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Outlander Mass Market Paperback – June 2, 1992
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In Outlander, a 600-page time-travel romance, strong-willed and sensual Claire Randall leads a double life with a husband in one century, and a lover in another. Torn between fidelity and desire, she struggles to understand the pure intent of her heart. But don't let the number of pages and the Scottish dialect scare you. It's one of the fastest reads you'll have in your library.
While on her second honeymoon in the British Isles, Claire touches a boulder that hurls her back in time to the forbidden Castle Leoch with the MacKenzie clan. Not understanding the forces that brought her there, she becomes ensnared in life-threatening situations with a Scots warrior named James Fraser. But it isn't all spies and drudgery that she must endure. For amid her new surroundings and the terrors she faces, she is lured into love and passion like she's never known before.
I was lame and sore in every muscle when I woke next morning. I shuffled to the privy closet, then to the wash basin. My innards felt like churned butter. It felt as though I had been beaten with a blunt object, I reflected, then thought that that was very near the truth. The blunt object in question was visible as I came back to bed, looking now relatively harmless. Its possessor [Jamie] woke as I sat next to him, and examined me with something that looked very much like male smugness."Gabaldon creates characters that you'll remember, laugh with, cry with, and cheer for long after you've finished the book. --Candy Paape
From Publishers Weekly
Absorbing and heartwarming, this first novel lavishly evokes the land and lore of Scotland, quickening both with realistic characters and a feisty, likable heroine. English nurse Claire Beauchamp Randall and husband Frank take a second honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands in 1945. When Claire walks through a cleft stone in an ancient henge, she's somehow transported to 1743. She encounters Frank's evil ancestor, British captain Jonathan "Black Jack" Randall, and is adopted by another clan. Claire nurses young soldier James Fraser, a gallant, merry redhead, and the two begin a romance, seeing each other through many perilous, swashbuckling adventures involving Black Jack. Scenes of the Highlanders' daily life blend poignant emotions with Scottish wit and humor. Eventually Sassenach (outlander) Claire finds a chance to return to 1945, and must choose between distant memories of Frnak and her happy, uncomplicated existence with Jamie. Claire's resourcefulness and intelligent sensitivity make the love-conquers-all, happily-ever-after ending seem a just reward. Doubleday Book Club main selection, Literary Guild alternate.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Why write ANOTHER review?
First, to give author Diana Gabaldon her due. Not only did she write this long novel (plus seven more, plus some related novellas and such), and keep it endlessly entertaining with vivid characters and fresh plot twists galore. No, that was not enough. She had to write some of the most vivid sweet prose around. Over and over I found gems--dozens of them. They are the kind of verbal jewels that make any author gasp and say "I wish I wrote that." What a feast!
Second, to comment on my fellow readers. While reading OUTLANDER it seemed Gabaldon was everywhere. I recently transitioned six times through airports. EVERY airport had someone reading a Gabaldon paperback. Most readers had no idea what was going on around them because they were clearly a couple centuries back, in Scotland. I wonder how many missed their flights?
Third, to comment on copy editing (as I usually do). This is a long book. I did spot some errors in my Kindle version but, compared to many ebooks, not many errors. Room for improvement but overall pretty good--better than most, for sure.
The odds are slim that anyone will encounter this five-star review in the vast ocean of existing appreciation for this delightful book and its author. If, perchance, a live person actually reads this review, please let me know with a "helpful" vote. I'll know it's a good day to buy a lottery ticket.
Next up: Dragonfly in Amber: A Novel (Outlander)
How sad that people clamor over the 50 Shades of .... books. This is so much more fulfilling. As "romance" novels have become more bold and inclusive of explicit dialog I find myself skipping through that. Been there done that. Insert Tab A into Slot B... etc. etc. borING. I want the emotion and feeling of the relationship.
Diana delivers the emotion, sights, sounds, smells, triumphs and failures with her words. She always finds alliterative and clever phrasing to bring everything alive - whether it is a trip across the sea or a dangerous encounter or mundane every tasks or Clare and Jamie enjoying the delights of each other intimately. The characters live and breathe.
There are not many books I reread. I am glad I chose to reread the Outlander Series. There is so much richness and depth I had forgotten. I also note things I missed the first time which deepen the experience of the stories.
These are excellent stories with something for most everyone.
This was a difficult novel for me to review, because for every aspect I liked about it, there was something I disliked. A few examples:
1. The writing is quite good. There are passages with amazing descriptions; there are paragraphs packed with emotion and brilliant word-weaving. And there are long passages that do little to nothing to advance the plot and feel like filler.
2. Jamie Fraser’s character is extremely well-drawn. He is complex and comes alive off the pages as an honourable, endearing man despite his flaws. I understand his motivations and why he acts as he does. Claire, on the other hand, I never felt I understood as well, which is odd since the novel is written in first person. She seemed a bit inconsistent, at times acting the perfect 18th Century lady, but at others acting more modern than a woman of the 1940s. I also never felt as sympathertic to her, especially because sometimes her actions were foolish and served to endanger herself, Jamie, and others. She is supposed to be intelligent and well-travelled. She should understand that as a stranger in a strange land one should try to follow local customs and listen to the local guides to avoid calamity.
3. I like novels with action and adventure. This novel had plenty of that. I also like a good villain and Black Jack Randall was a fantastic villain who I loved to hate. I don’t mind reading about blood, beatings, or even torture—if they advance the plot or are used for character development. I do mind such things when they are used wantonly, seeming to feed a fetish rather than to serve the story. There is plenty of blood and pain in this novel, especially in the latter part. I think, however, that the same ending could have been achieved without the gratuitous sexual assault.
4. And concerning the sex—there was a lot of it in this novel. Sex is another thing I don’t mind reading about, but it should be used to advance the plot or illuminate something important about the characters. While most of the sex scenes were well-written and several were vital to the storyline, some did feel like filler.
Overall, I like this book. I plan on keeping it in my library. Unfortunately, the truly amazing aspects of it are tempered by numerous drawbacks.
There is a lot of explanation and description in between those action scenes. It makes the book very long, but it gives you so much depth that you can actually see the Paris streets and palaces and the Scottish farms, cottages, and towns. I wanted the book to move quicker, but I appreciated all the historical detail and the development of even the minor characters.
I'd recommend it to anyone who's into sweeping historical sagas. As this is a part of a series, don't expect a neat and tidy ending. It's just enough to tide you over until the next book.