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The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel Hardcover – September 21, 2010
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Praise for Diana Gabaldon:
"History comes deliciously alive on the page." New York Daily News
"Diana Gabaldon is a born storyteller . . . the pages practically turn themselves." Arizona Republic --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I prompt you, however, not to read the bad reviews (despite the fact that there are many) until you read this review.
As someone who has a great appreciation of literature and art as well, I own a vast array of novels and graphic novels. I won't consider myself an expert by any means, but I think I have a decent working knowledge of where the two differ. I agree with most reviewers that this might be blasphemy for hardcore Gabaldon fans. I am not a hardcore fan, and I decided to take Diana's endeavor with a grain of salt. She was certainly trying something new and regardless of what it was, fans were going to buy it (and they still will, more than likely).
To be honest, most of what I loved as a reader about Outlander got lost in the translation from novel to graphic novel. Unlike some, however, I feel that this was not because of the artist, but because of Diana Gabaldon's writing style: she writes in first person. It makes it a little difficult to translate that to graphic form, especially when you are taking it from someone that is outside of the relationship that is the core of her series. I felt that this was the main problem. Had the story been told from Jamie's point of view and not Murtagh's...well, I'm not saying that would have made it leaps and bounds better, but it might have helped a little.
That being said, I enjoyed the graphic novel a lot. It was light, not too heavy, did have a lot of nudity, which knowing the Gabaldon, should come as no surprise to readers. I thought the art was gorgeous; the illustrator really did a great job. I personally enjoyed the rough edge that the pictures had to them. It was not clean or polished with hard lines. It was light, airy and it went really well with the story. The art was the best part for me personally.
Do I think this was a waste of time? No. I spent a good two hours blowing through it on Tuesday night when I could have been writing a paper and I think it was worth it. I enjoyed myself and it was fun. Not earth shattering, but just fun. I think that this will be fun for you as a fan and as a reader if you allow it to be. I suggest you try not to get caught up in what your expectations of Gabaldon are, because she is not going to live up to them with this graphic novel. This is not her new 800-page novel. This is a 200-300 page graphic novel with no sweeping hills or grand descriptions of scenery or anything else.
Take it for what it actually is and not what you were wanting it to be. You will be a lot happier with the results if you just let it happen and try to have fun with it.
Would I recommend this? Sure! I already have. My mother and my older sister, and probably my aunt will all read it while on vacation in Key West. I told them it would be great to read for the plane or while sitting in the airport.
I hope that is review helps you make the decision whether or not to purchase. I think if you are looking for a Gabaldon novel, stay away from this. You will probably be disappointed and displeased with the artist's depictions of Jamie and Claire. If you want a fun, light, easy read that give you some insight to the other characters, then buy it. Like I said, not great, but I am happy that my money went to something I enjoyed and that others will enjoy as well.
I hope, I'll repost and let you know if everyone in my family hated it (I doubt they will).
I'm surprised to be the top review! My older sister read this, and she, like many of you, weren't fans! She said that she put it down halfway through. I still have the book on my shelf and enjoy it from time to time.
1 - The artwork at first and the renditions of the characters were amazing. I said..Yes!! That is exactly how I pictured Jamie, Murtagh, Claire, Mrs. Fitz...etc. Then, the faces changed...and badly. By the end of the novel, Jamie looked swollen-faced...where were the high cheek bones, the slanted BLUE eyes, the straight nose...did he gain weight? And, Claire's hair was suddenly less frizzy in the wet Scottish weather...quite the opposite from what the book depicts over and over again - her unruly curls. So, those facts took away from the story for me. If their looks had been the slightest bit consistent throughout the novel, my interest would have been better kept. Not being an expert in the least on graphic novels, I'd venture a guess that features are supersized and over emphasized. Claire's figure got more volumptuous as the story went on it seemed.
2 - I know DG mentioned that the story was different somewhat - and deliberately..but who is that Kenneth character? I had to go back a few pages just to figure him out. Did Murtagh know him...how did Geillie know him? And, if we didn't know that Claire time-travelled, couldn't she have explained it to Jamie a bit more...before he suddenly believed her and took her back to the stones? Should we expect The Exile - part 2 soon?
I am a huge Outlander fan, and I think DG is a master writer. This foray into graphic novels is great for her and her fans...the idea was a good one for us to have another "taste" of Outlander without having to wait umpteen years in-between. However, the finished package...was disappointing.
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Keep them coming,Diana. I will cerainly purchase. future. novels, You are a great author.