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Topic: Outlander

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Subject: Outlander
Date Posted: 12/1/2007 8:22 AM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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There's a thread in CMT's regarding favorite reads.  A number of folks mention Outlander by Gabaldon.  I have never read this book.  Then I see some mention it is a series.  So is it one book?  Or a series?  And in what order do they need to be read? 

I've heard the title mentioned many times, but it always sounded science fiction-ey to me and so I never followed up. 

Finally, and while I don't want the outcome, I can handle a few small spoilers, what is so great about this book/series?

And now, really, finally, when I saw the cover I recall that a couple of years ago my step sister was very ill, very icky ill, and over christmas.  Poor girl was holed up in a hotel room, over the bowl, for days while we celebrated the holiday.  My stepmom, her mom, went to B&N and grabbed a huge book to keep her company when she wasn't sleeping or in the bathroom.  She offered it to me, when the time for everyone to go home had come.  It was meant to be a kind gesture, but I didn't want it, considering how ill she'd been.  So, I've always had the image of the cover in my head these last 2 years.  Funny coincidence.

Date Posted: 12/1/2007 10:06 AM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2005
Posts: 463
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Hi!  Yes, the book is the first in a series by Diana Gabaldon.  I just love them.  Some people are daunted by how large the books are, but they're so good IMO they read quickly, and I'm always regretful when I come to the end of one!  Here is the order of the series:

Outlander

Dragonfly In Amber

Voyager

Drums Of Autumn

The Fiery Cross

A Breath Of Snow And Ashes

Basically, the book is about a nurse from 1940s England who goes back in time to Scotland, 1740s.  She falls in love, and all sorts of adventure, mystery, and intrigue ensue.  Also a good dose of romance!  Many times I've been in tears or laughter over these books and cannot stop turning the pages to see what will happen next to Claire and Jamie.   What I find interesting is the little historical tidbits Gabaldon adds into the story and some of the medical procedures of the times and how Claire uses her nursing knowledge in those times.  Gabaldon writes so well you really care about these characters and what happens to them. 

I hope you decide to read them and enjoy them as much as I do!

Date Posted: 12/1/2007 7:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2006
Posts: 1,464
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Julie, it's like trying to tell someone why you like chocolate ice cream, or the Easter Bunny. 

It's a series that has so much of everything in it.

Yes, it starts as a time travel, and has bits of it throughout, but that's not the major focus. It is a vital part of the whole story though.

Yes, it has romance, but so much more. J&C are the coolest couple I've ever read. And we all want a man like Jamie...sigh....

Yes, it is a historical fiction, but it is soo well done. I love historical fiction; I think these are some of the best out there.

Yes, they are huge books, but I guarantee you'll be wishing they were bigger yet once you get hooked.

I would say try Outlander and if you're not hooked by the 2nd or 3rd chapter, so be it.  If you are, then you can gather the rest to be ready for the rest of the series. And book #7 is being worked on; and there is a book #8, per Diana.

I was trying to find a quote from her website where a fan says something to the effect of "you don't simply read these books, you fall into them".  I 1000% agree with that.

 

Date Posted: 12/1/2007 8:04 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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Julie, I love the Outlander books for all the same reasons mentioned by both Bonnie and Karen.

But I think the primary reasons that the Outlander books are so special to me are:

(1)  The way that Gabaldon writes it makes everything seem so REAL.    The time travel, the history, the people, the love between Jamie and Claire.  Every time I finish another book in the Outlander series, I grieve a little bit because I feel like some old friends have said goodbye.  Seriously, it always takes me at least a few days before I even feel like picking up another book to read.

(2)  It's just a darn good story!

Date Posted: 12/1/2007 8:50 PM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2007
Posts: 3,272
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Julie, I must agree with what everyone has said about the Outlander Series.  I bought the first one at Walmart for $4.00 and had it forever but finally read it earlier this year and I will be starting book 4 in the next couple of weeks!!  I just love Jamie and Claire and their story!!!  It may seem daunting and intimidating by how big the books are but like everyone said you either will get hooked by them or you won't.  I'll wager you probably will get hooked!!

Diana does write very vividly!  It makes me want to jump on the plane and go to Scotland (not that I didn't want to before reading the series). 

There are so many reasons to read this series that I'd be here forever typing them out.

I say take the leap and try it!

 

PS-I stole the snowflake blinkie! :)

Date Posted: 12/1/2007 9:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Thanks for all the replies.  I ordered the first one.  I'm not really daunted by big books.  I had avoided them because the titles of the books didn't grab me.  I'm wierd I guess.  Sometimes a title grabs me, sometimes it's the name of the author, sometimes it's the pic on the cover, just whatever mood I'm in.  You all know, I'm sure. 

Now, after all these rave reviews, I have to decide if I want to start it right away, or send it to the bottom of the tbr pile, which is about 3 dozen deep right now.  Hmmm.

Heather, that's what the blinkies are there for.  :)

Date Posted: 12/1/2007 9:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2006
Posts: 6,597
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Oooooh, yes, you will want to read the entire series!  Several summers ago, I had checked out Outlander from the library so I would have a book to read while I was on a flight from South Carolina to Texas. It was so good that I think I almost forgot to deplane at DFW Airport because I didn't want to have to put the book down!! The series has everything--good, evil, time travel, war, brotherhood, motherhood,  history, love, hate, comedic moments---you name it!! 

Date Posted: 12/1/2007 9:58 PM ET
Member Since: 5/8/2007
Posts: 8,523
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Julie, I am trying to get this book in a swap too after hearing so many great things about it!  The title also didn't grab me either but I'm going to give it a try and hope I love it as much as everyone else!

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 7:40 AM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Jenny, if we read it at the same time we'll have to talk along the way and compare notes.

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 9:50 AM ET
Member Since: 5/8/2007
Posts: 8,523
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Definitely!

Date Posted: 12/3/2007 8:54 AM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,703
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Outlander is my favorite book of all time.  If you read the first book and you're not hooked, then this series isn't for you.  But I love all of them.  I have the Outlandish Companion too.  I have read Outlander at least four times.  Sigh.  It's everything an epic should be.

Date Posted: 12/3/2007 12:36 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2007
Posts: 22
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I love this series too!  I came across it when a girl I worked with and I decided to trade books, to be introduced to something different.  I don't remember what I gave her, but she gave me Outlander.  I honestly didn't want to read it, I don't do romance or historical fiction, but I promised I'd try it.  I couldn't believe how much I liked it!  I borrowed all the rest from her, and just started rereading the first one again.  They're addictive!

Date Posted: 12/3/2007 1:24 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2006
Posts: 2,157
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One of the most impressive things about the books (aside from the amazing story...) is the amount of historical research that has gone into the books.  When you reading some of the more bizzare parts of the story (the behavior at the French Court comes to mind) it is mindboggling to think that those things actually happened! 

I have adored this series and am alway thrilled when one of the new books comes out.  Her website gives lots of great information.



Last Edited on: 12/4/07 11:54 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/3/2007 1:33 PM ET
Member Since: 9/6/2005
Posts: 400
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This series should come with a warning.  After reading these books, nothing else is good enough.  I don't reread books because there are just too many good books out there and so little time.  However, after reading this series I am trying to get all of the books in hard cover for my keeper shelf.  I don't have a keeper shelf!  These books will be it!  I will definitely reread them!

Date Posted: 12/3/2007 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 9/19/2006
Posts: 2,940
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I have to agree with everything that has been said here!  This is my favorite book ever too!!  I can't even tell you how many times I have read it.  I always re-read the entire series when a new book comes out.  This always takes awhile as these books are huge, but there is so much detail in them that it helps to have a refresher.  And for those who don't read much romance, don't worry, that isn't the focus of these.  To me, this is more of a life story of Jamie and Claire, which includes love and romance, but like all of our lives, that isn't everything!

Edited because I can't spell  :-)



Last Edited on: 12/3/07 1:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/3/2007 2:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2006
Posts: 6,597
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Melissa, I guess it's pretty obvious from your nickname that you are fond of this series...LOL

Date Posted: 12/3/2007 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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well I requested the book over 2 days ago and the person hasn't responded.  I hope they log on soon!   

Date Posted: 12/3/2007 3:51 PM ET
Member Since: 9/19/2006
Posts: 2,940
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Julie, if I had an extra copy I would send it to you.  I just used my last extra copy in a swap...Hopefully they will log on soon!

Anna, I usually use Lallybroch as a screen name, but someone beat me to it on here, LOL.  This one is almost as good.  :-)

Date Posted: 12/3/2007 11:32 PM ET
Member Since: 5/8/2007
Posts: 8,523
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Melissa is yours the one I have in the swap right now?  I will have to go check!

Date Posted: 12/4/2007 12:00 AM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2007
Posts: 2
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It's funny that this is the first thread that I saw when I got on the forums :) I have been "absent" for awhile and decided that I need some new reading materials. I am on book 3 of this series (Voyager) and it's AMAZING. I am not a big time-travel/historical fan but these books have grabbed my attention and won't let go! When I am done with them I'm on to the Lord John books.

Gabaldon is an amazing author and I recommend that you start Outlander asap :)

 

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!  

 

Date Posted: 12/4/2007 1:19 AM ET
Member Since: 8/8/2005
Posts: 36
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I won't spoil the plot for anyone by going into the details, but I just don't get how Claire could possibly fall for Jamie after what he does to her.  I was so appalled by that aspect of the plot that I just couldn't stick with the characters, the book or the author after that.  Is it just me?

Date Posted: 12/4/2007 8:37 AM ET
Member Since: 4/20/2006
Posts: 5,703
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I think you just have to look at in the aspect of the time period, Elizabeth.  I will tell you that he never did it again.  There are a lot of things throughout the series that Claire has to contend with that are difficult for her, but are part of the time period, and she has to find a way to deal with them.  It's a constant challenge for her in every book.  It adds to the reality of her situation, IMO.

Date Posted: 12/4/2007 10:51 AM ET
Member Since: 9/6/2005
Posts: 400
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FYI -Diana Gabaldon has announced that the title of the 7th book in the Outlander series will be:

An Echo in the Bone

She said on her website that she hopes to finish it by the end of next year.  Who knows how long it will take to release after she's finished writing it, but I hope it's not too long!

Date Posted: 12/4/2007 1:18 PM ET
Member Since: 9/19/2006
Posts: 2,940
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Jenny, yes, it is my copy you have in the swap!  :-)

Date Posted: 12/4/2007 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 2,243
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When I worked in bookstores I recommended Outlander all the tiime. I even had a lady write me a thank-you note once! I always recommended them with a warning though.... You have to give it 100 pages. It's a little slow to start.

The first time I tried reading it, I gave up at page 75 and moved on to something else. The only reason I went back to it was that I was laid up in bed with an injury and didn't have anything else on hand. I hardly slept for the next two days because I couldn't put it down! Then I hauled my injured self out of bed, drove to the bookstore and bought the next two... (Those were the only ones out at the time... )

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