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A Goodreads user asked:

After reading the reviews, I'm getting an indication that this book may be similar to 50 Shades of Gray. Is this true? I couldn't get past the 20th page of 50 Shades- not because of the sex scenes that were about to ensue (I'm OK with that) but because I felt that the writing was so poor, repetitive and amateur. Can anyone that read both weigh in ? No offense to those who like 50 Shades, btw :) Thanks!

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Erica woah....those are 2 books that are so far apart, so unlike the other, so completely opposite. Just because they both have a sex scene in it? That's about the only thing they have in common. I couldnt even read a whole chapter of 50 shades, it was SO bad. Outlander is smartly written, it serves a purpose, its moving, its exciting, the characters are strong and smart, the history will blow your mind......Nothing at all like the complete mindlessness of 50 shades of gray.
Ashley It's clear to me why they are making the comparison, fifty shades is about a very obsessive, unhealthy relationship and written like a 5th grade english class. Whereas Outlander read like a trashy romance novel disguised as historical fiction rather than actually a worthy novel of good plotline and twists. I really don't get why people are swooning over these books? It highlights infidelity, abuse of women, assault during lovemaking, rape, attempts at rape, one time she actually says no and he continues anyway because that's what "men do". Nothing says Sexy like a guy taking you against your will? it's good to keep in mind this is still the 18th century and women were treated with less respect than in modern society. However that's no excuse for Claire who has a modern consciousness and knows this is extremely wrong. Does she even attempt to tell him what he's doing isn't right? no. Not to mention for a guy she married for years the psychological factor of adultery was just kicked to the curb most of the entire book. Jamie and Claire are NOT a healthy relationship, this isn't love folks, this is lust. abuse, punishment and practically forced sex is not love...I feel this is comparable to 50 shades due to the fact that both of these couples have deep psychological unhealthy relationships with eachother that sadly most of society are "in love" with these characters. The fact that so many are swooning on these characters and their love story is sickening...this is NOT love. the book was predictable and redundant.
Yoursexylibrarian I agree with Lela that there is no comparing 50 Shades to Outlander. I put 50 Shades down after one chapter because it is so poorly written. I own the entire Outlander series and reread the books. They are so well written. You won't be disappointed. Enjoy the reading!
Chicken Little I am currently reading Outlander and I have read 50 Shades... Gosh, are there people out there who actually compare the two? Seriously?They couldn't be further apart.... In a few words, Outlander is an amazing story, 50 Shades is not worth the paper it's printed on..

But hey, that is just MHO....
Ami Don't worry, it's very different from 50 Shades of Gray. The writing is different in tone and style. The closest comparison is probably a very dense historical/fantasy series like Game of Thrones. There is a lot of description of the world around, as well as some events in the book that are based in historical truths. If you're a GoT fan, I think you should give it a try.
Dennis Fischman I can understand the comparison. Although I haven't read 50 Shades, Outlander does contain a lot of sex, and some of it is not gentle. But it's not just porn. Nor is it like Game of Thrones, even though there are wars and dynasties and plotting going on. What it seems like to me is a better than average bodice-ripping romance novel with a time-travel plot gimmick.
Rachel Whelen I haven't read Gray but the passages I've heard are so poorly written its embarrassing. Outlander is beautifully written. I was actually surprised how well written it was. I cant wait to read more.
Sebastian They are very different but both are really bad
Laura Strip away the wild sex and expensive life style, then 50 shades becomes simply a dialogue primarily between two characters overshadowed by their obsession with each other, insecurities and troubled past. Those books did not paint a complex world or complex supporting characters. I read a variety of different books and enjoyed 50 Shades for different reasons but the nature of the books are so fundamentally different from the Outlander series that I do not feel they can be adequately compared.

This book is driven by a complex web of characters, landscape, history, language and adventure. Claire has to reconcile her memories of historical knowledge with she sees before her eyes. Although there are a great many reviews and blurbs... my expectations have been surpassed and none of them adequately did the book justice.

Diana Gabaldon has 3 scientific degrees; she has written articles and textbooks (including editing textbooks) prior to writing novels. I know that's over simplifying her background; she's done so much more than that but my point is she knows how to write well and has an eye for detail. Lots of research has obviously gone in to writing the vivid descriptions in this book to make it believable. That being said, if you don't like the story, it doesn't matter. For a taste, the TV series follows the book closely from what I've seen so far. If you're into audio books, Davina Porter does a phenomenal job separating voices, accents and keeping my interest.

Did you end up giving it a go?
Mary I haven't read 50 Shades of Grey but Outlander is certainly filled with a lot of sex. Excruciating detailed sex, some of it though. It's what Gabaldon uses to pass out her remarkably thin plot. It's a bodice ripper using time travel as a gimmick.
Tina I found much of Outlander to be offensive. Gabaldon could have had just as good, or better, story without Claire's beating and the rape. But she choose to write about it, and glorify it, which I find very shocking for a woman to do that in her writing.

The book was well written, and there was a lot of history and good romance trickled within the pages, but Gabaldon should have made it more empowering for women, instead she glorified spousal rape.

50 Shades of Gray was so badly written I couldn't get past the first page. And knowing what it was about, I didn't want to.
Jessica Please refrain from making that comparison ever again. The outlander novels are among the best works of fiction I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Fifty shades is toilet paper. If you are used to reading romance or erotica, outlander will seem positively tame when it comes to the sex scenes.
The abuse people get stuck on is a spanking, and not a fun smexy one. If you are intelligent enough to understand that this novel is set primarily in the seventeen hundreds, you should be able to wrap your brain around the idea of another time and place with different rules, and appreciate the author for her unwavering depiction of said time period.
There is a rape scene in outlander. It is in no way glorified or shown to be a positive thing. I honestly don't understand how some people manage to find anything they can safely read, they being offended by everything.
retro If your concern is the quality of the writing, then go forth and read Outlander. There's no comparison with 50shades to be had. If you're asking about content, then do proceed as well, but with caution. Without wishing to spoil, Outlander does involve some sex scenes (it's a romance, go figure) and some non-consent/domestic violence that's handled about as well as it is in 50shades (with the same degree of handwaving). Personally, I felt that while less explicit, the sex scenes in Outlander did settle into a fairly similar pattern of repetitiveness as in 50shades, but ymmv on that one.
Molly Martin I haven't read 50 but decided to read Outlander. I felt it was terribly written and didn't have much of a plot or continuity of story. It was written in first person and could have been much more developed if written in the third person as we had to rely on "Claire" to give us our insight into the other characters and I didn't care much for her; she came across as an adolescent teen.
Elizabeth Sulzby The writing is better than 50 Shades so far as sentence structure but the characters, esp. the lead female, the "Outlander" are shallowly constructed. Claire, the outlander, loves sex and has barely a clue of what being in a mature loving relationship is. She's a nurse and "fixes people," but she is always getting herself into trouble that endangers others. And in all those long pages, the author never returns her to 1945 and her husband. BUT this book is MUCH longer than 50 Shades, sad to say.
Roberta Frontini (Blogue FLAMES) For me, it is the same. They are all just about sex and sex and sex... uff
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Jessica I'm so happy that you posted this question as I was wondering exactly the same thing! I almost lost all my trust in the Goodreads community because of 50 shades of crap... And thanks to the answers here I have just bought the first Outlander book :).
Rene I am actually in the middle of reading the third book in the Grey series and I can honestly say that they are nowhere near the same. Give it a shot, the writing in Outlander is way, way, waaaaaaay more descriptive, energizing, and engaging.
Brizo I though I'd like to read 50 Shades of Grey, but I picked up the audio book and was so turned off by the narrators monotonous voice, especially after listening to the Outlander series which has the most wonderful narrator. I don't think I would put 50 SoG in the same light as Outlander. Outlander is a historical novel with a love story that spans decades/centuries if you count the time travel parts. The sex is just part of the passion and love Claire and Jamie have for each other. It fits into the story-line quite well, and even enhances the feelings you have for their relationship. There are other sex scenes that can be disturbing (i.e., Rape) but the way Diana writes them, it's from the victims perspective and sensitively done. So no I wouldn't compare 50 Shades of Grey at all to Outlander.. Totally different animals.
Teri Grainger Ummmmm no, Outlander is fabulously written. By reading all the comments I'm wondering....Do people have sex? Do they enjoy it? I don't understand the negative reviews or think that there is an unusual amount of sex. There was war, farming, sex, knitting and what else back then? No tv, no sports, not much safe fun things to do. And a lot of woman didn't even understand the pleasure that sex involved!! Good for you Claire for having fun with Jamie. Rape WAS and IS a part of life. IT'S a historical FICTION book. If you love great storytelling then by all means read this series!!! If you are a prude or if a little sex bothers you or a couple rapes bother you then read a book for teens. This is great fiction.
Whisper19 If you dislike 50shades then this is the book for you. This book has substance, plot and meaningful sentences. All of the characters are 3-dimensional. And the sex is just hot!
There are painful moments, there are moments where you might think you can't read any more because the events are just so heartwrencing, but if you finish it, you'll see it was worth it!
Joyce These are wonderful books! Well written, very interesting and a non-stop picture of another world, another time. I have the first 7 so far and they are a favorite of mine. Most have been read more than once. My husband doesn't understand this, :) The only set of books that I would compare them to is Jean M. Auels,"Earth Chidlren Series", the dfirst of which is Clan of the Cave Bear! These are so worth a read.
Valerie These two books don't even belong on the same planet! The Outlander series is brilliantly written and true to the characters. Shades is poorly written and the only story is the one needed to link together the sadistic sex scenes.

Paul No, No, No! I started 50 shades and was so offended by the quality of writing I couldn’t finish it. This book is spectacularly written.
K I agree with the other reviewers. I would not compare 50 Shades with this book either. I tried to read 50 Shades could not get through it. Rarely do I put a book down. I would also not compare this to Game of Thrones (which is not historical, but simply fantasy). The only way this could be similar to either is that there is sex in it. But, there is sex in a lot of books.

This book is a fantasy/romance novel. A vera, vera long romance novel. Och, Ay, I suffer through it/I mean read it, is Jamie Fraser is hot. Sigh. I am lame.
Sharon Estridge Agree with Lela No. wouldn't mention Outlander in the same sentence with those other books. Outlander is well written, well researched, has complex characters, more involved story line.....
Connie Blanchette-Laverty I have read both The Outlander series and 50 Shades series.....Can you compare an apple's taste to that of an orange???
Both are so very different--plain and simple.
Now as far as my opinion goes, I personally prefer Outlander books to 50 Shades.
Outlander is the kind of book that keeps you guessing what is going to happen next but changes just when you think you figured it out. It is just pure intriguing pleasure of the mind.
Yes, there are some moments of titillating sexuality and some less than pleasurable sex scenarios, but you do find that it is hard to stop reading once you started.

50 Shades was not so much a cannot put it down book, as it was more disappointment that a woman could and would subjugate herself to a man in our modern age. I found myself wanting to slap her for letting Gray use her. I also found myself, as a very strong minded woman, wanting to punch Gray for just being a spoiled, selfish a$$hole in general....because his money let him get away with it....think of Mickey Rourke in 9 1/2 Weeks---another loser in my opinion.

Back to Outlander....
Claire is a very resourceful and strong willed woman, who keeps true to her values, despite whatever comes her way- both good and bad. She is very inspiring and you find that you want to know more of the history she ends up living in during the 1700's. Both Frank and Jamie are as different as two men can be, but both are likable anyway. I found Jamie, rogue-like, but sexy anyway. Frank, not so much.

The Outlander books will let your imagination run wild, and will stimulate your intellect too.
My advise is read for your pleasure---you will get a lot of it in the Outlander series.
Read 50 Shades for the titillation--that was why it was written anyway.
I hope this helps.
Cindy Brown I read 50 Shades of Grey, and gave up half way through the second book. Poorly written, no actual purpose or plot to the story, just very blaaah in general. And while I don't consider myself to be a prude, I was a bit put off by some of the content!
The Outlander series - my favourite books ever written, in the whole world, by any author ever! I have read all of them numerous times since Outlander many years ago, and never tire of them. They have amazing story lines (numerous in each book), so much historical information that each time I have read them I pick up something I missed the time before. Give them a go - you won't regret it.
Nicole No, 50 Shades of Gray pales in comparison to the magnitude of the writing, and caliber of characters Outlander. Outlander is a story of life, love, faith, destiny, family, and joy. 50 is singularly focused on sex and perhaps what evolves from that, where Outlander uses love as it base from which all actions arise.
Derek The author of the "50 Shades" books is a child, with no more knowledge of sex or erotic pleasure than a 9-year-old! Believe me, one of my all-time favorite erotic novels is Anne Rice's "Exit To Eden," and Ive read it at least 20 times. I attempted to read "50 Shades" three times and couldn't get past chapter 3. All that aside, the main focus of Outlander isn't even sex. It's a swashbuckling, period romance, full of sarcasm, sex and fun. Just remember, it takes place in 18th Century Scotland. Not 21st Century America. These whiny, nay-saying, modern feminist women who do nothing but bitch about the rape and brutal treatment of woman within the books don't seem to have grasped that notion.
Nina Sukarsono I've read the two books, believe me they are two different things. When you reach half way through "Outlander", the story will get so much better than you expected ^_^.
Anna I'm not a huge Outlander fan (I liked it but I didn't love it), but based on the few passages I've read from 50 Shades, I can tell you Outlander is much better written.
Lisa Sprague NOTHING LIKE 50 shades…. maybe except that there is a man and woman who are the main characters. The similarities end there. This novel is incredibly well written and with very original/detailed content. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed 50 shades but Outlander is in a league of it's own.
Judy No. Absolutely no. Outlander is Romantic Fiction but Diana Gabaldon is a wonderful writer making the scenes and characters so rich and full. Also deep history in her books. I will admit I have not read 50 Shades but I have heard about it from people who said it is the worst writing they have ever read and several people didn't finish it.
Patti There is a series of Outlander books (8) plus additional related books written by Diana Gabaldon and they are NOTHING like 50 Shades. I can't believe anyone who has read any of these books would say so. These books are beautifully written, historically accurate, and detail a phenomenal love story that spans decades. If you want to get lost in a different century and enjoy great adventures..I highly recommend any of these Outlander books.
Patti I haven't read 50 Shades because my time is more valuable than that, but I was incredibly disappointed with this book after all the accolades I heard and read. It's boring and one-dimensional "he said then she said, he did then she did" crap, feels very unauthentic and contrived, the writing is sort of functional (like a CSI screenplay) but far from inspired, I was bored out of my mind and annoyed non-stop. And I am one who loves a good historical fiction and adores Scotland. This book didn't do the theme justice at all. Just my opinion, of course. :)
Sena Never! I couldn't get through Fifty Shades. It was poorly written, amateurish....listening to it was like running fingernails up a chalkboard. Outlander is beautifully written, sensual...not even in the same league.
Tana Unlike 50 Shades, this book is intelligent and well written. If you couldn't read 50 Shades, congratulations. I would definitely recommend this book to you. I have read both, ok I lied, I stopped reading 50 Shades with about 20 pages left. There is wonderful character development in Outlander and there is a lot of history that keeps it interesting as well. Read it! And then watch the series....
Donna Arcara I could not agree more with your impression of 50 Shades... I did finish that awful first book and if anything the writing got worse and more repetitive as the book went on. I absolutely abhorred the 50 Shades characters. Outlander, on the other hand... I have been enchanted by the beautiful writing... some of those paragraphs just beg to be pulled out and read over and over. The characters are wonderful; I don't think I have ever been as mesmerized by a fictional hero/character as I have been by Jamie Fraser, with Claire being up there too as a strong, likeable heroine. After being sucked into the 50 Shades sham by reading shockingly positive reviews, (WHY????), I lost my confidence in amazon, goodreads, and in many of my friends-- that book was so unbelievably bad!!! It actually made me angry that a book that bad had sold so many copies and earned so many fans... I will never understand it. I am not a romance genre reader very often... I started Outlander reluctantly, but it only took a few pages to realize what beautiful writing it is. Kudos to this author, and thank you to her, too! Christian Gray is not fit to wipe Jamie Fraser's boots!!!!! And the simpering Bella, or whatever her name is in 50 Shades... there is no comparison between her and Claire. OUTLANDER. It's the way to go. A+, Five Stars. Yay.
Danielle I had the same exact feeling at the beginning of this book. Don't worry, it gets a lot better
Carlyn 50 shades of grey is possibly one of the worst books I have ever read. The Outlander series is, and i am not afraid to say, possibly always will be, the best series I have ever read and will continue to re-read many more times.
Ana You scared the crap out of me with this question! Outlander is the next book I intent to read and seeing that it may look a little like 50 shades made me wanna kill myself! haha. Grateful for all the 30 answers saying otherwise.
LadyCalico Just tried to read 50 Shades and only made it about 3/4 of the way through then had to give it up...the story was just too, too dumb and the characters too, too obnoxious. Outlander has its faults--too much filler and subplots and dragging stuff out way too long, but the underlying story is original, gripping, and filled with adventure and peril and the characters have depth and charm. Just compare the two heroines...a gutsy WWII combat nurse with a strong sense of altruism, duty, and responsibility vs. a whiny, naive, shallow gen X-er who cannot find herself but makes us sorry that we did; then consider the two heroes...a stalwart, heroic, charismatic warrior with an iron-clad sense of honor vs. an arrogant, self-absorbed, sadistic weaselly pervert with no redeeming qualities beyond looks and money and those comparisons illustrate the vast gulf of differences between the two series.
Laurel Outlander is a historical fiction novel, witha subplot of Jaime and Claire's sexual relationship. 50 Shades, however, is a (badly written....) erotic novel with a subplot of actual, well, plot.
Graff Fuller I have not read 50 Shades of Grey, but I think that Diana Gabaldon is a fairly good writer. Her story, so far (69%) into it…is a very good telling of two people who fall in love (with a lot more than just romance).
Jamie Dacyczyn I think people mention it at the same time, not because they are the same, but more like, "Uhh, if you want to read a book with erotica that is well written, try 'Outlander' instead." Fifty Shades of Gray is horribly written.
Michelle It took me 3 times to start this book. It was so boring at first - a lot of historical stuff and the characters weren't that likable. The 3rd time I tried I said to myself that I wanted to at least get beyond the part where she goes back in time (I love those kind of books). Wow! That is where it gets good. I could not put the book down. The beginning of the book and all the historical barrage is there for a reason. The characters are so likeable that it was amazing how engrossed in the book I got. I did read the first book of 50 shades (hated it). Nothing the same. I have been watching the series on Starzz too. It's really good as well.
Sue Mydliak Seriously, the two DO NOT compare at all, or as they would have said in Outlander, "The two dinna compare at all." Outlander was brilliantly written, whereas 50 Shades of Gray, was awful. Even the sex scenes between the two books, Outlander wrote it so much better. It was tender, as oppose to 50 Shades which was sadistic and again, poorly written.
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Conchita This book would be the exact antithesis of 50 Shades.
Meagan I'm struggling because so many of these replies are positive for Outlander. I was and still extremely interested in the plot but I cannot continue to waste my time as I truly can't stand the writing. Might just be my preference and I do not like leaving a book/series unfinished but this is in that category for me. Also, to note I have never read 50 shades. I expect some backlash from this so I might as well go all the way and say pretty much all of the characters in Twilight were more interesting than in Outlander. The premise is promising and it has it's moments but it reads as so very juvenile. I started watching the show and like it much much better. Granted Claire is still cringe worthy and out of touch with even her own time (which I think is the point but she just comes off as un-intelligent which considering her background makes no sense at all). She is the main character and is very boring. I only made it through the first book and part of the second. Not trying to offend anyone, just not my cup of tea.
Vicki Burke Outlander is a love story and nothing like 50 shades. Outlander shows two people falling in love and showing they would do anything for each other and sacrifice anything and everything for each other,, soul mates through time. Maybe they were put together but fate works in mysteries ways . The love scenes are well written as is the whole book. Im in love with the love that is in this book. Yes it shows some dark sides of the human personality but the way the two main characters stay together and work things out for each other is truly lovely,, Love through history.
Chelsea Ginn No two very different books. Diana Gabaldon is an extremely intelligent talented author. Also in my opinion each later book in the series just gets better and better.
Kandie Sweeney Not even close. I read all the 50 Shades books basically as beach reads...don't ask me why. The writing is not great. LOL Anyway, Outlander is very well written, great characters, and very historically accurate compared to other things I've read from that period and from my own travels in Scotland. The sex scenes are pretty intense, but I think they are true to that time and I enjoyed those parts of the book as well. Some of the scenes between Jamie and Claire, (not just the sex scenes) almost brought me to tears with the love they have for each other. I loved everything about this book and look forward to the rest of the series. The 850 pages zoomed by.
Kristin Conner Outlander is written well; 50 shades is TRASH.
Alexandra I did not read 50 shades, but got through the first "Outlander". It was extremely entertaining, a highly recommended beach read, which is what I did. I started the second book on the way home on the plane, but abandoned it, it sort of fizzled out for me. It is, in fact, very suggestive and outspoken about sex, in a very positive way, unlike 50 shades. There is a disturbing rape scene, which I just skipped. No big deal. The book was written in the 80s and was never meant to be published, according to the author. I felt it was rather dated in the style of writing, but it is, definitely, way above any romance books out there. Diana Gabaldon is a very solid writer. You won't regret it.
Vicky Warren I was the same way with 50 shades! I need a plot and to relate to the characters. Good literature makes you fall in love with your characters. 50 shades had no plot and the characters were dull and had no personality. Outlander is brilliant! You will feel every emotion in this book and you have characters you will love and hate with a historical backdrop that becomes a character of its own.
Lora Swafford I have read both and there is no comparison. This one may have been compared due to sexual references. But the books are nothing alike. Outlander is on another level! Amazing book!
Katie Sutton Oh dear god know. Fifty shades is crap next to these books. Diana is a brilliant writer.
HeatherJay Oh my God, not even close. That's like saying the Bible and Dr. Seuss are similar. It's been awhile since you asked the question so I hope you've had a chance to read it.
Sue Kozlowski The only connection I can see between the 2 books is the topic of male dominance over females. In both stories, the male is very dominant when it comes to sex. But Fifty Sog is a modern day perverted sex relationship. Outlander on the other had, takes place in 18th century Scotland. I think that the story probably represents the way women were viewed and treated at that time. Women have come a long way since then.
Crissy Crim Just Say'in Jamie Fraser the Scott kicks Christian Grey's Ass to the Curve and then some. This is a beautiful novel (series) that you feel the rush of true romance, action of the struggle of clan wars/fights, the perils of the time, the moving of self conflict, the spiritual conscience...just amazing and beautiful no words can describe.
Janet This was exactly what I was wondering myself. Thank you everyone who put up a response. I personally didn't read 50 Shades and have no interesting in reading it. I thought it was going to be similar to Game of Thrones just with a Braveheart genre.

Starz TV Series vs. Book - I wish I had read the book before I watched the series. Each episode came with a director's explanation. From what was said they follow the book very closely but do add stuff. Glad I have some time before Season 2 comes out on Starz.
Rebecca Franco No not at all, both are very different books. Outlander is written in a way that is exciting and brings you there when it's all happening and its great! 50 Shades is poorly written and emphasizes the sex TOO much, whereas Outlander focuses on Claire and Jamie's attraction and bond with each other and of course shows that through descriptive love scenes.
Saunders I don't think you can can compare these two books in the same breath. Outlander was written way before the concept of 50 Shades was even in the embryo stage. Different cultures and different eras. Keep them separate - they are very different books.
Blanca Julia Definitely not, there is no comparison. It`s like someone said, `50 Shades is not worth the paper it is printed on.` Outlander is very well written.

I don`t even understand why 50 shades was made into a movie. So poorly written. :(
Dess_8 I haven't read the Outlander books yet, just watching the show so far. But trust me - Outlander is 1000000 times better than 50 Shades in all aspects possible!!! The 50 shades books should only be used to make a fire out of sth that burns easily!
Tonya I'm about 75% done with Outlander and, ironically, I was thinking about a 50 Shades of Gray comparison today. Not because of sex and spankings (although this happens in both books...) but because the beginnings of both books dragged and dragged. 50 Shades you are reading for the "sexy, sexy" and Outlander you are reading for the travel back in time. In both books, I was wondering if we were ever going to get there. That said, Outlander is written much better.
Sharon I've read both. I don't understand why they are compared to each other. I liked both books but I had to overlook the writing in 50. That goddess thing drove me crazy but I overlooked it. The writing in Outlander was superb. I think 50 could have been written so much better but it's too late now.
Sally Monaghan Not at all. Yes, there is plenty of sex in Outlander, but it is also about the history and people of the Scottish Highlands. There are fantastic characters. I picked up 50 Shades and realized from the get go that it was basically porn. Never read any more. I'm not a prude, I just think it doesn't take any talent to write that; I require story and character development, also. Outlander is NOTHING like 50 Shades.
Montre That is preposterous. Fifty Shades of Grey is classless poorly written smut. Outlander is a beautifully written masterpiece, that just happens to have a couple of tasteful classy written sex scenes.
Jerah "Outlander" is like a Scottish version of "Clan of the Cave Bear". Except a little less pornographic, but still with all the cheesy romance stuff, which I skip through, because...ugh. Goofy. But otherwise...very good books! NOT like Shades AT ALL. I hate that crap.
Cam Very different, I am still reading Outlander, but can tell you that is black and white
Lgloyd Far too violent and sexually explicit for me.
Elizabeth Luscomb I haven't read 50 Shades of Gray, however, I can attest that Outlander is very well written.
Emilia Outlander was obviously well researched so in that sense the writing is good. But it's definitely not going to win a Pulitzer.
Anne C. Despite the disbelief below, I can understand the question being asked. I read it for the first time recently and there are some sex scenes that are about dominance, possession, and borderline (ymmv) sadism from characters who are supposed to be "good" characters. That's not really my thing, but I understand there are some who do enjoy it with the right conditions. It's not as crazy a comparison as some below would have it, though the quality of the writing is miles apart.
Holly Outlander is like 50 Shades of Stockholm Syndrome. There's S&M just like in 50 Shades, plus the writing is terrible: getting a PhD didn't teach Diana Gabaldon how to use a freakin' semicolon, the book abounds with both really distracting Americanisms and even more distracting attempts by Gabaldon to sound Scottish (I didna ken someone could waste so verra goddamn much time establishing a dialect), and I got SO BLOODY TIRED of all the long, boring passages that were clearly included only because she wanted to show off all the research she had done and was unwilling to sacrifice them for the sake of producing a stronger, more readable work.
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J.M. Johnson Its been a long time since I read the Outlander, but I know I read it twice because I was so impressed the writing. It was the first of this entire genre of time travelling romance and if you ask me the best of them all.
Angela Nothing related. I´am agree with all readers, Outlander it´s a good writer history. 50 shadows it´s rubbish.
Enjoy the book and dream with the tv serie.
Outlander "Cross Stitch/Outlander" is nothing at all like "50 Shades of Grey", which is virtually pornography (I could not get very far with it at all) whereas Diana Gabaldon's books are about life with a lot of magic dust. Yes there is a lot of sex along with time travel, history , love & marriage - just life with magic dust.
Ann Richardson I looked at 50 Shades of Gray...and I put it back on the shelf. It felt like so much rubbish!!!
I first read Outlander in the early 1990s. It is a very "real to life" book and it covers hard subjects. The sexual scenes are not gratuitous in nature -- they are there to move the story forward. The author has said "A good sex scene is about the exchange of emotions, not bodily fluids. That being so, it can encompass any emotion whatever, from rage or desolation to exultation, tenderness, or surprise."
LINK: http://www.dianagabaldon.com/2012/07/...
Having said that, it is not a book I would read to my children. But then I don't read books about war or child abuse or many other subjects to my children.
Whether you will be offended or not, I don't know. I consider myself very conservative morally. Admittedly, I don't have the sex scenes marked and don't reread them except when I am rereading the the books in a whole. Having said that, reading them has given me direction on what I want my own relationship with my husband to be more like. And how can that be a bad thing?
Carol Brock Carol Brock Outlander covers many genres, Romance, Historical Fiction, Adventure and Fantasy. Superbly written. You come to care very deeply about the fictional characters brought to life by Diana Gabaldon. Cannot reccomend enough.
Liza I nkow this question is from 5 years ago, but I just started the book and thought the same thing. It reads like a YA novel, the writing is amateurish and not very refined, for such heavy topics. Take out the rape/violence and a pre-teen would have no problem reading this.
Lydia Rueda No. This book is in a realm all by itself. It is absolutely amazing. I cannot even begin to describe it. I am totally captured by her writing and the emotions captured therein. Enjoy if you haven't already.
Linda I couldn't get past the first paragraph of 50 shades! Outlander stands the test of time for me seeing as I first read it in 1993. I've read it many times since and along with the tv show, it remains my fave all time read and watch! Later books in the series can be seriously over-written and dense but the first book is a wonderful addition to my physical and digital library.
Elizabeth Sackett The thing they have in common is abuse being ignored/justified by the fandom or narrative in the main romance
Zsófi Teleki 50 shades is porn, could not read. Outlander has sex but it is the mental emotional tie that makes the story. Gabaldon has a fabulous imagination and a way with words. Love it even when you don't. sometimes I laugh out loud. Do not compare it in any way too the other.
Norma Johansen esteves unfortuntelly I bought the box with the 3 books, I could not pass the 15th page, really poor, much ado about nothing really
Maria Victoria Peeler
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Evelyn Treptow I have read the first Shades of Grey novel and enjoyed it for what it was, good for a laugh. There is plenty of "romance" and erotica out there in a similar vein. Outlander, to me, is an exiting and well written adventure story. The sex scenes in Outlander are fairly tame, if you read Outlander because of the sex, you will get bored very quickly.
Colleen Vaa I agree with Lela and Erica not even worthy to compare. Outlander brings you into an entirely different amazing fantasy taking you not only to a different time, but to an amazing reading vacation. Just one of the best stories all around.
Kim Meseck Outlander is a fabulous book and a wonderful series! I don't know where some of these people are coming from. OMG! They are so off base.

Sex is a part of life. People in healthy relationships have a lot of it. Back in the 1700s women were considered the property of men. Men ruled. It was a very different time that time. These books are well-written and researched. If you don't want to read about sex or the reality of life, you need to find something different. Fairy Tails might be a better suited genre for you.
Jack Vasen I browsed some of the answers to this question and most of the responses say no because of opinions of the difference in quality of the books.
Without regard to quality, there is no reason to compare the books despite the fact that both books deal with the abuse of a female character, Claire. In FSoG, the abuse is supposed to take place within a dom-sub relationship. In Outlander, the abuse comes with malice and even sadism and it comes more from antagonists.
Angela Oh dear - I can't compare these two books. I didn't get far in FSG either - what's-his-face was too arrogant for me. I distinctly remembering closing the book and muttering "You can take your contract and shove it, dude." Anyhoo. Outlander is a totally different beast than FSG. I think the writing is so much more vivid and just better in Outlander. It's rich, VERY rich in history too so if you don't like history, might want to take a pass. Where people might have compared the two books is that it can be very descriptive and hot in the sexy time department. Other than that, I can't find any similarities. I have loved all of the Outlander books so far and I'm currently reading the 7th one. The books can be very daunting when you look at how thick they are but once you settle in, you are engulfed by them (just give in). These characters are complex and you get invested in their journeys and wellbeing ...I couldn't find that in FSG...just didn't care after a few chapters. I just realized my review is 3 years after your original question - hopefully you've taken the plunge by now and you are obsessed.
Haley Penserini ABSOLUTELY NOT. This book involves sex, yes. But the writing is so much more than 50 shades. I've read both and I would not compare them in any way.
Leon Callado 50 Shades is just what one expects: a basic toilet paper. These books are far worse as they pretend to be something more but are just perfumed toilet paper decorated with flower stamps. I've nothing against such kind of paper, if they don't try to sell it as a table napkin. The sex scenes all over are simply inept at least and pretty disgusting at best, repeatedly. Do any women over here have an orgasm with such a poor and "shorty" performance? Or know any woman who does? Really? Tell me the secret! Or don't. And who needs a man with a woman like that? She is more macho than my brother, by far. And the main male character is not a man at all, he is but a doll. He thinks like a maid from that century and I urge him to come out and stop pretending. She-monster does what she wants with him. He is just a "dildo" disguised as a pretty boy for her. No wonder he thinks the other monster, a satanic decrepit fag, who rapes him is her. Freud explains that. All pseudo-feminine traces or else attributed to her just don't fit, she is simply too male and castrating. All men in the plot are monsters or dolls. I don't recall any man that is normal and healthy enough. Overall these books are just feminist filth, like GOT anyway, but far worse, and they serve only to recruit delusional "lassies", as they are called at the books, to "burn brassieres" and to bore us to death with absurdity and bad taste. Minus 4 stars if I can. The last one is not attributed for some nature descriptions that seem pretty enough, what is just expected by the location.
Beth Confer Wow...Outlander is an extremely popular TV show...
Somebody must think it is a good read!!
Just sayin..
Amnah Absolutely not, I can assure you! This book is not in the slightest amateur. Give it a go. Flip through some pages, and you'll discover it's probably one of the most impressive eroticas you've come across.
Okay, I realise you asked this three years ago. But, you know, I'm a procrastinator, I will not judge you if you are a little behind. I recommend this! Must read!
Nikki Wataha 50 shades is a fan fic of Twilight.. set BDSM world and poorly written.
Outlander is written in 90's is an amazing way that time travel fiction incorporating British history can be done. Game of Thrones it is not (including TV version).
You could say it is has ideas like Utterley's The traveler of time but adult and slight time shift. But now Outlander has its own TV series.
Jamie I looked at both oriangle publish dates. outlander's was 1991 ana fifty shades of gray was 2011. if that helps you out any i'm glad to help.
Cathy Ashley Outlander and its sequels are quite sexually explicit, but if you read any paragraph of DG's writing she tend to be quite explicit about everything, showing us blow by blow, little nuances and gestures. It's just her style. It is to do with conveying time and with 'showing not telling'. Instead of summarising she lets the reader live through it. I think in this context it would be a bit odd to take out the sexual interaction between the characters. It sort of just makes them well-rounded characters, of whom we see the whole life - which is expressed realistically and 99% tastefully. But it isn't the book's raison d'etre - as it surely is with 50 shades.
Carole Greene Unlike "50 Shades of Grey", "Outlander" is extremely well written, the character development is definitely there, and provides a good historical depiction of what life was like for women living in Scotland during the 1700's . There is absolutely no comparison; I couldn't even make it halfway through "50 Shades" without throwing the book out.
T. Gilbert They are not alike at all. 50 Shades was terrible I couldn't finish it. This book I liked although the plot was a little boring and redundant. The sex in this book is a little less out there. Although I hear from my wife Gabaldon gets more explicit in the rest of the series, which I don't intend to read because I find all the description a little tedious.
Nafeesa I have not read 50 shades, but this book has lot of sex scenes between the leads. So, the content might be similar. The writing skills of the author is pretty good. I was hooked onto the book for first 200 pages or so, before I realized this content is so not my thing.
Carrie I feel so much better after reading this question! While NOT a direct comparison, I can definitely see "shades" (terrible pun) of that famous erotica. Claire is very similar to whatshername. The writing is not the same, and you can tell there is historical research, but it is pretty much a romance (strong male hero/sex deprived female) over anything historical. Just my initial thoughts!! I am no professional reviewer by any means.
Fernando Holmes Yes, they are similar. They are equally bad. Each one has a different writing style and focus, but they are just that, mediocre books
Jeri Writing that's poor, repetitive and amateur. That pretty much sums up Outlander, too.
Maureen No no no no no!
Teshai oh nooo, if the story wasn't so interesting in 50, i would have never read it..I think the sex scenes in this book is more left to the imagination of the reader.
Carol Chan I'm not sure if I got that far in 50 Shadeds, but I love these books! There are some quite vivid sex scenes in it, but its a little more realistic than 50 Shades and it's a LOT more than sex. The writing is much better and has addicting plot turns. Many people would look at the whole series of very long books and wonder, but they are addicting and waiting for the next one to come out can be painful!
Kelly Focketijn It is not poorly written, but the story is as frustrating as the 50 shades one. I have absolutely no sympathy for any of the characters except for poor Frank.
Beth Jones I actually think there are some similarities, though not in the sex scenes. The sex stuff isn't that graphic; however, the shock value is similar when it comes to the constant rape scenes and accepting abuse because the abuser "has a good reason" for it.
Cyrus Ramsey Outlander and the Outlander the series is rich in characters, history, science love and love of life. 50 is a dime store novel maybe
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by Diana Gabaldon (Goodreads Author)
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