Alysha's Reviews > Outlander

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
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's review
Nov 10, 2007

did not like it
Recommended for: reader's of Harlequinn Romances
Read in January, 2007

Too bad here isn't a rating stronger than "didn't like" because I hated this book. In fact, I read the entire thing just so that someone couldn't talk me out of hating it by saying "Oh, it gets better at the end" or "you really needed to read the whole thing to appreciate it".

This book isn't about Scotland or time travel, it's about Jamie and Claire having sex in different locations and positions. Throw in a little wife beating, rape and repeated torture and you've got yourself a toned-down Marquis de Sade. It made me want to take a shower.

More later..........
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02/01/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-18)

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message 18: by Vikki (new) - rated it 1 star

Vikki yeah, thats how i felt. i think it was all the more disappointing to me because thats not the way people described it to me. i was led to believe it would be very different.

message 17: by Mily (last edited Mar 28, 2010 09:52PM) (new) - added it

Mily Lou Thanks for being honest =).
I hate books that all they do is have "sex" it's point less really. EmilyLiz

message 16: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Day Actually, that's not what the book is about at all. There are some sex scenes, but they're not disgustingly graphic or crude; they're very tastefully done.
And I bet if you took the whole book (all 800-some pages of it) you would have fewer than 8 sex scenes that describe more than the first glance or touch.

Alysha It didn't have anything in between the nasty bits to keep me engaged or interested. I couldn't stand Claire - she was far too meek and mild though - she rationalized Jamie's beating of her and seemed to just go with the flow. The author gave us very little evidence of any internal conflict that SURELY a modern day woman would feel being treated in that manner. It just didn't seem genuine and it made me angry.

message 14: by Michelle (last edited Jun 17, 2011 04:36PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Michelle I'm not defending the book (just started today), but I must say that calling the 1945 time traveling Claire a "modern day woman" is a gross overstatement. We can hardly compare ourselves to that which existed in the 40's and say we're equals. The civil rights movement hadn't even occurred yet, for crying out loud, so of course it was commonplace for a woman whose "good man" knocked her around occasionally to rationalize the situation. I'm not saying it was right, I'm saying that's just the way it was during that particular time in 1945.

Alysha You can pick on my use of the term "modern day" - and maybe that was not the best phrase to use - but it seemed to me that the author was trying to portray Claire as strong and independent - not the type who would just take - and even rationalize - the abuse doled out to her. Maybe when you've actually read the whole book, for crying out loud, you'll have a better idea of what I'm getting at. Or maybe you'll disagree. Whatever.

message 12: by Michelle (last edited Jun 17, 2011 04:39PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Michelle Sorry I used the phrase "crying out loud". I didn't mean any offense (which, of course, would be impossible to know in written form). I was just trying to emphasize through example that it wasn't just women stuck in that state of rationalization - it was the state of things worldwide. Sorry again for coming off all antagonistic. :)

Having now finished the book, I might as well comment on the topic at hand, right? ;)

So, yeah, you're right, I took away a completely different perspective of Claire's "beating". I thought the author actually portrayed her as completely beside herself in her anger over the punishment - she refused to talk to him, refused to sleep near him for days, called him a multitude of names ("sadist" being the most used), and even threatened his life if he should ever do it again. In fact, I found my own self irritated with her for being less understanding than what I thought she should be considering the circumstances of what she had done and the time period she was in. I was thinking she should have just "taken it like a man" because she deserved punishment for her carelessness and, unfortunately for her, that was the form of punishment of the day -
Which was ME rationalizing the situation just like you said Claire had done - I thought that was funny. In defense of your argument, though, she did attempt to see it from his perspective after he started telling her stories of his own past punishments, which may very well be what you were referring to, but she still went on to threaten him in the end.

In any event, I do agree with you that this was not the world's greatest book. I got bamboozled by all the sci-fi & historical fiction talk and was sorely disappointed to discover it was nothing more than a romance. Decent enough for a romance, but still just a romance. And it would have been sooo much better minus 75% of all the sex, but then I guess the book would have been only 300 pages long rather than the gloriously near-800!

Cheers. :)

message 11: by Alysha (last edited Jun 18, 2011 07:45AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Alysha Thanks for coming back to comment. Usually I try to give people the benefit of the doubt and assume they do NOT intend to be antagonistic, but I must have been feeling testy that day. :)

It's been too long since I've read the book to comment on supporting details, at this point I can only remember how I felt about the book. But I do remember enough to agree 100% with your last paragraph.

Cheers back. :)

Rebecca Johnson So, I confess to loving this series as one of my guilty pleasures. I am not normally a romance buff, but I do like historical fiction and Jamie was just dreamy enough to keep my attention. I don't remember the first book well enough to comment, but I do remember enjoying th middle of the series more than the beginning or the end. History comes more into play and Claire's role as a "medicine woman" gets more fleshed out because she has to get creative in her use of resources using 20th century knowledge.

Alysha, I made my husband read the first book so he would understand what I was so obsessed with, and his reaction was pretty much the same as yours. Lots of sarcastic jokes about "throbbing members" and such. ;)

I also confess to hiding the books inside my notes during vet school lectures...bad student!!!

By the way, I hated the last book and wanted to throw it against the wall several times. I feel that at this point, Gabaldon is simply stretching out the story to feed her checking account.

Daniel Currie Strangely, when I told the person who recommended this book at me I was having a hard time finishing it they told me exactly what you said it your review: "Oh, alot happens towards the end". So I finished it. Alot did happen, but didn't make me like the book any more.

Lisa of Hopewell I am not sure I'll finish it--I'm pretty sick of it all.......

lornajsmith made me wish i were 27/28 again

message 6: by Sofia (new)

Sofia Theos And adultery! don't forget she's a married woman, who cheated on her husband. That is all.

Liana this book made my eyes water...not in a good bored...too many facts stretched...miss D do need an editor...

message 4: by Narmeen (last edited May 22, 2015 02:42AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Narmeen Hyder It amuses me that someone else had the same impulse to take a shower because that is literally what I did after giving up half way through the book.

Jessica I know exactly what you mean! SO many people I know and hold dear LOVE this book (and/or the show). Sure enough we get to the Jamie beating Claire not even 400 pages in and I'm thinking "Umm, guys, are you sure?" "YES!" they all exclaim. "READ IT! IT GETS BETTER!" Then we've got the Jamie rape. Then we've got the whole Jamie raped by the evil homosexual man. I'm sure I'm missing more awful examples. I cannot understand why people love this book so much. Better yet, I cannot understand why people feel the need to be so supportive and protective of it and dismissive of its obvious shrugging off of spousal rape and abuse.

Nafeesa I gave up the book few chapters after the wedding. I tried continuing but every time I tried my hatred for this book increased.

Patricia I couln't agree with you more!!!

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