Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

While I was down and out with morning sickness, I read Outlander again in a period of three days. Although it’s a big book, it’s a book I love and really enjoyed reading again. I was refreshing myself on the plot as it was my pick for my FLICKS Book and Movie Club for May. I must admit though, I was more than a little disappointed in my book club. Out of seven of us, only three people actually read Outlander (everyone else seemed to be intimidated by the size). Out of the three, two of us really loved it. At least I got one new person hooked on the series. A question for my blog followers on book clubs, do most book clubs have problems with “big books?” Every book club I’ve ever been a part of seems to have issues with books that are too large. It makes me sad as I think people are missing out on a lot when they deem a novel too large and decide not to read it!

For a brief recap, Outlander is the story of Claire Randall. She is on a second honeymoon in Inverness, Scotland after being away from her husband, Frank during the duration of WWII. After touching a stone in an ancient stone circle, Claire finds herself transported backwards through time to 1743. While there, she at first desperately tries to find her way back to her husband Frank, but finds herself intrigued with a young Scotsman, Jamie Frasier.

Reading Outlander again, I remembered why I love this novel. The story is fresh and Claire is a great heroine. I love that she is a unique character and that in this story she has more of the “hero” role with Jamie more as the “female” role. Not that there is anything feminine about Jamie, he is one of the sexiest heroes I have ever read. I guess I love that she is the woman of experience, while Jamie is surprisingly a bit more innocent. I love that this book combines action, adventure, historical fiction, romance, and science fiction. It is a hard book to adequately describe or categorize, but the characters are wonderfully developed and hard to resist reading about. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who has not yet been seduced by the series!

Book Source: I bought my used copy from a library book sale back in 1994 or so.


  1. I read it for the first time in January 2010. Really liked it. I have the second book on my eReader but haven't been able to work it into the rotation yet. I joined the Outlander Challenge but don't think I have a chance to finish it. I'll keep reading the series, though. Glad it was a good re-read for you. I don't belong to a book club so I can't answer the question.

  2. I am re-reading Outlander for the third time. I so do love this book.

    My best-friend is reading this book for the first time, she is at the same point of the read as I am now AND she started the read in Sept. 2009...not a typo...2009 is correct. So, yes, "big books" can be intimidating. In her defense, she was having a few storyline issues and once I sat down with her to discuss why something was happening and something was not...the light went off, she understands and now is blazing through the book...really liking the read. Whew! My best-friend really does need to like my most favorite book, right? right. LOL :D

    Because I do think more people than not shy away from "big books" I also then think it is probably best to stay away from these volume type books for book clubs.

    I am with you... it is a shame that the number of pages a book has would keep people away. They are missing out on some great reads.

    I completely agree with your last paragraph...I feel that way as well. You know what is cool about re-reading this book for the third time? I am reading more details and am finding it incredibly interesting to read of Jamie and Claire in their earlier stages while knowing their future. Very fun, and such a comfort type book for me.

  3. I am not much of a rereader but I did reread this a bit earlier this year, after first having read it about 7 years ago. It certainly hasn't lost any of the magic even though I am familiar with the storyline!

    As for big books! Bring 'em on. If someone tells me that a book is really big and really good then I am more likely to add it to my list, not less!

  4. I've read Outlander so many times and listened to it on audio (with Davina Porter) I've lost count! My sister recently read it for the first time and she's now in love with it - I told her "Welcome to my world!" It's by far my favorite series, can't get enough of it, and it's the ultimate comfort read for me - sigh. I love the fact they are big and full of details, the more the better! It's got everything a book should have!

  5. I love reading this book over again throughout the years. While I can't recreate the initial excitement of reading it back in the 90's when I was a teen, it is great to rediscover the orgins of the characters I have come to love through the series:-)

  6. I am a member of a few book clubs, and I've learned short books are better. Whenever we pick a long one, most members of the group either don't read it at all, or don't finish. It's too bad because there are some awesome long books out there!

  7. Love this book and series, but have never found the time to reread it. Must make time!

  8. I first heard of this book when my daughter bought it for me on audio tape. I put off listening because I had never had an audio book before, but I finally listened to it on the way to and from work. I couldn't stand to stop listening. I was enchanted by the love between Claire and Jamie. We should all have a love like that once in our lives. But the idea of Claire finding herself in another time and having to adjust to conditions and the suspicions of the folk she encountered was fascinating. How do you keep the present and what you may know about the future separate? How do you keep from being burned as a witch for being so different from everyone else in the 1700's? Different mannerisms, words, and expressions would be very suspicious behavior.
    Diana Gabaldon has put an enormous amount of research into her books and that only adds to the story lines. The books are very large and take me about a month each to get read but the time is well worth it. The audios are abridged so if you don't have time to sit and read I totally recommend the audio tapes. And if you haven't read the books you won't miss what's been left out.