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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Outlander (1991)

by Diana Gabaldon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Outlander (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
13,340632165 (4.27)2 / 910
Recently added byrobinia99, private library, sturlington, learnonline, maryriordan, elsebeok, mvuijlst, JeanieG
  1. 174
    Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati (pollywannabook)
    pollywannabook: The closest thing to Outlander out there. Diana Gabaldon even lent out the character of Claire for a cameo in this book
  2. 91
    The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley (Iudita)
  3. 136
    A Discovery of Witches: A Novel by Deborah Harkness (Anonymous user, SunnySD)
  4. 72
    Timeline by Michael Crichton (leahsimone)
  5. 30
    Wildfire at Midnight by Mary Stewart (LiddyGally)
    LiddyGally: I recommend this book because the writing styles are in a similar vein rather than the stories being the same. Both, however, are set in the wilds of Scotland.
  6. 41
    The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons (littlebear514)
    littlebear514: Although the stories are COMPLETELY different; the writing is of the same quality and the stories are both deeply involved.
  7. 30
    The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway (redheadedali)
  8. 10
    The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier (aynar)
    aynar: Much better example of time travel.
  9. 10
    Overseas by Beatriz Williams (becksdakex)
    becksdakex: Romance and time travel.
  10. 10
    Son of the Morning by Linda Howard (amyblue)
  11. 00
    Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles by Margaret George (MissBrangwen)
  12. 00
    The Legend of Lady MacLaoch by Becky Banks (elbakerone)
    elbakerone: Though Banks' novel is set in present day (and is considerably shorter), the love story with the gorgeous backdrop of Scotland was reminiscent of Gabaldon's series.
  13. 11
    Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine (bucketyell)
  14. 00
    Midwife of the Blue Ridge by Christine Blevins (Joles)
  15. 00
    The Dark Queen by Susan Carroll (infiniteletters)
  16. 11
    The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly (fyrefly98)
    fyrefly98: Historical romance, hooray!
  17. 00
    Vrouwe van Llyn by Jane Watt (margarethmiwy)
  18. 11
    In a Wild Wood by Sasha Lord (Jenson_AKA_DL)
    Jenson_AKA_DL: If you enjoyed the romance between Clare and Jamie I think you'll also enjoy this Highlander romance.
  19. 01
    Reflections in the Nile by J. Suzanne Frank (infiniteletters)
  20. 01
    The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley (LAKobow)
    LAKobow: Also involves elements of realism mixed with fantasy, Scotland, romance, and historical fiction.

(see all 23 recommendations)


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English (620)  German (6)  Dutch (5)  Italian (3)  French (2)  Tagalog (1)  Finnish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (639)
Showing 1-5 of 620 (next | show all)
I think Diana Gabaldon is a truly inspired historical fiction author. I have read the original trilogy and all the other books in the series which seems to keep going on and going on. Not sure if Jamie and Clare will outlive me or I them. She continues to bring them to life along with all the other characters I have come to know and love. ( )
  nurse73 | Aug 14, 2015 |
I gave up on this book because I was sustaining permanent damage from reading it and I was afraid I'd start hitting back. And it's a borrowed copy, so that wouldn't be cool.

In fairness, I should say there's a lot of good writing here. I really enjoyed the beginning chapters. They even kind of cracked me up, because I have friends who love genealogy and their husbands always get that look when they start talking about it and that's exactly how I imagined Claire looking when her husband Frank started droning on and on about his ancestors.

And Claire is a nurse, which is a really good transportable skill if you're going to be thrown back in time which it turns out Claire is. (Sorry. Spoiler alert.) Can you imagine if you were one of those Nerds On Wheels computer repair people and you got sent to eighteenth-century Scotland? You'd be totally screwed.

But Claire's skills come in handy without seeming out of place. A woman who's a dab hand at healing is always welcome in Olden Tymes, so Claire is able to land on her feet and kind of get a job once she figures out what happened to her and comes to terms with it.

Which is pretty much immediately. Which is when the book started to lose me. There's, like, no culture shock whatsoever. She gets knocked back two hundred years or so. She goes, "WHOA. What the flimminy?" She starts being The Lady To Go To With Your Eighteenth-Century Scottish Boo-Boos. That's it.

There are a few mentions of things like how shoes fit differently back then and anachronistic language, but there's no sense of the kind of thing a person from the future would be startled by. Not the food, not the weird underwear, nothing. Claire just settles in and starts being the resident nurse at a castle. She keeps half an eye out for a chance to get to the place that can take her back to the future, but it has all the deep emotional urgency that I feel when I really should stop by the grocery store on the way home but it won't kill anybody if I go tomorrow instead. Like, whatevs.

Still, there was plenty to keep me interested. Like – leeches! The stuff about leeches was cool. And the info about healing herbs. And that kid getting his ear hammered to a board because he was caught stealing.

Really, this book would have worked fine for me if it hadn't been for what everybody else seems to love about it, which is the Romantic Interest. Which still would have been fine, even with the whole SHE'S MARRIED ALREADY thingy.

But, okay – let's say that she has to marry that guy. They aren't in love when they get married and so the whole point of the book is to watch their relationship develop, while Claire struggles with guilt and fear and thoughts of how her real husband must be worrying about her and how the heck does time-travel work in this book and WHY IS SHE JUST ASSUMING THAT TIME IS GOING BY IN THE FUTURE AT THE SAME RATE IT IS FOR HER? WHY, I ASK YOU?

(Sorry. I'm a minor-league nerd, and this part really bugged me.)

So what I just described would have been a book I could read and enjoy, or at least read and not scream in pain. But apparently someone gave Diana Gabaldon the creepiest piece of writing advice EVER, and it was this:

"Listen – you know how if you're cooking and you're worried it's not turning out very well, just add bacon if it's savory and chocolate chips if it's sweet and everybody'll love it? Well, if you're working on your first novel and you don't know what to have happen next, just throw in some rape! Or attempted rape! Works like a charm!"

She follows this advice to the letter, and I'm sorry but I have to go home now.

I managed to read the "she disobeys him so he beats her with his belt" scene. I almost punched the book right in the face, but as I said, it's a friend's copy so I had to be nice.

Then I managed to get through the "she forgives him for the beating, like, the next freakin' day" scene. I started fantasizing about this book getting stuck in the elevator of a burning building, but I was able to hold on and keep going.

Then there was the scene where Big Kilted Oaf – I mean, Jamie – starts laughing about the whole beating thing and reminiscing about how hot she looked when he was holding her down beating the crap out of her and she forgives him for that, too. Like, instantly. And I'm all, "WHO AM I AND WHAT AM I DOING HERE?"

And still I staggered on. Heaven only knows why.

And how did the author reward me for my perseverance? What is this book all about? What's the recurring literary theme?

Rape. Attempted rape. More attempted rape. Marital rape. A little more marital rape. Conversations about rape. GIGGLING during conversations about rape.


I read 444 pages in a row, plus I skimmed a lot of the rest of it including the creepiest, rapiest Chekhov's gun I've ever seen fired. Do NOT tell me I didn't give this book a fair chance. I TOTALLY DID.

In case you need proof, here's a list of all the things I learned about rape from Outlander.

1. It's a bummer for the woman involved, but save your sympathy for her brother. (Assuming you have any emotional response at all, which you won't if you're Claire.)

Jamie tells Claire about his sister Jenny being raped by a dastardly redcoat. He has a good chuckle talking about how Jenny punches and kicks her attacker. She isn't able to hold him off forever, though. And Jamie gets flogged for trying to defend her.

Claire's response?

"I'm sorry. It must have been terrible for you."

It is terrible for Jamie to have his sister "dishonor herself wi' such scum." (Nice.) So terrible that he can't bring himself to go back home to her when he gets out of prison, and "see her again, after what happened." She's impregnated by the rape. Left on her own both emotionally and financially, she is forced to become the mistress of another English soldier. Jamie finally sends her what money he can, but can't bring himself to write to her. Because, you know, "what could I say?"

Claire's response?

"Oh, dear."

(Really -- how could I give up on this book when the main character is so sympathetic?)

2. Rape can lead to comically inaccurate ideas about how people do "the nasty!"

After Jamie and Claire consummate their marriage, Jamie confesses that he "didna realize that ye did it face to face. I thought ye must do it the back way, like; like horses, ye know." Claire tries to keep a straight face as she asks him why on earth he thought that.

"I saw a man take a woman plain, once, out in the open. But that...well, it was a rape, was what it was, and he took her from the back. It made some impression on me, and as I say, it's just the idea stuck."

So of course Claire flips out and asks him what the heck that was all about. Who was it? Why was he witness to a rape "out in the open"? Was he able to help the woman? What happened to her?

Oh. Wait. This is Claire the Emotionless. She doesn't ask him anything, and he doesn't say anything else on the subject. Instead, they cuddle and talk about how much fun what they just did was.

Because a story about rape out in the open is just the kind of pillow talk a woman wants to hear when she's relaxing after a nice bout of bigamy.

I mentioned I loved this book, right? I didn't? Good.

3. Nearly getting raped turns you on for Mr. Right!

Jamie and Claire are off on their own in the woods for a spot of marital bliss when they're set upon by highwaymen. Claire is nearly raped, but manages to kill her assailant. Yes, she was a nurse during World War II, but I think there's a difference between witnessing violence and inflicting it yourself. She kills the guy in the nick of time. He's on top of her, so she undoubtedly gets his blood all over her. Meanwhile, Jamie manages to dispatch the other two guys.

And then Claire flips out about the fact that she was just attacked, and she had to kill a guy, and she had to kill a guy at close quarters with a knife.

Oh. Wait. This is Claire. She has no response to any of this, now or later.

Well, she does have one response:

When I put my hands on his shoulders, he pulled me hard against his chest with a sound midway between a groan and a sob.

We took each other then, in a savage, urgent silence, thrusting fiercely and finishing within moments.

If your marital love life has been a bit blah lately, why not get attacked and then kill the guy? It'll spice things right up!

4. It's not rape if it's your husband and he promises he'll hurry...

"Jamie! Not here!" I said, squirming away and pushing my skirt down again.

"Are ye tired, Sassenach?" he asked with concern. "Dinna worry, I won't take long."

(next page):

He took a firm grip on my shoulders with both hands.

"Be quiet, Sassenach," he said with authority. "It isna going to take verra long."

I gather it's especially not rape if your husband has an ethnic-slur nickname for you. He should use this at least three times a page. (Yes, "Sassenach" is derogatory. It'd be like if you were white and your husband called you his little gringo. Although that would actually be kind of funny if he's white, too. I think I want to get my husband to start calling me that now. But I digress.)

5. ...or if it's your husband and he just really, really wants it.

Claire is saying no, and no again. She's still in pain from the last time they did it, because he didn't take no for an answer even when she told him quite honestly he was hurting her.

So how does our romantic lead respond?

James Fraser was not a man to take no for an answer. ...Gentle he would be, denied he would not.

I quoted that last line to my husband, and he got the same look on his face that I had on mine all through a two-day bout with food poisoning.

If this book works for you, fine. I'm not here to judge. I'm just asking that you understand how completely creeped out I was by all this, and not tell me I didn't give it a fair chance. I did. I really hate not finishing a book once I start it, but I just couldn't stand it any more. ( )
6 vote Deborah_Markus | Aug 8, 2015 |
This unlikely 'bodice ripper' turned out to be un-put-downable. I loved every minute of it.
Claire Randall accidentally discovers that a henge in the Scottish highlands has the power to shift people through time. She emerges 200 years Ago amid English-Scottish skirmishes. Then she meets Jamie (sigh) who she eventually is forced to marry. Then their adventures begin. ( )
  mclewe | Aug 8, 2015 |
I am a huge Outlander fan and have read the series 3 times now. The first book, Outlander, is of course critical to the series as it is the pure foundation of Jaime and Claire. The reader is taken through a whirlwind adventure that is sure to please. There are parts that were a bit too gritty but the foundation of characters surpasses expectation and leaves you wanting more. ( )
  heathermjones | Aug 3, 2015 |
after all the hype, I had to judge for myself. After a fairly slow start it was interesting to see OLD Scotland and England, but I was hoping that Claire would be struggling more between two worlds and also be not so perfect. I was hoping she would actually move between two worlds. However, interesting read. A bit of history. Not sure if I will read all 8, but I will get number 2. ( )
  kakadoo202 | Jul 31, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 620 (next | show all)
Een jonge, Engelse vrouw loopt kort na de Tweede Wereldoorlog tijdens een wandeling in de Schotse Hooglanden door een gespleten monoliet die deel uitmaakt van een magische cirkel. Hierdoor komt ze terecht in het turbulente Schotland van 1743 en trouwt om aan een wisse dood te ontsnappen een vogelvrij verklaarde Sejot. Beiden worden opgejaagd door een sadistische kapitein van de Engelse dragonders, maar kunnen na tal van avonturen en in het besef dat de loop van de geschiedenis veranderd kan worden, een nieuw bestaan opbouwen. Een fascinerende historische roman, waarin de auteur liefde, seks, romantiek, spanning en avontuur tot een boeiend geheel heeft samengevoegd. Goede tekening van de historische achtergrond. Een meeslepend verhaal.
added by Liyanna | editBiblion

» Add other authors (30 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Diana Gabaldonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anastassatos, MariettaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carbain, JeanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fuchs, ElfriedeÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kuby, GabrieleÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porter, DavinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Regös, FerencCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sallamo-Lavi, AnuirmeliTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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People disappear all the time. Ask any policeman. Better yet, ask a journalist. Disappearances are bread-and-butter to journalists.
Young girls run away from home. Young children stray from their parents and are never seen again. Housewives reach the end of their tether and take the grocery money and a taxi to the station. International financiers change their names and vanish into the smoke of imported cigars.
Many of the lost will be found, eventually, dead or alive. Disappearances, after all, have explanations.
To the Memory of My Mother,
Who Taught Me to Read —
Jacqueline Sykes Gabaldon
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It wasn't a very likely place for disappearances, at least at first glance.
Prologue ------ People disappear all the time.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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'Outlander' was published in the UK as 'Cross Stitch'.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385319959, Paperback)

In Outlander, a 600-page time-travel romance, strong-willed and sensual Claire Randall leads a double life with a husband in one century, and a lover in another. Torn between fidelity and desire, she struggles to understand the pure intent of her heart. But don't let the number of pages and the Scottish dialect scare you. It's one of the fastest reads you'll have in your library.

While on her second honeymoon in the British Isles, Claire touches a boulder that hurls her back in time to the forbidden Castle Leoch with the MacKenzie clan. Not understanding the forces that brought her there, she becomes ensnared in life-threatening situations with a Scots warrior named James Fraser. But it isn't all spies and drudgery that she must endure. For amid her new surroundings and the terrors she faces, she is lured into love and passion like she's never known before.

I was lame and sore in every muscle when I woke next morning. I shuffled to the privy closet, then to the wash basin. My innards felt like churned butter. It felt as though I had been beaten with a blunt object, I reflected, then thought that that was very near the truth. The blunt object in question was visible as I came back to bed, looking now relatively harmless. Its possessor [Jamie] woke as I sat next to him, and examined me with something that looked very much like male smugness."
Gabaldon creates characters that you'll remember, laugh with, cry with, and cheer for long after you've finished the book. --Candy Paape

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:45 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Hurtled back through time more than two hundred years to Scotland in 1743, Claire Randall finds herself caught in the midst of an unfamiliar world torn apart by violence, pestilence, and revolution and haunted by her growing feelings for James Fraser, a young soldier.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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