Discussion Forums - Hidden Gems Hidden Gems

Topic: diana gabaldon -- thoughts?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: diana gabaldon -- thoughts?
Date Posted: 5/31/2008 4:54 PM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2008
Posts: 3,352
Back To Top

hi everyone.

i've noticed her name a lot recently, and i just bought one of her books for a buddy swap.  the plot synopsis on the back sounds really interesting, and maybe i would want to check out the series.

however, i'm really not into romance novels, and i thought that is her main genre.  i'm just very uncomfortable with sex in books (movies, whatever...oh, the joys of having been engaged to a man addicted to porn).  it's not that i would never read ANYTHING with sex in it...but romance and sex scenes should be far and few between and not the reason for the actual book.

so, should i give her a chance?  or pass her up for something else?

thanks!

Date Posted: 5/31/2008 4:59 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
Back To Top

What book did you get?  I love her "Outlander" series.  They are more historical fiction than romance but they have romance in it, of course.  Romance and sex are a part of life.  That series has 6 books and one more on the way.  She is very popular.  I also have her books on Lord John but have not read them.

I highly recommend her books.

Date Posted: 5/31/2008 5:05 PM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2008
Posts: 3,352
Back To Top

the book that i got was the last in the outlander series -- the breath of snow and ashes.

edited because i sounded snotty, and i didn't like it.  lol



Last Edited on: 5/31/08 5:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/31/2008 6:02 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,703
Back To Top

There is sex and some sexual violence in her books, just so you know.  But I wouldn't characterize her books as romances.  To me, they are historical fiction with a paranormal twist.  Relationships are a huge theme in the books as well.  The Outlander series is my favorite.  :)

Subject: Diana Gabaldon
Date Posted: 5/31/2008 7:06 PM ET
Member Since: 5/2/2008
Posts: 1
Back To Top

I think her Outlander series is fantastic!  But you should start with the first book or it won't make a lot of sense.  Yes, there is sex, violence, etc. - but it is part of the story.  It's more just historical fiction than "romance," - possibly a bit in the "fantasy" realm as well. 

Date Posted: 5/31/2008 7:34 PM ET
Member Since: 9/19/2006
Posts: 2,940
Back To Top

Chiming in as another *huge* Outlander fan!  It is best to read the books in order as the progression of the characters relationships are very important. 

As the others have said, yes there is sex, but it is much more a part of the characters lives than just sticking a sex scene in just to have one.

I also don't read much romance, or consider these books romance.  There is so much more to them than that!

Date Posted: 5/31/2008 10:08 PM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2007
Posts: 3,272
Back To Top

Love the series!!  She is one of my favorite writers.  I got "A Breath of Snow and Ashes" and have it hiding because if start it I will not be doing anything for the next week!! :)

Date Posted: 5/31/2008 10:39 PM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2008
Posts: 3,352
Back To Top

you all convinced me...i ordered the first outlander books from here.  i hope i like it, but it'll take a while to get to it, since i have mount TBR in my bedroom!

Date Posted: 5/31/2008 10:53 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
Posts: 316
Back To Top

Jessyka- 


I do like the Outlander books as a historical fiction book.   My one critique of the books is that I think it goes into too much detail in some of the sex scenes.  It gets annoying after a while since Gabaldon is so very able to show the bonds between the characters in so many more artful ways- which she does.   I really don't think the explicit scenes are necessary to the story and I think it has caused her books to be taken less seriously by some.  That being said, it is a wonderful series and I think you can gloss over the explicit scenes without it detracting from the story  (I know there are people who may disagree with my statement). 

I am currently close to being finished with "The Fiery Cross" and I have noticed that the sex scenes seem to be a bit toned down in the latter part of the book.  I'm not sure if this trend continues.



Last Edited on: 5/31/08 10:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/31/2008 11:23 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2008
Posts: 364
Back To Top

I guess I'm the only person in the world who doesn't like these books.  I'm not a fan of "bodice rippers" and that's how I classify them.  Starting out I knew they were romances but I really thought the historical story would outway the sex scenes.  I really thought they ruined a good plot.  I read Outlander and was not impressed at all.  I tried the second in the series and couldn't make it very far at all.  I had won the entire set on ebay so I just put them on my pbs bookshelf and they were all requested within 2 days of posting.  At least, I racked up some quick credits.  :)

Date Posted: 6/1/2008 12:41 AM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2007
Posts: 529
Back To Top

I've got 300 pages left to read of The Fiery Cross by Diana Galbadon. I've really enjoyed them all. This one has been a little slower reading than the others because of the size, but I've felt just as interesting. I can hardly wait to start A Breath of Snow and Ashes....it's the next one on my shelf to be read.

Happy Reading everyone!!!

Date Posted: 6/1/2008 1:39 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
Back To Top

I agree completely with Eileen.  The story would be just as good without such explict sex.   It didn't ruin the story for me, but I would have preferred the book without it. 

Date Posted: 6/1/2008 9:31 PM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,703
Back To Top

I wouldn't characterize these as bodice rippers at all, although I could give you the name of a few if you wanted to avoid them, lol!  I'm not a fan of the bodice ripper either.  I used to read a lot of romance, and I found the sex in this series to be much less gratuitous than most sex in romance novels, even the modern day run of the mill ones.  The older ones, such as the ones from the 80's, when bodice ripping was apparently "the thing", are much much worse.



Last Edited on: 6/1/08 9:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/2/2008 12:34 AM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 6,060
Back To Top

IMHO, Gabaldon is about as far away from "bodice ripper" as you can get - but I suppose it's how you define "bodice ripper". 

"Bodice rippers" got their name from the cheesy Fabio covers featuring manly men holding swooning women with, you guessed it, their bodice somewhere in the process of being ripped off.   The heroes in bodice rippers are usually arrogant, sex-crazed, misogynist men who treat the heroine as a doormat.  (usually the hero is much older than the heroine, too).  The first "seduction" scene usually borders on, or in fact could even be, rape.  (Yet the heroine falls in love with the guy anyway).  There's usually lots of heaving bosoms, throbbing manhoods, etc etc. 

Yes, Gabaldon's books have sex in them.    But the relationship between Jamie and Claire is so much more complex than that.   Many people classify them as romance novels, but Gabaldon herself vehemently denies they are, and I don't consider them romances either - and I am an avid romance reader.    I consider The Outlander series as "historical fiction with a strong romantic element".

I do recommend starting with the first book - they are definitely continuing stories. 

Date Posted: 6/2/2008 2:27 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
Back To Top

So if you took the sex completely out the book would still be the same?  NO???  To me that makes it a romance and I've been reading romances for 30 plus years.   Maybe bodice ripping isn't the words to use - but it was more sexual than most romances I have read.         I don't think the story would stand alone without the romance.  Shug - JMO of course      

Date Posted: 6/2/2008 8:12 AM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2006
Posts: 4,325
Back To Top

I say try the first one and if you like it, keep reading the rest!

Date Posted: 6/2/2008 3:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
Posts: 316
Back To Top

IMVHO the books would be much better without the body part sections.  The relationships between the people are an integral part of the book (romantic or otherwise) and they are so skillfully expressed by the author in a myriad of ways.  The body part sections seem so starkly out of place to me in these books. 

Diana Gabaldon should go back through the books and publish a version that would be at home with the historical fiction books (which is where it belongs).  I don't think it would take much doing for her.  That's my 2 cents (I guess it's now 4 cents since I've posted twice)  ; )

There seems to be a huge following.  Here is a lnk to the Ladies of Lallybroch site and it's multiple message boards:

www.lallybroch.com/

 



Last Edited on: 6/2/08 3:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/2/2008 3:33 PM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2008
Posts: 3,352
Back To Top

well, i have requested _outlander_ from here, but i'm still waiting for the member to accept the request.  i have so many other things to read (including going through my old books that were at my dad's house) and so i don't know when i would even get to it!  but i'll try it...i'm willing to try just about anything once.

Date Posted: 6/2/2008 3:46 PM ET
Member Since: 5/9/2006
Posts: 1,756
Back To Top

I am sure a lot of people hate the Outlander series (like me) but you hate to say anything when everyone else is raving about it. I read the first one and liked it but I more than hated the next one. I'm sure you will find it way to much sex for you but I also hated the turn it took. I won't say what I hated about it but I would never read another of her books after that!! I just hope you won't order all of them until you have tried them for yourself. Everyone is different and you should make sure you like it before getting more of them. Don't base it on just the first book which I really liked because it changes in the second book, a lot.

Date Posted: 6/3/2008 5:30 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
Back To Top

I've listened the first 4 books - the unabridged versions masterfully narrated by Davina Potter - and I have to confess that I was embarassed listening the sex scenes, and let me tell you, I don't mind when I read them but for some reason having somebody else say the words kind of embarrased me. I got used to it, of course but at the beginning I felt it was Claire, Jamie doing their stuff with Davina and I looking in! (eeeww.)

Sex is such an intrical part of the plot  - both as love and domination - that I don't know if Gabaldon would have been able to deal with all the emotional issues of the ugly sex without going into detail about the love sex (although maybe she could have reduce the number of scenes, I don't know.)

I would say that the books are romance because they deal with two people in love and what they've gone through to be together. There's a lot of history, though - I've learnt so much about Scotland!

I have the audiobooks of the last two but decided to put them on hold for a while. I started Outlander a while back but stopped reading it (don't remember why) and picked it up again when I found Dragonfly and Voyager on Audible. Then I finished Outlander at the end of last year and read Dragonfly, Voyager and Drums back-to-back-to-back. It was so intense that I started feeling lost in the story so I decided to take a break. Maybe I'll pick up Fiery up for the end of this year (if I can wait that long!)

Date Posted: 6/3/2008 11:51 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
Back To Top

Well, of course there is sex.  If there is love there is sex.  And, this takes place in the 1700s in Scotland where women were not much more than chattel, and in the American Colonies.  You cannot have history without sex.  I personally do not think there was too much sex.  I am thinking back to the books I read and not one sex scene stands out.  I am now reading TFC and find it harder to read than the other books but I understand that the Breath of Snow and Ashes is simply wonderful.  So I am trudging onward hoping to get through the book so I can read the next one, and the next one when it comes out.

Date Posted: 6/6/2008 11:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2007
Posts: 529
Back To Top

The Fiery Cross took me over a month to get thru, but it was fantastic! The sex doesn't bother me, it isn't as graphic as a lot of books I read and it's the normal sex between husband and wife and the closeness. I think that probably a lot of people were turned off in an early book which what happened between Jack Randall and Jamie. But I don't look at the books as romance novels, they are so much more than that.



Last Edited on: 6/6/08 11:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Gabaldon
Date Posted: 7/10/2008 11:52 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2008
Posts: 1
Back To Top

Hi-these are SO not your typical romance-a lot of history and intrigue thrown in, the sex scenes are few and far between, and generally more about the emotions/relationship than the sex. Jamie is my all time favorite hero to die for-these books are finely written and you will be sad when each one ends.

Date Posted: 7/11/2008 9:02 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
Back To Top

A lot of differing opinions on this series.

I read Outlander a few years ago and to me, it was very much a romance novel with a little history and suspense. I read a lot of history and historical fiction and Outlander is heavy on the relationship between Claire and Jamie and light on historical references.

Date Posted: 7/11/2008 1:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2005
Posts: 2,030
Back To Top

Another dissenter. I read "Outlander" and parts of "Dragonfly in Amber" & quit there. I liked Gabaldon's fascination with the physical textures of her world. I was more thrilled by urban Paris than rural Scotland, though. My problem was with the characters. I found Claire rather annoying, Jamie far too idealized, definitely in the usual romance genre manner, & I always wondered about Claire's poor husband, Frank, the one in the triangle who gets short shrift.

(Frank, the dice were loaded against you from the start. You should have gotten out of that series early, the minute Gabaldon made the villain your ancestor & gave him your face, & found another series that would have treated you more nicely. No, actually, you should have gotten out the minute she gave you the name "Frank" -- which is not a "hot" name in the romance world -- & understood your fate was to serve as a foil to the sexy Scottish fantasy perfection of Jamie.)

 

Page: