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Drums of Autumn (1997)

by Diana Gabaldon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Outlander (4)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,771142615 (4.23)236
Twice Claire has used an ancient stone circle to travel back to the 18th century. The first time she found love with a Scottish warrior but had to return to the 1940s to save their unborn child. The second time, twenty years later, she reunited with her lost love but had to leave behind the daughter that he would never see. Now Brianna, from her 1960s vantage point, has found a disturbing obituary and will risk everything in an attempt to change history.… (more)

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» See also 236 mentions

English (136)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (141)
Showing 1-5 of 136 (next | show all)
It took me a long time to finish this book but that was only because I had a lot of other stuff going on and had to read for book battle too. In typical Diana Gabaldon fashion there is plenty of action and fun in this one. I love the way the series is moving forward especially with the addition of Brianna and Roger. I love Diana Gabaldon's writing style as it makes for easy reading and it definitely doesn't make the book seem so long. Stephen Bonnet is a ruthless "bad" guy and even though I feel no one can live up to the ultimate bad guy who is Jack Randall he definitely comes close! I can't wait to start watching this season's episodes on Starz! ( )
  KeriLynneD | Jul 3, 2020 |
I can't stop reading these books lol. I think this one is my favorite soo far. 4.75 stars. Brianna finds them...

“An Englishman thinks a hundred miles is a long way; and American thinks a hundred years is a long time”

“I hated him for as long as I could. But then I realized that loving him...that was a part of me, and one of the best parts. It didn't matter that he couldn't love me, that had nothing to do with it. But if I couldn't forgive him, then I could not love him, and that part of me was gone. And I found eventually that I wanted it back."

({Lord John, Drums of Autumn}”

“He blinked , and his eyes moved at last from her face, slowly taking in her appearance, and- with what seemed to her a new and horrified awareness- her height.

"My God," he croaked. "You're huge.”

“But a man is not forgotten, as long as there are two people left under the sky. One, to tell the story; the other, to hear it. So.” ( )
  ReneeNL | Jun 29, 2020 |
Native research?

I would have liked to see Credit given for research regarding native Peoples. I also wish I could have faith that some was true or false based not on the author's imagination but authoritative reports. My experience of Gabaldon's writing is one of great scholarship - impressively so - but I fear the Catholic and Baptist spirituality is given too much priority against other tribal 'truths'. ( )
  CarolineanneE | Mar 28, 2020 |
I received an ARC of this book through the Goodreads giveaway program.

Ten times better than Book 3 (Voyager) but still suffering from many of the same problems. Again, this book is twice as long as it needs to be. The author enjoys describing the environment, but then the same descriptions end up repeated so often they lose all impact. Ditto for descriptions of characters (Jamie, Claire, all of them), where these repetitions turn the characters into caricatures. Much of the magic between Jamie and Claire in missing, and there's no other passion to replace it (seventeen year-old Ian's passion for everything New World is cute but has racist undertones that really kill the cuteness).

The plot hinges on so many coincidences and "acts of God" (Deus ex Machina) that it's hard to care about what happens -- you know that there will always be some character from the past or some random relic in Claire's possession that will turn the tide and save the day.

There are many unconvincing protestations from Claire and B. about how slavery is wrong -- unconvincing because their ations show that they don't see black slaves as humans beings, but they are interested in white, European indentured folks (in helping them and in finding out who they are as individuals and as human beings). And somehow the different Native American characters end up at the bottom of the ladder with very dehumanizing "noble savage" depictions (this is what kills anything .

As I said, this book is much, much better than Book3; in fact you can skip Book3 and still follow everything in this book just fine. If you've already read Book3 and found it hard to finish, then you will find this book equally tedious; I advise readers to skip the first half and read the second half of Book4. You will still be plowing through repetitions, characters who have become flat, crazy coincidences, and passionless rote sex scenes, but at least you will be reading 500 pages fewer and still have the satisfaction of the HFN ending.

~bint ( )
  bintarab | Feb 2, 2020 |
97 points/100 (5 stars/5).

They're now in America, and Claire and Jamie decide to make a life for themselves in this New World. Meanwhile, Their daughter Briana decides she has to travel to meet them for her own reasons.

Overall, these books are still really good to read. Each book improves over the last. I did have some troubles in the beginning of this book, which may or may not be related to the break I took between books 3 and 4. I felt like I was missing something for the first 15% of this book before it was finally explained. I felt like the pacing was incredibly slow and not a lot was going on, too. But, that is the way all of these books go. I'm still heavily enthralled by Claire and Jamie, but the pacing makes my heart ache and my emotions go haywire.

This book covers quite a bit of time, just over three years of it. Most of it is shown in fits and bursts. Two or three days here, a month later two or three days there. There is a lot of time not covered, it made me feel like I was being left out. The biggest thing keeping me going in these books is the relationship Claire and Jamie have. I want to see them doing mundane things together. Their tale is slow, but sweet and amazing. They are building a life together in this book, a new life for a new world, and I felt left out. It is actually make me sad, and I'm tearing up thinking about all I was left out on as I'm writing this. I don't need the big dramatic parts in the book so much as I want to see their love for each other.

I'll be honest, I damn near melted when Brianna met up with her parents. The buildup to her getting there was worth the wait. When Brianna and Roger first started showing up in the book, holy hell I just wanted more of them. Especially since it broke up the slow parts with her parents. However, I will say that about the time they settled in to the New World, I just really wanted them to go away. Brianna especially became the entire focus of the book. She became an addition that the series really didn't need at this time. I love that she got to meet Jamie, I love that they all got to live together as a family. However, I liked their story in the present day a hell of a lot more than I liked their story in the past. I wish they would have stayed there, or gone back right away.

I can't stress how much I missed Claire and Jamie being the only focus in this book. I want, no I need, that connection between these two to ring loud and clear. At times in this book, they felt like two people occupying the same land, but doing separate things. In the previous books, they were two people with the same goal in mind, even when they were separated. I felt lost and confused and hurt over it. Not only that, but this book was basically devoid of most of the side characters, too. Everyone pops in for a visit, but they don't seem to stick around. Really, this felt like Brianna's and Roger's book more than anything.

The one side character that shows up a lot is Lord John Grey. I was ambivalent to him in previous books. Didn't really care if he was there or not. However, in this book he really, really grew on me. I was always glad to have him around. He is so kind and warm. I really hope he plays bigger parts in the books to come, too, but I'm afraid he won't. To contrast, I was a bit (a lot) annoyed with Jamie this book. He needs to chill the fuck out, he is getting too old for this shit. He is still acting like he is in his early 20s just starting out in life, causing troubles he doesn't need to be causing. He needs to think more about what he is going to do in the future, with Claire, with his family, with his town. Hell, Claire needs to be thinking about the future, more, too.

But, they're both too terrified to think of the future, so they're desperate to live in the present. Hell, I am terrified to think of the future for those two. I cannot stand any more pain coming from these two right now. I broke down several times while reading this, just thinking about the future on my own. When they started talking about it, holy hell I nearly died. That seems to be the theme with me and these books. I cannot stop myself from heavily investing my feelings into this series, and as a result I end up half dead by the end of the book.

They really seem like different people from the first three books. I'm not liking it and I hope it goes back to the way it was. Claire is still the doctor, but she seems so alone in this book. Before, she always had Jamie right next to her, so she was never, ever alone. Now, they don't seem as tied together. Claire is bold, but doesn't stress herself to being bold anymore. It is hard for me to put into words all the changes she went through. Jamie is hot headed, and runs off emotions more than thinking. Before, he would think everything through, and he'd come up with a way to go and do it, but he thought first. This book he just does everything based on a moments decision. Jamie is more the same person than Claire, just a bit ravaged by time. Maybe it is because they are over 20 years older than they were in book one. They are different people, technically. It just.. leaves me feeling a bit sad.

Brianna is spoiled rotten, and doesn't seem to really do anything except for herself all book. I became really annoyed with her by the end. I have the same problems with her as I did with Claire in book one. She just throws herself into the past (at least Brianna was warned this time and knew what she was getting into), and then suffers absolutely no culture shock. No matter how much you prepare to go back to the 1760s, you're going to be shocked by a lot of things, I don't give a shit who you are. In fact, in one scene she tells herself She ought to feel guilty at being waited on by slaves, she thought drowsily. She must remember to, later.. I really don't care for Brianna much, I was more happy for Jamie that he got to meet her, than I cared about her getting to meet him.

Roger on the other hand, I really like. He throws himself in, not for himself, but for her. He is in a rough spot, with no planning involved, and goes through a hell of a lot. By the end of the book he is a completely different person than he was at the beginning. He has to make a lot of hard decisions this book. This was not a good trip for him. I honestly don't understand why he likes Brianna so much.

Gabaldon is still such a tease, though. I want more magic. Just traveling through the stones works, but it feels like there is so much more there to know. In fact, she keeps adding more things on to this system she set up. It is still such a damn tease. Otherwise, the story building takes an interesting direction. For the first time, the past and present were interwoven together in the same part. I really liked that! Especially since America started off so, so slowly this book. Seriously, the beginning of this book is unbelievably slow. Eventually, the book started to come together, but that beginning was hard for me. I actually really enjoyed the book once they settled down. I really didn't need all the drama in the later half of the book to keep me interested in this story! I would have rather gone without it, to be perfectly honest.

I have to say though. I'm really, really tired of all the rape. I'm not one to complain about it in stories, it is something that happens in real life, why wouldn't it happen in fiction. However, every time the story seems to settle, in comes another rape. I'm really just growing tired of it, and hope she moves away from it soon.

If Gabaldon weren't such an amazing storyteller, this story would be rated lower. As is, this is still such an amazing story that while I complain about parts of it, I still love all of it. That is how good a writer she is. I can overlook a lot of things because it is still told so well.

I miss Scotland, I miss home. ( )
  keikii | Jan 23, 2020 |
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Diana Gabaldonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Craft, KinukoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porter, DavinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Regös, FerencCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schnell, BarbaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Er verdwijnen altijd wel ergens mensen. De meeste vermisten worden uiteindelijk teruggevonden, dood of levend. Voor verdwijningen bestaan nu eenmaal verklaringen. Meestal
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This book turned out to have a lot to do with fathers, and so it's for my own father, Tony Gabaldon, who also tells stories.
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I've never been afraid of ghosts.
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