This is probably the best series I have EVER read-and I've read a lot. I think I read the entire series (all six, 900 page books) in under 2 weeks. While I was working and going to school-that's how awesome they are, I could not put them down, I HAD to find out what would happen. I agree with what others have said that these are not romance novels-they really focus on the heroine and the realities of what it would be like to be stuck in another time. Her writing and storytelling is very believable, and the sub-plot of what plays out between Jamie (swoon!) and Claire, is just a the icing on the cake. What a great read-two thumbs way, way up. I ended up buying all the books after because I want to make sure I can find them when I want to read them again. I've already reread bits and pieces of them, and I only read them for the first time a few months ago. Awesome, awesome writing.
I'm not a fan of time-travel/science fiction/fantasy/series, but this novel defies being categorized. Yes, it is time-travel, yes, it is romance, yes, it is historical fiction. Overall, it is phenomenal! I happened to pick up Outlander at a garage sale for 25 cents -- and then couldn't stop until I read the rest of the series, plus the Lord John novel spin-off. I can't wait to see how Gabaldon picks up with the next book in the series. FANTASTIC!
Had a hard time with the first couple chapters cuz I thought they were kinda boring. But, once she reaches Jamie, I couldn't put it down. Very intense.
Our book club chose this as a "relief" book after struggling through Faulkner's THE SOUND AND THE FURY, and while I only expected lighthearted entertainment, this was a fascinating, engrossing read. I set aside certain daily obligations (!) to sneak away with this book...I could not put it down until i was finished. HIGHLY recommended escapist reading!
I can't remember who or what prompted me to pick up this series in the first place, probably the amount of excellent reviews I kept seeing on it and the fact that I love historical fiction. But I do remember starting out this first book in the Outlander series and thinking: "meh..."
Gabaldon does go on and on with her silly little (pointless) tangents which have nothing to do with the actual plot line and only serve to increase her already bursting word count. During the first half of this book I kept putting it down and my boyfriend kept asking me why I was even bothering.
And then I got to the second half, before I knew it I was knee deep in Gabaldon worship just like the rest of the female population. Holy crap, how much do we love Jamie Fraser? Gabaldon has created the most perfectly imperfect, intense, wonderful, rugged, passionate, lovable, beautiful specimen on paper. (Have you ever googled "outlander movie"? Much to the chagrin of every warm blooded woman out there (and possibly some men...) there is not a movie version of this fantastic hero. But that doesn't stop everyone from casting him. Go check out some of the "who's your Jamie" fan sites, suggesting dozens upon dozens of different actors to portray this god among men.)
Anyway, Excellent novel. An intense read with characters you will know intimately once you close the back cover. Very emotional series. I couldn't read just book one. I had to keep buying the next one in the series. And then the next one...
I would recommend to anyone who has an interest in history and who is above reading a bit of fluff. This is a challenging, engrossing read. Definitely on my "to keep" shelf.