Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday Treat #21: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

My mother reads a lot of romance novels. And when I mean she reads a lot of them, I mean it. She even subscribes to one of those book club things so she is constantly getting new books in the mail (although, she recently bought an Ipad to read books on, so that may change). Anyway, some of my many memories from childhood involve her reading a romance novel.

Once I grew up a little, my mom would let me read a few of the many romance books on her shelves. Some I really liked and others I didn't care for. I have really different book taste from my mom and while I enjoy a good romance every once in awhile, I crave other things too (like dragons!). :)

But when she recommended I read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, I listened. She told me it had a lot of history in it, and time travel, which surprised me. My mom doesn't usually go for such things. Then I saw the mammoth size of it, but I decided to give it a go.

Well, I was sucked in. I could not put the book down, which was bad, as I was teaching at the time and coming up to the end of a card marking. I decided to wait to read the rest of the series until summer break, which I did at the end of that year. For a few weeks, I was IN the world of Outlander and Diana Gabaldon. I flew through each book and I think it only took me a month to get through all six titles that were out (through A Breath of Snow and Ashes which was the last out at the time) and all 6, 808 pages of my paperback editions (I just went and added them). I will say that out of all of them, this title and the third book (Voyager) are my favorites.

I was in love and I still am. The fact is, Gabaldon didn't just write a romance, she wrote an epic story of love and survival. I was a sucker and I fell for it. While she may be a TOUCH long-winded, I loved every moment of it. She created such a deep, interesting world that I believed everything she wrote and with Claire, I also fell in love with Jaime (if you have read the series, I hope you know what I mean). It is a beautifully crafted story that I really don't want to stop. It weaves in and out of historical fact, blending the romance with drama and intrigue. And somehow, Gabaldon's characters are right in the midst of all of it.

As a fantasy and history fan, I can appreciate the effort it took to create such a believable world and premise. It takes years of research to perfect what Gabaldon created to make it so realistic. When I shut that last book, I knew that that I was going to have to wait patiently for each of the next books to be written and printed. It is a series that will keep on growing and capturing my attention for as long as Gabaldon desires to write it.

Now, if you decide to tackle these books, here is the order: Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, and The Echo in the Bone (I have not read this one. It came out in September and I had already started THIS blog and challenge).


  1. What a great sell for a series - you made them sound delectable! Thanks for the post and I'll have to pick up a copy of Outlander soon! :)

  2. I have heard a lot of this book, now, as I read what you think of it, I am going to add it to my TBR! It sounds like something I will love!

  3. This is the absolute best book and series I have ever read. My favorite by far of anything to date. A friend (thanks Peggy) had suggested it to me a few years ago, so I picked up the first five books at the time and went one after the other and continued on as each came out. I could not put them down, even when some of it was so detailed, that I thought okay already. But the information really makes you think you are there right along with them in the story. Yes, I do love romance stories, but mixed with the historical story is so much the better. I cannot wait for the next book to come out. What an awesome writer. Thanks for posting Allie.
    Love, Mom

  4. I have been told a dozen times that I should read this series, but have always dismissed it as romance fluff. I think this review just made it a must read for me. Thanks!

  5. This is definitely not a fluff romance. I actually learned alot about history and how people lived and survived in years gone by. It really is good. Mom

  6. Hi all,
    Well, in case you want a non-romance reading GUY's perspective...

    I just read this book about a month ago on the advice of a new friend. She gave an intriguing description, something like "It's romance, but it's history and fantasy too," so I thought I'd give it a try. I liked it a lot more than I thought I would, and it was indeed quite the page turner. I found the last hundred pages or so a little disturbing with all the Randall/JaIme "thing" going on, but I made it through to the end. I even downloaded the second title in the series but haven't started
    it yet.
    PS: I would also have to say that Claire and Jaime have got to be the two horniest literary characters i've met in years... :-)

  7. You will become obsessed with these characters, and begin to think of them as very Real People. This book is a favorite of mine, in 20 years of reading.

    I have read it again and again and still find fresh insights into relationships and culture.

    It has everything - and is most certainly NOT a romance. There is verifiable history, adventure, intrigue, warfare and the undercurrent to all of our lives - relationships and love. You will find yourself thinking of Jamie & Claire long after turning the last page. And that makes them friends rather than characters in a novel.