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Topic: Questions about getting into Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series

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Subject: Questions about getting into Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series
Date Posted: 12/16/2007 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 527
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In my "AAR Top 100" topic a lot of people strongly recommended "Outlander", and I've heard SO many great things about the book. It's in my TBR pile and I will definitely get to it, but how are the sequels? I've heard mixed reviews, and there are many series with a strong opening but the following books are a letdown and are only read because the fans are very devoted and hope for a return to greatness. Since it's a series (a long one at that!) is it worth the emotional and time "investment" to get into? I'm sure if I fall in love with Outlander I'll want to read the rest, so I would love opinions on this. Thanks so much!

Date Posted: 12/16/2007 7:44 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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ABSOLUTELY!  Outlander is the first in the series and is wonderful.  When I first read it I refused to read the sequels because I thought they could not get any better but I was so wrong.  The second book - Dragonfly in Amber - is a tour de force.  There is one book in the series, book 5 The Fiery Cross, that some feel is not up to par, but even that book has many many wonderful scenes in it that lead you into book 6.  Some aspects of The Fiery Cross are mandatory reads in order to understand the next book.   I promise you that you will never regret reading this series.


Date Posted: 12/16/2007 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I'm one of those who's given up on the series, but I still think it's worth reading the first three for sure. IMO, it's all downhill from there, though I know many disagree.

Date Posted: 12/17/2007 2:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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I am up thru book 4 and love it..  It flows so smoothly together that you remember what happened, but you forget in which book it occurred.  I have 5 and 6 on wishlist, so I don't know if the "whole" series continues as well as 1-4.  In my opinion the sequels continue as good as the first.

Date Posted: 12/17/2007 3:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2007
Posts: 106
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I love the Outlander series.  The first book, OUTLANDER, may be the best, but  DRAGONFLY IN AMBER is was a must read for me.  I have them all. They are on my Keep Shelf.  They are not "light" reads.  My daughter and I enjoy many of the same books, all Nora Roberts, for example, but she found OUTLANDER to be too intense. I say read OUTLANDER and you'll know whether you are hooked or not. It is probably the quickest and easiest of  the series and if that is the only one you read, it will be worth it. Of course you, too may get hooked :-) Good luck and happy reading.

Date Posted: 12/17/2007 11:35 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
Posts: 7
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When I read your question, it made me think back to when I first read Outlander.....all the way back to 1995!  Specifically, on a train to Toronto with dh to celebrate our 1 year anniversary.   My MIL had tried for a while to get me to read it and I agreed to take it with me on our trip.  I'm glad I did.  I finally finished Breath of Snow and Ashes this fall.  I read a lot more slowly since children are in the picture  :^)

I think the whole Outlander series is great.   The books are so big and in depth that I always experience "Gabaldon Hangover" after reading one.   I feel sucked into Jamie and Claire's world and time period and it's nearly impossible to find another book to fill the gap.  

Definitely give the series a try.  Heck, a woman I worked with read the series, became obsessed with Scotland, and started conversing with a man in Glasgow online.    She moved to Scotland for 2 years and they were married about 4 years ago!  No, he doesn't look like Jamie :^) 


Date Posted: 12/18/2007 6:57 AM ET
Member Since: 9/15/2005
Posts: 319
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Just do it.  ;) 

It actually took me a while to get into the first book -- it's got a lot of stuff to cover at the beginning.  Books 1, 3, and 6 are my favorites so far, if that helps.  2 was wonderful but so emotional!  A lot of people weren't thrilled with book 5, and yes it's probably my least favorite of the bunch, but it's still a wonderful book.

It's really all one huge story though, so breaking it into books really only makes it easier to hold them in your lap.  I think so many people have gotten into this series because that's what it offers -- pure emotional investment, big in both impact and page-count!

Date Posted: 12/18/2007 8:05 AM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2007
Posts: 106
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 I agree totally with what you said, Kim. I feel almost disoriented after I finish one.

Date Posted: 12/18/2007 9:00 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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Kim that is wild!  I think all of us Outlander Fanatics have that secret dream to find our Jamie! LOL Sherri

Date Posted: 12/19/2007 8:38 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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I'm an outlander fanatic and the sequels are great, each in different ways.  Dragonfly in Amber is a real tearjerker, Voyager is great, as is the Fiery Cross and Breath of Snow and Ashes.  The only one that didn't really thrill me but was still worth reading was Drums of Autumn.  However, Outlander (the first one that gets you hooked) is still the very best IMHO. 


Hope this helps.