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Outlander Mass Market Paperback – June 2, 1992
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100 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books to Read in a Lifetime
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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
Praise for Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander novels
“Marvelous and fantastic adventures, romance, sex . . . perfect escape reading.”—San Francisco Chronicle, on Outlander
“History comes deliciously alive on the page.”—New York Daily News, on Outlander
“Gabaldon is a born storyteller. . . . The pages practically turn themselves.”—The Arizona Republic, on Dragonfly in Amber
“Triumphant . . . Her use of historical detail and a truly adult love story confirm Gabaldon as a superior writer.”—Publishers Weekly, on Voyager
“Unforgettable characters . . . richly embroidered with historical detail.”—The Cincinnati Post, on Drums of Autumn
“A grand adventure written on a canvas that probes the heart, weighs the soul and measures the human spirit across [centuries].”—CNN, on The Fiery Cross
“The large scope of the novel allows Gabaldon to do what she does best, paint in exquisite detail the lives of her characters.”—Booklist, on A Breath of Snow and Ashes
“Features all the passion and swashbuckling that fans of this historical fantasy series have come to expect.”—People, on Written in My Own Heart’s Blood
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I lost count of how much of the plot and dialog dealt with whippings, beatings, and rape. Enough. I get it. It was violent in 18th century Scotland. If I wanted that much realism, I'd read a history book, not a novel. Not to mention, I didn't need pages and pages of a very detailed depiction of someone being repeatedly sodomized. It was disgusting.
The plot had so many scenes where the same thing happened over and over again. 850 pages could have easily been whittled down to half that, and I would not be walking away from this book unable to tell one scene from the next. As Yogi Berra would say, this book was "like deja vu, all over again."
And the characterization--that's probably the worst of this book's flaws. The lead female is...a selfish dunce. The story begins with her married to a completely decent and likable man: a man she very willingly cheats on! Not only that, but her inner monologue vacillates between gut-wrenchingly selfish and mind-bogglingly naive. I cannot believe a grown, MARRIED woman could be so self-centered and emotionally stunted.
Next is Jamie Fraser, the Highland hottie everyone and their Aunt Bertha raves about and swoons over. Seriously? HE BEATS HER WITH A BELT. BEATS HER, PEOPLE. Not a couple of swats out of anger--a full-on beating that leaves bruises all over her. He cheerfully delights in it! He tells her she's lucky he didn't climb on top of her afterwards because he was so turned on by it. WTF? Am I reading the same book as the eleventy frillion people who seem to think this guy is sexy?!? That scene turned my stomach and made me question why anyone would find this guy compelling in any way.
Overall, this book is too long, too violent, and lacks characters that readers can buy into or relate to. It's just...seriously, I don't get it.
Then he gets married to the spunky heroine and out of the blue he beats her. I still can't figure out why this even had to take place. It didn't do anything for the plot, it just made the hero unlikeable. "Hero" Jamie, took a beating for that girl earlier in the book, and the morning after his marriage he said he would lie and say that they hadn't consummated their marriage, all to spare his new wife ... awww, he's sweet ... but then BAM! The beating scene came along and he wouldn't lie about beating her to his clansmen or take a beating for her. He HAD to beat her. I found it repulsive and he lost every bit of charm the author spent so much time trying to convince me he had.
Also, until this point I at least liked the spunkiness of the heroine but after the beating she turned into a simpering, soft headed, idiot thinking she actually did deserve it. *gag* She stays miffed a page or two but soon after forgives him because he piles on another tragic story about a childhood beating. [Enough with the beatings already!] So she forgives him completely and they have sex. He's hurting her, she tells him to stop, he says no. Are you kidding me? And again NO bearing on the plot! It just made me not like him!
But darn it, my friends loved the book, I was hanging in there and reading the rest! Then the book drags on and on and ON! One incredibly annoying part, again with no bearing on the story, the happy couple are at Jamie's childhood home and a woman wants Master Jamie to hire on a child because his father is beating him. I had to laugh in disbelief! All of a sudden the author is against beatings! How odd! I can't even begin to count how many times Jamie takes a beating or describes his beatings or threatens beatings even when his beatings ARE HIS HAPPY MEMORIES thinking of his dear departed father!!!! Now, she's against beatings! Ugh!!! But to break up the monotony of all his beatings they did burn a witch to keep you awake through the center 400 pages ... of course they had to beat her first. *sigh*
And then as a topper we get to the end. It was brutal, horrible, vile, violent, repulsive and quite frankly disturbing. I got the distinct feeling that the author really hated some guy named Jamie and decided to write a book to brutalize him in the worst ways imaginable! Never in my most horrible nightmares could I come up with something so disturbing and I pray that I will never stumble on something like it again!!!
And did I mention the heroine kills a wolf with her bare hands somewhere in the dreadfully long middle section? Why you may ask? I have NO IDEA! Again, no bearing on the story that I can tell. The whole thing just has me scratching my head! And don't even get me started on the dialog! :P
I'd like to go back in time and stop myself from reading this book!