A.M.'s Reviews > Outlander

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
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's review
Feb 02, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: 2012-challenge-list, fiction

Novelist Collette once said, Sit down and put down everything that comes into your head and then you're a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff's worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.

And this exactly sums up what I feel about Outlander - a 627-page novel that should have been cut to 300 pages. While I appreciate how Diana Gabaldon painstakingly re-created a pseudo-historic Scottish fantasy world for the reader, I don't appreciate the obsessive repetition that should have been addressed at the editing stage and - unfortunately - resulted in a painful read.

Other reviewers complained of there being too much sex and S&M, and they have a point. The sex and tortuous violence are described in such excessive detail page after page after page that both become gratuitous and do nothing to add to the story or increase one's empathy for the characters. If anything, the nauseating detail does the opposite - I was left bored and numbed, skimming the pages, at times, anxious to get to the end. By page 300, I wanted to quit reading altogether but had already invested too much time into the book.

There are, however, long stretches of the novel that are well-written and engaging, which leads me to the ultimate conclusion that this would have been a decent read had it been crafted - had the author not published anything and everything that came to her mind (leading us to wonder just what kind of mind she has, given the book's obsession with flogging, violent sex and male rape.)

Alas, unless someone can give me a compelling reason to give another book of hers a try, this will be my first and last Gabaldon read. The idea of plodding through another tome like this one is just too fatiguing.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Melissa (new) - added it

Melissa I hear such good things about this series. I own this first book and have had it on my TBR list for months. Can't wait to hear what your thoughts are on it!

A.M. It's pretty good so far - very LONG. Seriously, the sheer size and weight of it is daunting.

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