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Sunday, January 20, 2008


Gabaldon, Diane. Outlander. I'm late coming to Gabaldon's novels, but I really did enjoy the majority of this first novel in the series. Once involved with the novel, it was almost impossible to stay away from it for any length of time, so despite its length, I sped through it rapidly.

Shortly after the close of WWII, Claire Randall and her husband are in Scotland enjoying a second honeymoon after having been parted for the majority of the war. Claire, who had been a nurse, is enjoying the leisurely renewal of their relationship when she approaches a local circle of standing stones and is transported back in time to the Scotland of the 1740's as events are in the making for the Jacobite Uprising that would attempt to put Bonnie Prince Charlie (or the Stuart Pretender - according to which side was supported) on the throne and replace the Hanovers.

The characters and their relationships make the novel -- and while some complications are a result of Claire's time travel and knowledge resulting from her 20th century life, most of the complications are a result of human relationships on the edge of actual historic events. Favorite character: Jamie Fraser, of course.

Fiction. Historical/time travel. 1991. 627 pages.


  1. I read "Outlander" and I think the next two books in the series - after then, I was sick of Claire and Jamie apparently trying to break some sort of record as to the number of different places you can have sex (on horseback! by a lovely mountain pool! in a gorse bush! Oh, ok, I made that one up).

    The thing I didn't like about the first book was how fast Claire seems to forget about her husband and past life - it didn't really endear me to her character. And while I liked Jamie at first, by the third book his Scottish endearments were grating on me - ("Ah, ye're as wet as a great pond, my sassenach. Woof!")

    Um - sorry for the rave on your nicely positive review! I did really enjoying "Outlander" but ended up rolling my eyes over the next few books, and I think that spoiled the series as a whole for me :-)

  2. I agree with Miss Cee-the first one is the best! I mainly just enjoyed being all around Scotland, and of course Jamie was adorable.

  3. Favourite character: Jamie Fraser, of course!

    Of course of course!! What's not to love!

    Actually I really enjoyed the first book, but my favourite in the series is the third one, Voyager!

  4. I'm a fan of this book as well. However, I have never gone on to any of the following books. Maybe one day.

  5. miss cee -- :) Note that I said I enjoyed most of the first book! I should have gone on and admitted that I really dislike sex scenes. After reading your comments, the next in the series will be hard to take seriously because I'll be thinking about your take on the Scottish endearments. "Woof!"

    Another thing that should seriously have been avoided was the prison scene and the prison scene re-lived.

    Eva -- Until the end, Jamie's irrepressible personality was entertaining. Scotland has always been of great interest to me, but what must it have been like before the clear cutting of the highland forests down to bare earth!

    Marg -- I'll keep that in mind. I can continue to skip the sex scenes!

    kay -- A lot of people seem to have thoroughly enjoyed the first in the series and stopped there. My hesitation in continuing is that I know what happens at Culloden and while I want to know Gabaldon's take on can't be other than heartbreaking.

  6. So many of my friends love Gabaldon's work but I've not read her. Is this a good place to start.

  7. I read the entire series in two weeks! They're hard to put down but I still think this is one of the best in the whole series so far.

  8. Ann - Outlander is her first novel and the first in that series. She's written quite a few since!

    Ladytink - Wow! Since they are so long, I bet you were exhausted!

  9. I've read all the books and enjoyed every one of them. My mom and sisters all really enjoy reading them too.
    I've never been in to the romance type of books either, but I do enjoy reading her books with the historical backgrounds.

  10. Rachel -- It is especially nice when you can share books you've enjoyed with your family. I love being able to talk about books with my daughters.