Catching up with Outlander

Catching up with OutlanderOutlander by Diana Gabaldon
Narrator: Davina Porter
Series: Outlander #1
Published by Recorded Books on 1991-06-01
Genres: Fiction, Historical
Pages: 640
Format: Audiobook
Length: 33 hrs. 8 mins.
Source: Purchase
Buy on Amazon

This stunning blend of historical romance and time traveling adventure has captured the hearts of millions of readers around the world and catapulted author Diana Gabaldon to the top of the New York Times best seller list. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love.

In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. Their blissful reunion is shattered when she touches a boulder in an ancient stone ruin and is instantly transported to 1743 Scotland, a place torn by war and raiding border clans. Will Claire find her way back to her own time, or is her destiny forever linked with Clan MacKenzie and the gallant James Fraser?

Like many other Starz viewers, I’ve succumbed to Outlander fever. I started watching the show this summer and slowly got more and more into it. Around episode 4 I got impatient to find out what happens next. That problem was easily solved- pick up the books!

I am verra late to the Outlander party so this is not really going to be a thorough review of the book. You’ve already read it ages ago, no?

I’ve had a copy of this book for years, but there it sat on my kindle waiting for the right time. Seeing the Outlander panel at Comic-Con this summer and meeting some encouraging fans sparked my interest in the series. I kind of wish I could time travel back to that panel, because I would totally appreciate it more now! The whole cast was there in this smallish room, and since the show hadn’t aired yet, there wasn’t as much excitement as there would be now.

Outlander panel sdcc 2014
Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser) and author Diana Gabaldon, Outlander panel, SDCC, July 2014, Starz

Outlander the book is quite wonderful, with interesting characters, rich historical detail, and a compelling love story. I thought at first that there would be more time travel in the book, but the characters are pretty settled in one place in this book. Claire is a strong lead who rolls with the punches in her new environment. And the Scottish soldier Jamie stole my heart- together they make a great team. I can tell I’m in for a world of heartache with this series though. Every time things seem to be going well, the other shoe drops.

I switched back and forth between reading and listening to Outlander. The audiobook is over 33 hours long- by far the longest audiobook I’ve ever listened to. I’m used to audios that are more like half that length, but this series certainly maximizes your audible credits! I do think audio is the way to go with Outlander. Davina Porter is a skillful, engaging narrator, who is great with the Gaelic phrases and Scottish accents. Her Jamie voice is just as good as her Claire voice, which is quite remarkable. I’d forget I was listening sometimes, so caught up in the story.  I did speed up the narration to 1.25 and that was perfect for my ears.

I am so impressed with how faithful the Starz series is to the book. How beautiful the TV series is! I’m pleased with the adaptation so far, the cast is outstanding, and the story translates well to the small screen. From reading the book I know that things will get very heavy in the second half of the season, so I need to get mentally prepared for that.

Outlander Claire and Jamie
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan as Claire and Jamie in Outlander. Photo: Starz

This Saturday is the mid-season finale (sob), and the show returns with the remaining 8 episodes on April 4, 2015. And well, that’s a long time away, but in the meantime we have the books right? Plus, the series was renewed for season two so there are many more kilt drops in our future.

The mid-season finale, Both Sides Now, airs Saturday.  Looks like we get to see what’s been going on with Frank:

What do you think about the Outlander phenomenon? Have you read/re-read the books to watch the series? Do you like the adaptation?


19 thoughts on “Catching up with Outlander

  1. I swoon. Glad you are caught up. I read it a few summers ago when Jess @ Gone With the Words had a read-a-long. There was no way I could read it patiently with the group. It’s a page flipper. Jamie 🙂 I reread through audio & (you are right) it is equally mesmerizing. And holy trifecta, the TV series is doing it justice. Casting is fabulous. Jamie 🙂

    The big problem is when to start book 2 🙂

    Amy @ bookgoonie recently posted: Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep
    1. Lucy says:

      Your Goodreads update during your audio re-read is part of what got me interested in finally picking up the book! You are so right about it being a page flipper. And Jamie, ahem. I may or may not have already started book two…. 🙂

  2. My friends are crazy about this series – both book and TV – but it doesn’t appeal to me for some reason.

    bermudaonion (Kathy) recently posted: Giveaway: My Mother’s Secret
    1. Lucy says:

      I held off on it for so long, but the tv series sold me. Maybe try an episode sometime. It is beautiful to look at anyway!

  3. I totally am hooked on OUTLANDER, but the series not the TV show. I picked up Outlander (the first book) over the summer in anticipation for the TV series, but had to keep reading onto the next book. I started watching the TV show but once I read the book, I wasn’t as interested in watching it on TV. I got to ep 2 and stopped. And hope to read book 3 soon. 🙂

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    1. Lucy says:

      The books really are addicting, aren’t they? That’s interesting that the books are keeping you from the TV series 🙂 It’s so tempting to just devour the whole series back to back. But I feel guilty for all the other books I *should* be reading 🙂

      1. I think the main reason I stopped watching the show is that it feels like a “repeat” since I already read ahead to the next book. The books are so lengthy that I don’t think I could read all of them back to back. I take breaks in between to keep up (ha ha ha) with my TBR pile. 🙂

        Debbi Michiko Florence recently posted: Book Buzz! Cooper & Packrat Are Back!
  4. I have to admit I tuned in to the middle of an episode on TV, right in the middle of a scene where a guy was bleeding to death from a horrible leg wound…and then I couldn’t understand a single word they were saying, LOL! Not the best introduction to the series. Maybe I’ll read the book:-)

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    1. Lucy says:

      There are some scenes that are very hard to watch, and that episode you mention is one of the goriest. And lol we watch with the closed captioning on 🙂
      Hope you try out the book sometime!

  5. Outlander is probably my favorite book of all time (actually the first three books in the series pretty equally), and I listened to it as an audiobook. I thought the narration was WONDERFUL, and I learned to pronounce all those Gaelic words that I would have had no idea how to pronounce if I was just reading the book. I read—rather than listened to—the other books, but it was only because I was unwilling to wait until I got into my car to hear what happened next!

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    1. Lucy says:

      That is high praise indeed! I agree with you that Outlander is fantastic, and so is the audiobook. But, I know what you mean about being impatient with finding time to listen. I picked up the kindle editions of the books, and lol my kindle ran out of memory while they were trying to download.

  6. I love the books. I haven’t watched anything but the first episode of the series. I decided that I would binge watch them all at once. That might happen this weekend 🙂

    Felicia the Geeky Blogger recently posted: Snagged @ The Library September 26 2014
    1. Lucy says:

      Yes, a binge watch is certainly in order, Felicia. I can’t wait to hear what you think of the series! Especially since you have the books to compare them to. My Saturday nights will not be the same until Outlander’s return in April.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    I haven’t read the books but I am in love with the series. I love the story and cannot wait to see what happens next. Maybe after the mid-season finale I might be intrigued to pick up the books.

    1. Lucy says:

      That’s exactly what happened to me, Elizabeth! I fell in love with the series too- isn’t it so good? I had to know what was going to happen next, and we have to do something while we wait for the series to return, right? Might as well try the books 🙂

  8. I am not familiar with this book or series, but have been hearing about lately. It sounds really good. Thanks for sharing your perspective!

    pat @ Posting For Now recently posted: October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  9. stacybuckeye says:

    I read the first 4 of the series eons ago and love the series. April is just too long to wait!

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