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 Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (c. 1998)

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PostSubject: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (c. 1998)   Tue 28 Jul 2009, 3:28 pm



This is one of those books that defies a particular genre, but has been defined as everything from historical fiction (mostly) to a romance, mystery, time travel book, etc. Among my "bookish" friends, I've been pushed to try this one for a few years now. The series has a cult following of devotion, to say the least. It has every element I generally don't like (save historical fiction, which I read a ton of) and wouldn't you know it, I am loving it. The story plunges the reader into very well-realized worlds ... one post-war England/Scotland (1945) and then, back in time to the Scottish Highlands mid-18th Century. There is everything from folklore, witches, burgeoning "medicine" (if leeches can be considered as such), the warring Scottish clans, the English Redcoats and all points in between. There is plenty of mystery as a reader must find out how the protagonist, Claire, suddenly finds herself back in 1743 ... and what happened to the husband and life she left behind.

I'm only about 100 pages in, but this is a very fun, engaging read. The characters are awesome and it's some of the best entertainment I've had in a while (reading anyway).

Review to follow ... then I just may read the next 6 books in the series!!!

If you liked Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, but want even better writing, research and historical detail (okay, and a darn good love story), this might be the book(s) for you ... to lose yourself for a few months! But at first blush, it has that kind of feel to it.

Carolyn
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PostSubject: Review of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (c. 1991)   Mon 24 Aug 2009, 7:54 am

Review of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (c. 1991)

After years of being told, "You are a reader ... you HAVE to check out the Outlander series," I finally did, in fact, read the first book in the series. I am an avid historical fiction reader, generally avoid "romance novels" like the plague, but do like just good, engaging fiction. For the most part, Outlander delivers on many levels. The history, lore and total immersion into the Scottish Highlands in the 18th Century is fascinating and what held me the most. Much to my surprise, I did like the romance aspect quite a bit too. The characters are well flushed out, but very "Hollywood" in that they are amazingly alluring and handsome/beautiful to everyone, dashing, beautiful bodies, just enough quirks to make them loveable, NEVER let the other down (if you ever dreamed of your true love saving you from doom and disaster, your fantasies will forever be met in this book), that kind of thing. I also was surprised to find the "time travel" part kind of interesting and of course, we are left with the mystery unsolved at the end of the novel to keep a reader hooked. So I see the cult-like attraction to the book and I feel weirdly addicted to read the next in the series. My only real complaint is everyone touts how incredibly well-written this book is. I dissent, in some ways. It is repetitive both in language usage, themes, etc. Some things were played out over and over and over and I just was like, egads, get on with it. The technical skill is fine, but I kept thinking more editing would have helped a lot. Also, there are some moments of very gratuitous violence with some of graphic "sexual" scenes, so be prepared for that. Must have a fairly strong stomach. Anyway, don't take it too seriously, if you can kick back and enjoy the ride, you might find yourself swept away.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Carolyn
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