book on it's own was enough.
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Reading Progress

09/12/2009 page 1
0.16%
09/12/2009 page 147
23.44% "Part 3!"
09/15/2009 page 627
100.0% "Review to come..." 6 comments
05/26/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-25 of 25) (25 new)

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Jennifer Is this the first time you've read one of the Outlander books? Isn't Jamie fantastic? :D


Allison (The Allure of Books) I still haven't decided if I'll still want to be your friend when you finish this.


message 3: by Misty (new) - added it

Misty I keep hearing people talk about these. Are they worth my time?


Kandice I loved this first installment in the series, just wasn't compelled to read further.


Allison (The Allure of Books) Misty wrote: "I keep hearing people talk about these. Are they worth my time?"

YES THEY ARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Allison (The Allure of Books) Outlander is in my top 5 favorite books of all time, and I am crazy addicted to the entire series.


message 7: by Misty (new) - added it

Misty Okay. Okay.
*smiles reassuringly at the crazy lady*


Allison (The Allure of Books) *thinks about taking offense, but desides to appreciate your honesty*

LOL. I am a bit crazy. Just ask Becky, I practically beat her up virtually until she agreed to immediately go to the library and get it.


message 9: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Ha ha. There are interesting images in my mind of you beating up Becky virtually. I just got this book not too long ago.


Jennifer 100% agree with Allison. Everyone needs to read these books! Right away :)


Becky Wow. 10 comments. Jeez.

Err... OK, right now, I'm leaning toward 3 3/4 stars like on StarSearch.

And yes, Allison DID virtually beat me up. I think if she had been within oh, 4 or 5 hours away from me, she'd have drove to my house to poke me with sharpened sticks until I read it.

It IS good though... I keep thinking about it. Today I had soup and with chunk of bread for dinner, and I thought, "Hmm... I could be eating what they ate!" LOL And I dreamt about it, which is a sure sign that it has sucked me in.

I DO wish to see Jamie kick some ass though. And take names. :D


Kandice He could take my name;)


Allison (The Allure of Books) he already has mine :)


Becky Oh jeez. You girls!


Fiona You have to read the rest of the series, they just get betterer betterer. Well, I didn't think much of the second and the 5th was absolute crap but 3-4 were absolutely MIND BLOWINGLY AWESOME. I mean 2 was good, very good but 3-4 = brilliant.


Becky Fiona wrote: "You have to read the rest of the series, they just get betterer betterer. Well, I didn't think much of the second and the 5th was absolute crap but 3-4 were absolutely MIND BLOWINGLY AWESOME. I mea..."

I don't know if I can! Allison told me about some of what happens, and I just think that it would be too much for me. LOL (Imagine that!)


Jackie Well, I'm glad you gave it at least 4 stars. If you would have given it less I would have had to send you a "special" package. Muaahahahahhahahaa!


Becky Jackie wrote: "Well, I'm glad you gave it at least 4 stars. If you would have given it less I would have had to send you a "special" package. Muaahahahahhahahaa! "

*cowers in my boots*


message 19: by Liz (new) - rated it 3 stars

Liz I'm glad you get to live after posting this review, Becky, I was a bit worried for you :)


Becky Liz wrote: "I'm glad you get to live after posting this review, Becky, I was a bit worried for you :)"

Thanks Liz. I'll enjoy continuing to breathe for a while... but then, Allison hasn't made an appearance yet. =\


Kandice I agree, absolutely, with what you said, Becky. When I finished, I really thought I might continue in the future, but now I know this one was a perfect thing for me. I don't think I can read anymore.


Allison (The Allure of Books) <3 you Becky, and I'm glad you enjoyed it overall! :)


Allison (The Allure of Books) and thanks for reading it :D


Libby Great review Becky - I appreciated this comment: "Mention this book within 50 miles of a girl who's read it and they start to swoon and fan themselves". It is SO true. This is the first and only book I've ever purchased in the Romance section. I'm not a big romance fan and I don't really swoon until I read about Jaime. I don't know what the author did right but this guy is LOVED by every woman.

To anyone who hasn't read this one, I really recommend it. Also, you can just enjoy this book and not continue in the series. I didn't continue with the series *ducks to dodge rocks being throw* I may one day but the point is the really enjoyed this one as a standalone


Betty Great review, Becky, I really enjoyed reading it. I agree with your observations regarding Jamie's torture and the way he struggled with it afterward. It was absolutely heart-wrenching to read that portion of the book.


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