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Topic: Outlander Series - Opinions Plz

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Subject: Outlander Series - Opinions Plz
Date Posted: 2/3/2008 12:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I put these on my WL after reading comments on them, and already have the first three on the way.  So now, without even thinking about it, I've committed myself to finding the others and reading this series - ouch!  I don't think I was ready...   I'm not 100% enthusiastic about starting into this; I've read enough about it to know it's not my usual taste.  I might have waded into it with great anticipation had I just come off of reading heavily in other genres besides romance.  Not sure if that makes any sense, but my tolerance for meaty stories that don't come to a somewhat quick resolution isn't there right now; it sorta got a workout with the Harry Potter series last summer, when I read the last 3 books in one week - Ack!

What I'd like to see is comments from people who have read, or are in the process of reading, these books.  Negatives vs. positives, etc.  Keeping in mind that I'm not much for time travel, an excess of angst and nail-chewing, and thousands of pages of history I'm likely to skim anyway:P  I have this half formulated thought in the back of my mind that I might end up reading Outlander, and passing the series on without reading the rest - or spending the next couple of years looking at it sitting on a shelf, and thinking I need to read that someday...

Date Posted: 2/3/2008 12:44 PM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2005
Posts: 960
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I read Outlander and liked it, but not enough for me to want to read the rest in the series.  It took me a while to read it too.

Date Posted: 2/3/2008 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
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Kim,  many people have stopped at Outlander, but if you can I urge to read at least Dragonfly in Amber and Voyager, if nothing else.  Yes they are big books and a huge investment in your life but I for one think they are worth it.   And I don't really consider them 100% romance.  In fact, the author herself has described them as "the story of a marriage".  Ups, downs, a little history thrown in, plenty of drama and of course love - but its a good story.  What you might do is just read a chapter or two at a time then read something else.  I've read the whole 6 book series (books 7 and 8 are in the works) at least twice and the general consensus is you either love it or hate it.  So don't feel bad if you aren't "into" it.   Outlander sat on my TBR pile for 6 months before I picked it up but now I'm a professed addict. LOL

Sherri

Date Posted: 2/3/2008 1:25 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 604
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Kim,

I was also not sure when I started the Outlander series.  And I was still was not sure about 50 pages into the story.  I had never read a book that was 1000 pages and thought that It would be boring.  But, once she went back into time (page 50).  OH MY!!!   I absolutely loved it.  I couldn't read it fast enough.  There are two scenes in the first book that some people did not like.  The first one didn't bother me.  It was a little discipline that the heroine needed from the hero.  LOL The second one was more disturbing (it bothered me for days afterward) but, it was a strong part of the story.  It was something that happened to the hero.  I wouldn't change the scene if given the choice.  I read the following three books immediately after Outlander.  I couldn't wait to find out what happened to the hero (Jamie) and heroine (Claire).  I am now on the 5th book (The Fiery Cross) and stuck on that one.  I read the first four in about three weeks and needed a break.  The Fiery Cross has more history and is slower.  But, it needs to be read in order to read A Breath of Snow and Ashes.   I WILL finish it because the next one is supposed to be very good.  There will be several more books to this series.  The next one comes out sometime 2009. (An Echo in the Bone)

If you find that you didn't care for Outlander, it can be a stand alone book.  You do not have to read the others.  

This is one series that I would read over.  The 1000 pages no longer bother me.  I wish that it was longer.  LOL

Negatives:

Get past the first 50 pages (but, make sure you read it.  LOL)

Those two scenes might bother you

I really can't think of anything else

Positives:

Jamie (OH MY)

It was 1000 pages

Complex characters

I LOVED IT

 

Sherron

 



Last Edited on: 2/3/08 1:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/3/2008 3:38 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 1,950
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Kim, I loved it, but I wouldn't get any of the books past #3 until you have read those. I quit after book four, mainly because I felt the series was getting long winded and I was getting burnt out.

It is true that it is not traditional romance, per se, but the romantic nature of Jamie and Claire's relationship is the main driver of the series, IMO.

If however you require a quick resolution to their story, you won't get it here. They do HAVE a romance very early in the series though, so it's not page upon page of waiting to read about their "getting together". Their relationship has plenty of internal conflict, esp at the beginning, but for most of the series the conflict is external, which allows their story to feel very romantic, to me anyway.

I found that I actually enjoyed the historical aspects of the story because Gabaldon doesn't beat you over the head with passages that sound like they are quoted from an encyclopedia. I also enjoyed the action. For a very long book like this to hold my interest, things have to move along at a fairly fast clip or I get distracted. That wasn't an issue here, lol.

And for what it's worth, it's the only "romance" I ever got my husband to read. He loved it too!



Last Edited on: 2/3/08 7:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/3/2008 4:04 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2006
Posts: 89
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I hated Outlander.  By far, it was one of the most boring novels I've ever read.  I think I got a 3rd or 4th of the way through it before I gave up and threw it against the wall. 

Sucks too, because I was all excited to read it after all the praise on these message boards.

Date Posted: 2/3/2008 4:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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I think that your and my tastes are similar and I asolutely LOVED it.   Best books I EVER read.  Completely addictive.  You'll be happy you ordered them.  Trust me. 

Date Posted: 2/3/2008 9:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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See, this is exactly how they got on my WL to begin with:P  The same people whose tastes are consistently like mine raved about them...  I put them all on there like Friday, and I guess a couple of people posted them right after, because I got offered the first three yesterday, and I had to make the decision pretty quickly.  I'll try Outlander as soon as I finish the books I have on loan from Sherron (I started On a Highland Shore tonight), and I'll let you guys know if I've caught the fever, or I'm looking to unload an albatross..:P  Knowing me, I'll get hooked and be buried in them for the next month and whining for the rest - lol.

Date Posted: 2/3/2008 9:32 PM ET
Member Since: 6/9/2007
Posts: 745
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I haven't read them yet but since I'm attempting to read the Top 100 Romances of 2007 (AAR), I'm borrowing them from my mom--she just LOVES them! In fact, they are the only books she has on her keeper shelf--she doesn't re-read books like I do but she has read these again. It doesn't sound like something I would typically pick up but I'm hopeful! :)

Date Posted: 2/3/2008 10:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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I loved it.  I also stay away from time travel as a rule.  In fact, I can't name one other book I have read and liked that had time travel, except for  A Wrinkle in Time, which was a little like time travel,  but not really.  The characters are what makes these books tick.  As one poster mentioned the first few chapter of Outlander focus more on Claire's husbands studied of Scottish history.. which is a slow start, but once she goes back in time, things really start to hop and the cast of characters come off the page in 3D.

Book 2 was set is France and had more historical politics than I would like... but I found that I could skim chunks and still follow Claire and Jamie's story easily.  So.. if you get bogged down in book 2, don't feel alone.  3 and 4 move very quickly.  Book 5 is en route to me via PBS and Book 6 is still on my wishlist.

I would not consider this heavy reading.  The only thing heavy about it is the length... you have to think twice before tackling it.. but on you do.. and Claire goes back in time... the pages fly by. 

Enjoy..... I envy you being able to start the series with a blank slate.  I have reread parts of Book 1 and they are all keepers so far.  I suspect that they will get re-read every few years.

Date Posted: 2/3/2008 10:21 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 604
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Kim, don't feel like you have to read the loaners before Outlander.  I don't need them back anytime soon.  Really.  Let me know what you think of On a Highland Shore. 

Lita, I completely agree with you.  I envy Kim for reading them for the first time.  They are definitely keepers. 

 

Date Posted: 2/3/2008 10:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I'm not breaking my neck rushing, babe, but I appreciate it.  You and I have almost identical reading habits - we order stuff and it sits until we're in the mood:) - so I think loaner swaps between us is a very good thing.  Both of us are going to have a stack of WL books TBR, and not in a tearing rush to read.  I've been wanting to read On a Highland Shore for a while now - I think even before I ordered the Kilgannon books from you (which I haven't started yet either...lol), so this is as good a place to start as any.  I think Outlander isn't going to mail until Tuesday, so I have plenty of time to read maybe one or two others while I wait.

Oh - and I already had a copy of Drums of Autumn, which I found at the thrift store (another 10 cent find), so I won't have to scout for that one when the time comes.



Last Edited on: 2/3/08 11:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/3/2008 11:28 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 604
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Kim,

You are sooooo correct about my reading habits.  I think I have to have this book and do whatever I have to do to get it.  It then comes in the mail and it goes in my TBR pile and sits for who knows how long.  I sometimes feel quilty for not reading the wishlisted books.  But I am not in the mood for that one, so I can't.  LOL  When ever I finish a book, I ask my self now what do I feel like reading.  A quick funny romance, military romance, medieval romance, action romance or maybe a pirate.  LOL

Date Posted: 2/3/2008 11:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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LOL - I am sooo with you on that.  I'm dancing a jig when I get a WL offer, and just can't wait to get the book.  Then it shows up, and maybe the high is still there until it comes time to pick the blasted thing up & read it, and then it's "oh, maybe not right now...".   And you you know you have to go with the flow on the mood thing.  I can't go to tearjerker right after swashbuckler or romp.  And dark & sinister has to be followed by darker and sinister...er.  I have to let the mood play itself out a little bit, or I'm not gonna fully appreciate the next thing I pick up:)

Date Posted: 2/4/2008 12:02 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 604
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LOL--that's sounds just like me..........

"until it comes time to pick the blasted thing up & read it, and then it's "oh, maybe not right now...".

So true



Last Edited on: 2/4/08 12:04 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/4/2008 2:30 AM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2008
Posts: 140
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Outlander is by far my favorite series of all time.  You're right, they're not quick reads - but I am betting you'll likely fall so madly in love with the characters and find yourself fully enthralled and interested in their world.  It really is amazing historical fiction, which may not be as interesting for you - since you will learn a lot about Scotland during the mid - late 1700s. However - at the base of it is a love story that is truly extraordinary and powerful. I am glad you're going to give it a chance and hope you'll adore it as much as I did :)

Date Posted: 2/4/2008 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I am also not usually into time travel and I loved the first three books. I did skim through a lot of the history.  And I gave up after, I think, the fifth book and would have really been just as happy if I'd given up after the third.

I did read them before I was a real romance reader, so I wonder if I would love them as much if reading them for the first time today.  Then, they gave me something I wasn't getting elsewhere.

I read by mood too. I have some really choice books in my TBR pile that I'm just not getting to, because I know they require a certain commitment of attention and brain.  Whatever, barring a fire, they'll keep. :-)

Date Posted: 2/4/2008 3:44 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 305
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The Outlander series was great in the beginning.  I got so many of my friends hooked on it.  Now it is just...ok.  I keep reading the books just to see what happens to the characters, but the quality of the books (particularly the last two) has really gone downhill.  I was actually really upset when I read "Breath of Snow and Ashes", had to put it down and come back to it months later.  And I only finished it out of guilt for having paid for the hardback copy.  I would say read the first one and if you really love it read the others.  Just don't be upset when the later books are not as great as the first.

Date Posted: 2/8/2008 3:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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check out the reviews on amazon.com.  It got over 1000 5 star ratings.  Now that's a lot.  I think the ratings are usually a good indication of whether I'll like the book.  I usually pick only 4.5 & 5 star books.  I stay away from 3 and below.  Also, how many books have their own fansites?  Outlander has several.  Those should be some indication of how good the books are. 

Date Posted: 2/8/2008 3:08 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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And how many have actually spawned a whole tourism industry?  You can take a "tour" of Jamie & Claire's haunts in Scotland - its even called the Outlander tour!

Sherri

Date Posted: 2/8/2008 3:14 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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Now that's a tour I'd like to go on if I won the Lotto!

Date Posted: 2/8/2008 4:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 965
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I'm currently reading it. I started reading this book on 2/1 and I'm only on page 204. It was very slow and a little boring at the beginning. Once she time traveled it got more interesting. So far I would call it very interesting and I definitely plan to read more but I'm not in a "I love it" point yet to where I'm running to read it every chance I get. I'm hoping it's just too soon in the story and that it will get better since I was able to obtain all 6 books and The Outlandish Companion from a very generous member here on PBS for a bargain. So I definitely want this to be a keeper for me and a series I will go back and read at some point.

So just out of curiosity, at what point did you fall in love with the book or series?

Date Posted: 2/8/2008 5:09 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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Leticia - about the time that Jamie & Claire "hook up" is when you start to have dreams about Jamie and become obsessed.  Even if you find Outlander to be dry (which I doubt but anything's possible) PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE  at least read the next one in the series called Dragonfly in Amber.  The ending of that one alone will bring tears to your eyes.

Sherri

Date Posted: 2/9/2008 8:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 965
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I was able to read a little more yesterday and it is getting good. In all fairness to the book, it's been a busy week which is why I haven't been able to read more. I definitely plan to stick with it though to include the remainder of the series. It's rare when I don't finish a book. It's got to be boring me to tears for me to give up.

Date Posted: 2/13/2008 8:25 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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Hey Outlander Fans-- just read an except from book 8 on a fansite "An Echo in the Bone."  Anybody know what happened to book 7 "Sons of Liberty"?

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