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Topic: Similarities between Outlaw and Outlander

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Subject: Similarities between Outlaw and Outlander
Date Posted: 3/6/2008 7:49 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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For those of you who have read both Gabaldon's Outlander and Johnson's Outlaw, have any of you noticed any startling plot similarities or is it just me?  I haven't yet finished the Outlaw book, but I can't  help noticing similiarities.  If you haven't read them, beware that spoilers are ahead. 

First, due to both titles starting with the same 4 letters, its doesn't even seem like she's trying to be subtle about the similarities.  I noted that Outlaw came out 2 years after Outlander; could it be that Susan Johnson read Outlander and was trying to ride on the coattails of its success?

The setting is 18th century Scotland for both, although Outlaw takes place a little earlier.

The heros are both Scots of partially french descent with french-sounding names -- Carre and Frasier.

Both heroines are at some point accused of witchcraft.

Both heros were educated abroad and are multilingual and in their early 20's when we meet them.

Both books have plenty of conflict with the english, who are the villans.

A marriage takes place before the H/H know each other very well.

Both heros are arrested on trumped-up charges and whipped/tortured within an inch of their lives. 

Both heros have blue eyes.

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However, there are also some marked differences: 

There's no time travel in Outlaw.

Jamie is a brawny red-head whereas Johnnie is dark and swarthy.

Jamie is a highlander; Johnnie is a lowland scot.

Jamie is (practically) penniless when the book starts, while Johnnie is a wealthy, powerful borderlord earl and a successful businessman.

While Johnnie is a notorious rake and Mr. Marathon man in bed, Jamie is a virgin (but a quick learner) when he marries

The heroine is pregnant early in Outlaw, while not in Outlander.

 

Am I making too much of these similarities or has anyone else noticed them?  Although I find that Gabaldon is by far the superior writer with much richer historical details and more emotion, I find that I am enjoying Susan Johnson's Outlaw nevertheless. 

 



Last Edited on: 3/6/08 8:30 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 3/6/2008 8:13 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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Surely somebody must have read both?

Date Posted: 3/6/2008 8:18 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I have both of these, and it's funny this came up.  I just finished Heart of the West, and my original plan was to start on Outlander afterward, but after that long, long book, I was half thinking I might read Outlaw instead.

Date Posted: 3/6/2008 8:22 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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Hope I didn't "spoil" them for you.  Outlander is excellent and Outlaw is very good in it's own right (achieved AAR desert isle keeper status and an "A" rating), although Outlander is by far superior IMHO (a desert isle keeper AND on the AAR list of top 5 romances of all time).   You'll have to let me know what you think after you read them both. 



Last Edited on: 3/6/08 8:24 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/6/2008 8:56 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Nah, I don't think you spoiled them at all.  That's not really too much detail; I think I knew most of that about Outlander anyway.  Outlaw, I got because a few people were talking about it & how good it is a couple of weeks ago.  Didn't know much about the plot aside from synopsis, etc. but there's nothing here to spoil the story.

Date Posted: 3/6/2008 9:12 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
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I've actually never heard of Outlaw, but I think I'll check it out just to compare.  Although for me, comparing ANY hero to Jamie Fraser is inconceivable! LOL

Sherri

Date Posted: 3/6/2008 9:35 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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Johnnie doesn't really compare, he just has some similarities.  IMHO NOBODY compares with Jamie!  Interesting how both men's names start with J and end in ie?

 

Interesting that nobody has read them both so far.  Maybe they have different audiences, although if you like a scotland setting, you'd probably like both.



Last Edited on: 3/6/08 9:38 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/6/2008 9:48 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 604
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Kim, what did you think of Heart of the West?

Jamie is the ultimate hero and nobody even comes close.  I am almost done with The Fiery Cross and wish I had another 1000 pages or so to go.  Hate to see it end.  Thank God I still have A Breath of Snow and Ashes.  I am very excited about Echo in 2009. 

I have never heard of Outlaw but I am going to check it out right now.

Date Posted: 3/6/2008 11:16 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
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Hey, I didn't mean to recruit a bunch of new readers for Susan Johnson.  While the plot and setting are similar, if your expecting Diana Gabaldon, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed.  She's no Gabaldon. 

Date Posted: 3/6/2008 2:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I got curious about her books just from some of the discussions here, but ordered that one & was looking at her books before you said that, so I don't expect her to be the same.  Aside from which, I haven't started reading Gabaldon yet anyway.:P

Sherron, I posted my impressions of Heart of the West on the What are you reading thread - over here: http://www.paperbackswap.com/forum/topic.php?t=107505&ls=50#p2139758

Date Posted: 3/11/2008 8:51 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
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Having finished Outlaw, I can say that while the books have many similarities, the plots are vastly different and both are excellent, although Outlander is by far the superior book.  Outlaw is far steamier, though.  Outlander is more historical fiction with less steam, but overall better historical detail and writing. 

Date Posted: 3/11/2008 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I really liked Outlaw, but it didn't end up being a keeper for me.  It did make me order more Susan Johnson though.  This book had a LOT of sex in it.  The H&H were going at it almost constantly.:P  That's so often a detriment to a book that I hesitate to even say it.  Not that I don't like those parts..:P  But sometimes it gets a little tedious after a while.  She did this really well though.  It wasn't a sacrifice of story for a surplus of sex anyway.  It's really a very good book & I'm sure a lot of you would consider it a keeper.

Date Posted: 3/12/2008 7:12 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2005
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Loved Outlander, will have to look for Outlaw.  LOL Kim "But sometimes it gets a little tedious after a while"

I've read a couple recently where my eyes have glazed over at the overabundance of sex.  I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks it's a little tedious after a while.....

Date Posted: 3/12/2008 7:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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If sex puts me to sleep, somebody must be doing something wrong...:P  Everyone has different ideas about the sex content.  I'd tell anyone who likes it light and not so descriptive to steer clear of this.  Anyone who sez it's not enough...  GET HELP - lol!