Outlander (Outlander, #1) Outlander discussion


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The loch ness monster

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Michael I always loved the theory of the time travel and how it affects loch ness with dinosaurs and what not traveling through it I hope so much it will be in the tv show,also I just adore the theory of time travel period in this series.


message 2: by Dena (new) - rated it 1 star

Dena Huff I loved the story up until he "punishes" her (by beating her up) and then she decided that she forgives him because he "had to do it." For me, that crossed a line and was not acceptable. I won't read any further in the series.


Michael That freaked me out to and I do not approve of any man treating a woman badly in any way no matter what, I was told that was how it was done in that time, but it was still unacceptable so I just glazed over it


message 4: by Dena (new) - rated it 1 star

Dena Huff I tried to keep going and ignore it. I finished the book, but by the end, I was disgusted by it. I couldn't think of the characters or the author without thinking how terrible it was. I know that might seem a bit dramatic, but it really disturbed me.


message 5: by Dena (new) - rated it 1 star

Dena Huff I might have been able to accept him doing it, because of the time, place and his character. I could not accept that she decided to accept it.


message 6: by Dee (last edited Nov 16, 2013 08:37PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dee he spanked him...yes, I don't agree with it, but seriously, its not like he beat her about the face...she put multiple people in danger with her actions, not only herself and not only Jamie - he had to rescue her, which added to the danger, considering that he was a wanted man by the British at times...

ETA - this is also a guy that took a literal beating from Angus for a younger girl (Laoghaire) so that she wasn't beaten...


message 7: by Dena (new) - rated it 1 star

Dena Huff I don't enjoy reading books when there is violence in a relationship, no matter how "mild" the violence may seem. I can understand your perspective, though. I'm glad you enjoy the books.


LaCrisha I'd have to say I also was very upset/put off by the whole spanking scene. I'm not just talking about her being spanked but that she could accept it so easily. That being said my feelings on the rest of Outlander lead me to still love it. It was the next book in the series that finally proved to me it was all to much. I'm not going to read another book in the series which is a shame considering Jamie & Clair are among my top favorite heroines & Heros.

To Dena I don't blame you for not wanting to read the rest of the series. Jamie may not beat her ever again in the rest of the books as someone else has mentioned but that is not the only way to humiliate a woman and I'm done going through all the examples in this series.


LaCrisha gertt wrote: "Dena wrote: "I don't enjoy reading books when there is violence in a relationship, no matter how "mild" the violence may seem. I can understand your perspective, though. I'm glad you enjoy the bo..."

With all due respect that is not true. Jamie was violent in the 2nd book Dragonfly in Amber as well.


Penny gertt wrote: "Dena wrote: "I might have been able to accept him doing it, because of the time, place and his character. I could not accept that she decided to accept it."

Clair didn't 'decide to accept it'...s..."


Here, here, well said.


LaCrisha gertt wrote: "Elle wrote: "gertt wrote: "Dena wrote: "I don't enjoy reading books when there is violence in a relationship, no matter how "mild" the violence may seem. I can understand your perspective, though...."

Thanks for not getting offended. I really do mean no harm with what I posted, just stating my opinion and what happened in the book.

I was referring to the scene where Jamie ripped Clair's clothes off her in front of 30+ men. He didn't hit her but it was still violent.


message 12: by Mrsbooks (last edited Nov 20, 2013 10:50AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mrsbooks I think the most difficult thing for us is that we don't live in that century. We have a totally different culture going.

I know that from my perspective, I don't like to read books from history with politically correct characters from our time. I can understand though, that others may not want or like to read about how things were like between men and women during those different times. I'm not saying that EVERY man ever in history beat his wife, but physical punishment was SO common, it was not considered to be a "beating" in the sense we feel it to be.

I mean, if we put that scene in a modern day book, I would burn that sucker and quick! lol

Sometimes I wonder if the difference between those who more easily accept that scene and those who don't, are their personal experiences with abuse, and/or how easily they can put themselves into another person's shoes. Putting yourself into another time, into another culture is really difficult so I can understand if some people can't seem to grasp how "unserious" (I'm sure that's not really a word lol) that beating actually was. In reality, Clare got off easy.

It sort of reminds me of the scene where the boy was nailed from his ear lobe to a piece of wood and left in the town square for those passing to ridicule him.I can't remember what he did (probably stole something) but no one seems to kick up a stink over that punishment. I don't think it would have made a difference if it had have been a girl either. Physical punishment has often been the form of justice through out history.

Knowing this is where Jamie is from.... it would have been bizarre had he NOT dealt with Clare as he did. And actually when I read the scene about the beating and the conversation they have afterwards, I'm very confused as to why he gave up his "right" (so to speak) to physically punish her again. Personally I think that's weird.... for that time period.


message 13: by Dena (new) - rated it 1 star

Dena Huff I found the scene with the boy disturbing as well. I just don't enjoy reading that kind of thing. It actually makes me feel ill sometimes. I do have a personal history with abuse, not as a victim, but as a social worker and advocate.

I really did enjoy the book until I couldn't tolerate the violence. That's why I was sad. I understand if others see it in a different light.

I understand the author wanting to be authentic to the period. I also think as a writer of fiction, she could create characters that weren't "typical" and that would be something special. A different kind of hero.


message 14: by Dee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dee But Jamie isn't typical - yes he acted as he would in the time but it only happened once - in general Claire was respected a lot more than pretty much all women of the time and not just by Jamie but others

But if you can't see past a single incident then no point in trying to discuss and as for the scene with LJG remember she and Jamie had snuck off for some alone time after awhile without being together and they had in the past been rather exuberant in their lovemaking - so when they were interrupt and john thought Jamie was raping Claire they just played to his beliefs


Mrsbooks Dena wrote: "I found the scene with the boy disturbing as well. I just don't enjoy reading that kind of thing. It actually makes me feel ill sometimes. I do have a personal history with abuse, not as a victi..."

I understand where you're coming from. But I guess this is just where people end up wanting different things. I want history when I read a book based upon a time period in history, I prefer accuracy in how characters feel and what they do. I do read a number of historical romances and I usually roll my eyes A LOT at how the authors make the characters act (politically correct for our time). I read those books and I enjoy them to an extent but they're not really for me. Outlander was for me. Even though I do feel the author made Jamie a head of his time. Even though there are many things about him that show what time period he's in, he's still a man too modern, but I can deal with that. :) You would probably enjoy those books I tend to roll my eyes at lol, and that's ok. Just different preferences largely based upon our life experiences and atmosphere.


message 16: by Mrsbooks (last edited Nov 21, 2013 03:56AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mrsbooks I'm finding it interesting that people were finding the scene violent where Jamie ripped Clare's clothing in front of all the men and was trying to convince that kid he was going to rape her.

In one of the other books, when Clare is about to breast feed Brianna, she just whips out her boob and goes to it, all in front of Frank and they hadn't made a reconciliation yet. Clare then gets embarrassed about it because to her, she's still back in time and whipping them out for breast feeding was so common she didn't even think twice about it before doing it then.

So for us, yeah that scene would have been mortifying. And Clare didn't like it either. But again, Clare adapts so easily to the culture she understood the reasons why and it really wasn't that big a deal anyways. In a time with no breast pumps or formula you fed your baby whenever that baby was hungry and with your breasts. And as Clare expresses later, women didn't necessarily hide them behind blankets and such. They did it openly, so openly that Clare is comfortable enough she does it herself without thinking about it. - I know she only does it in front of Frank who has seen her boobs before, but the way the author expresses Clare's feelings about it, is that Clare simply didn't think about it because of how it was where she'd been.

So Jamie ripping her clothes off, shocking yes, but not as violent as it seems to be.


message 17: by Dena (new) - rated it 1 star

Dena Huff Again, you are right. I thought the violence against Jamie at the end of the first book was horrifying. I mostly had to skim over it. I couldn't read it.

So, yes, it seems we are agreeing to disagree. The only reason I took it so hard is that I really enjoyed many aspects of the book, but in the end found the violence disturbed me more than my enjoyment.

By the way, I have two young children and I breastfeed in public all the time. I don't hide. I don't consider feeding your child in anyway similar to sexual scenes - violent or not.


Mrsbooks Dena wrote: "Again, you are right. I thought the violence against Jamie at the end of the first book was horrifying. I mostly had to skim over it. I couldn't read it.

So, yes, it seems we are agreeing to ..."


I forgot all about the violence against Jamie at the end of the book! I agree, that was the worst! I didn't like reading that either and I skimmed most of it. I felt it wasn't needed for a historical book because it probably wasn't common. I guess she went for the uncommon.

Sorry I didn't quite explain myself right. I don't compare breast feeding in public to sexual scenes. It's just when I read that scene where he restrains her, rips her dress and exposes her in front of all those men. The part that stands out to me, is she's exposed. Because to me that would be mortifying. If it were me, being restrained isn't such a big deal, by my husband who I knew and trusted. Having my dress ripped would seriously piss me off but mostly because I'm exposed. For me personally, I wouldn't want to expose my breasts to the public for any reason. I would be more than uncomfortable with that. So I guess when I think about that scene, that's what strikes me. Then I think about how Clare felt about those types of things and I compare.


LaCrisha I too found the violence against Jamie at the end of Outlander very shocking although it wasn't a reason I considered giving up the series.

It's really the domestic violence that gets me. In the scene where Jamie ripped off Claire's clothes he was trying to convince a guy that Claire was about to be raped. Claire actually fought back and Jamie continued to abuse her until the guy actually believed Jamie was going to do it.

I don't consider breast feeding violent or sexual or abusive in any way. But for Claire to go through repeated acts of violence on Jamie's part was to much. I could only imagine how much worse the rest of the series is.


message 20: by LaCrisha (last edited Nov 23, 2013 12:08AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

LaCrisha gertt wrote: "Elle wrote: "But for Claire to go through repeated acts of violence on Jamie's part was to much. I could only imagine how much worse the rest of the series is. ..."

Yet you gave the book a 5 star..."


Diana Gabaldon is a very gifted storyteller. I will always love Outlander. I forgave what happened in the first book because I felt it was probably common in that time period and because Jamie promised not to beat Claire again.

Outlander was so good I went out and purchased Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, and Drums of Autumn in hardcover right away. But none of that changes my opinion, when I realized domestic violence was going to continue to resurface in different ways I decided it was enough. I'm very frustrated with that. I have the next 2 books sitting on my shelves and they will remain unread because of this.

So to answer your "question" yes I gave Outlander 5 stars and it was well deserved. But just because my opinion on the series is more grey then black and white does not mean I don't have a right to voice my opinion.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

gertt wrote: "Dena wrote: "I might have been able to accept him doing it, because of the time, place and his character. I could not accept that she decided to accept it."

Clair didn't 'decide to accept it'...s..."


Well said!


Mrsbooks I wasn't bothered by Jamie being whipped, as that was a general standard. I was bothered more so by the weird freaky S&M thing with what's his face (haha can't remember) I'm sure that sort of behavior was not common. Diana wanted to make a monster though and she definitely succeeded.

gertt wrote: "Mrsbooks wrote: "I forgot all about the violence against Jamie at the end of the book! I agree, that was the worst! I didn't like reading that either and I skimmed most of it. I felt it wasn't need..."


message 23: by Dee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dee how do you know that behavior wasn't common? look at the Marquis De Sade...


message 24: by Sonal (last edited Dec 02, 2013 11:54AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Sonal Mrsbooks wrote: "I think the most difficult thing for us is that we don't live in that century. We have a totally different culture going.

I know that from my perspective, I don't like to read books from history ..."


I completely understand the point that this is a story set in the 18th century and punishing your wife by beating her was perfectly normal behavior at that time. My problem is with the way the author chose to rationalize this behavior. It is very difficult for me to believe that after almost being beaten to an inch of death (that is how it is described in the book), Claire is in love with Jamie within a few weeks. Not just that, Jamie also rapes Claire at some point (not sure if this was before or after the beating). My problem with the book is not the beating or the rape itself, my problem is that we are supposed to accept that despite all this, within a few months Claire is so in love with Jamie that she decides to not go back to her time and Frank who as far as I can tell never mistreated her. Yes, she screams at Jamie, calls him a sadist, wouldn't let him sleep on the bed etc. but how long did all this anger last? A couple weeks at the most. After how much we had to read about Claire the independent and Claire the spit-fire, this just seemed too easy an out for the author. Also, if I recall correctly, Jamie was almost turned on beating up his wife. That put me off quite a bit. It was almost as if the author wanted to write some bondage/rape fantasy. There is nothing wrong with that, but it seems like she did not have the guts to actually write that and we end up with this weirdly sexualized domestic violence and actual rape and Claire not just forgives it all but promptly falls in love with the guy. Sorry, that does not seem like a good relationship in 2013 or 1945 or in the 18th century. I have read plenty of actual historical accounts from that time period and while this kind of violence would have been acceptable at the time, it would in no way have led to a happily ever after love story.

There are plenty of books about misogynistic and cruel societies that don't make the author (and the reader by extension) complicit in the misogyny and cruelty. This book is not one of them. "Pride and Prejudice" (or any other Jane Austen book) is a pretty good example of a book written about a society where women had very little power but the book itself never justifies that treatment of women (and unlike Diana Gabaldon, Jane Austen herself grew up in the 18th century). Another recent example are the "Song of Ice and Fire" series. Those books are set in a world that is way more violent and rapey than that in Outlander but the books themselves are not misogynistic.

Sorry to go on this rant, but I am getting tired of people bringing up the "but things were different in that time period" justification for the rape and domestic violence in the supposedly epic love story between Claire and Jamie.


message 25: by Mrsbooks (last edited Dec 02, 2013 12:12PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mrsbooks Sonal wrote: "Mrsbooks wrote: "I think the most difficult thing for us is that we don't live in that century. We have a totally different culture going.

I know that from my perspective, I don't like to read bo..."


I'm only up to book 5 so I don't have a clue what you're talking about when you say Jamie rapes Clare. You will have to explain that to me.

I thought it was really irritating how quickly Clare forgives Jamie too. That was what irritated me over the whole scene. She literally takes a few days and she's over it. I can understand, understanding why it happened (if that makes sense lol) but being from our time period and going back, I think I would have been a lot more upset and for a lot longer. My pride would be what would hold me back. I know I would have gotten over it, like Clare did because I could understand it.... but how QUICKLY seems kind of crazy to me.

At the same time, we're told that Clare moved around a lot and lived in Egypt and she has a strange back ground really. I can see how she would be more forgiving than me.

And you just can't compare this kind of book to P&P. This is a book written in a different culture from that and also when a lot of Clans were fighting and wars going on. If Jane Austin had have written a book taking place with the back drop of a war, she probably would have bombed it because it isn't her style.

*Also Clare isn't beaten within an inch of death. She's exaggerating when she says that. She can even ride a horse a day and a half later.... an unpleasant ride, but she can still do it.


message 26: by Sonal (last edited Dec 02, 2013 01:22PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Sonal Mrsbooks wrote: "Sonal wrote: "Mrsbooks wrote: "I think the most difficult thing for us is that we don't live in that century. We have a totally different culture going.

I know that from my perspective, I don't l..."


The rape is in the first book itself. There is a scene which is not clearly called rape but Claire is angry with Jamie, repeatedly tells him to stop and he still goes ahead. That is pretty clearly rape in my book no matter the time period. The fact that so many readers don't even remember it is because Diana Gabaldon very easily justifies and glosses over such problematic things. I understand that marital rape is still not considered rape in many countries (and that is a whole different discussion) but my problem is that this book very casually drops in an instance of marital rape in between the 500 other times that Claire and Jamie have consensual sex and treats those two situations as exactly the same...as something romantic and erotic. Hence my comment about rape fantasy. Plenty of women have them but it is very problematic for me if the author describes actual rape but treats it as an erotic encounter. I don't have the book with me right now, but if I can find the text, I will quote it for you later.

I don't think Claire living in Egypt has much to do with any of this. Based on how she is described before she goes back in time, it seems like she is ahead of most women in the 1940s when it comes to how independent and sexually liberated she is. You can say that 1945 was still fairly repressive compared to now, but I still don't think an independent woman in 1945 who had participated in WWII would so easily justify and so easily fall in love with Jamie.

Even if Claire is exaggerating how much she has been beaten, we can still all agree that she was soundly beaten and was in a lot of pain. Which makes it even more difficult for me to understand Jamie's strangely sexual reaction to that beating. If you really love someone, you don't get turned on when that person is in pain...unless you are a sadist. I would be fine with it if he actually was into S&M and this was a consensual act between him and Claire, but no, in this book the evil guy is a sadist. Whatever Jamie does is all very romantic and sexy...no matter the context.

I am not comparing this book to P&P...I would never insult P&P like that :) All I am saying is that good authors can vividly describe old times and repressive cultures without being repressive themselves and P&P is a very good example of that.

Even if you ignore P&P, my other example "The Song of Ice and Fire" series still holds. These are the same books on which the Game of Thrones tv show is based. That world is in the middle of a war, has lots of cruelty and rape but while reading the book, you never feel like the author is asking you to justify any of that cruelty.

Also, with regard to a different comment you made about Claire exposing breasts while breast feeding vs Jamie forcibly ripping off her clothes, I think those are two completely different situations. Claire can be perfectly comfortable whipping out her breasts in public to breast feed and still feel violated when her husband forcibly does it in front of other people. I have only read the first book, so I obviously am saying all this entirely based on your comment. Feel free to school me on my ignorance about what actually happened in the later books.


Mrsbooks I've read the first book 3 times and I really don't recall anything similar to a rape scene. I hope you can find it for me!

My point about Clare being from Egypt wasn't so much a point. It doesn't really matter where Clare lived all that matters is Clare is very adaptable. Which she does actually get that way because of the way she lived growing up (which was unusual). Ultimately it doesn't matter why she is that way, just that she is, although the author was kind enough to give us a reason as to why Clare does seem to conform quickly to her new society.

I can understand where you're coming from about the beating scene. I just don't agree. But I guess I don't agree because I do think it was justifiable. I hate saying that too because I feel like that's going to be misunderstood. Clare almost killed Jamie, she almost killed the men he was with and she also made Jamie have to kill someone else. All because she didn't listen to simple and reasonable direction. Of course we know the real reason why she didn't but at the time Jamie did not know that.

The way the plot carries on and what happens I do truly find it WEIRD that Jamie gives up his right (so to speak) to beat Clare like that in the future. If Clare had have been a man she would have gotten a lot worse. Instead what she got was a child's punishment (Not a Child's punishment according to today's standards thank goodness).

I didn't think Clare fell in love with Jamie too quickly and I really do hate those kinds of love stories that involve love at first sight and all that junk lol. Although her falling in love definitely wasn't slow. I think her falling in love that quickly with Jamie reveals less about Jamie and more about her feelings for Frank. A lot of what she thinks about in the future books is guilt driven. She loved Frank, she just didn't love Frank like she loved Jamie.


Kathy Dena wrote: "I might have been able to accept him doing it, because of the time, place and his character. I could not accept that she decided to accept it."

This.


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