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Summary

This stunning blend of historical romance and time traveling adventure has captured the hearts of millions of readers around the world and catapulted author Diana Gabaldon to the top of the New York Times best seller list. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love.

In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. Their blissful reunion is shattered when she touches a boulder in an ancient stone ruin and is instantly transported to 1743 Scotland, a place torn by war and raiding border clans. Will Claire find her way back to her own time, or is her destiny forever linked with Clan MacKenzie and the gallant James Fraser?

©1991 Diana Gabaldon (P)1997 Recorded Books, LLC.

Critic reviews

"Davina Porter maintains the distinct voices she creates for each character throughout the lengthy narration. Her delivery of 18th-century language sounds authentic and is easily understandable." ( AudioFile)

What listeners say about Outlander

Average customer ratings
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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • L
  • 01-10-06

First book of a series

This series is a mixture of science fiction, history, medicine and romance. Forget historical or geographic accuracy. This is escape and should be taken as fiction based on fact. Diana Gabaldon wrote this as an exercise and did it extremely well, even though she had never visited Scotland before writing Outlander. It is thought provoking, funny, sad, erotic and dramatic.
There are, to date, six books in the series following the Frasers from Culloden (and the lead up to it) to the beginning of the War of Independence in America. There is one or possibly two more books to come.
Ever wondered where certain ideas came from? Who thought of putting phosphate on bits of wood with an air proof covering? Could have been someone who had already seen the idea in action.
I thoroughly enjoyed the books and Davina Porter is an excellent narrator. She manages to capture a 1940's English female accent but still does a very good Scottish male voice. Quite an achievement and well worth listening to.

72 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Lose yourself in a gripping story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this. Being a bloke I was looking for a nice time travel adventure but I soon got caught up in the thrills and spills of highland life without missing the real reason for choosing the book. The first couple of chapters drag a bit but keep close attention as they make historic references picked up later on. I was fascinated and enthralled!

53 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Unexpectedly Brilliant

Any additional comments?

I loved this book!!! I downloaded it expecting to be a bit disappointed........time travel/scotland in the 1770's....really!! However, the storyline is thoroughly enjoyable and won't let you turn it off! The narration is extraordinary, you can instantly recognise the vast array of characters!. A word of warning - there are some quite saucy parts, and there are also some quite distressing parts.........I do not recommend having your nan in the car while you're listening to it at certain points, can be a little awkward.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Entertaining romp

A page turning bodice ripper with added pornography. The book started off ok but I found the increasing dominance of the sex scenes became boring. Definitely written to appeal to women rather than men - my husband couldn't stand it and gave up on the first book.

34 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Clichéd chick-lit

I actually fell for the 5* reviews on this book and feel like a bit of a fool for doing so. This really is "chick lit" and quite poor at that. The story is historically very weak indeed and is really aimed at female titillation because every other scene revolves around sex and, to be honest, it's so damned boring! What's more it has the clichéd goody v baddy storyline that has been done to death since time immemorial.



It took so long to get going that I almost gave up on it on three or four occasions. It's a shame really because when it did get going it was actually quite good but for 70% of the time it wasn't. If it wasn't for Davina Porter's amazing narration I don't think I'd have stuck it out til the end. Without her wonderful voice the whole thing would've ground to a halt rapidly.



To put it in the sci-fi/fantasy section is a bit misleading because the only thing that is faintly related to this genre is the initial time slip. With a bit of imagination from the author we could've really been put into the excitement and terror of a 20th century woman suddenly finding herself in the 18th century but instead we have a main character that knew exactly how to behave and speak from the start and was all too accepting of her situation.



Because the times where the story got moving were quite good I give it 3*s but for the most part it was a load of tosh and I certainly shall not be listening to any more of the series!

41 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Excruciating!

I acquired this as the free title in a 3 for 2 offer. Thank goodness I didn't pay for it!
Be very careful, the sample is taken from the sensible start of the book.
I only managed half of it - 16 hours of sex and violence fantasies are more than enough for me.
If your idea of fun is a huge 18th century be-kilted Scotsman being beaten and having sex incessantly, this may be for you.

29 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Mind-numbingly dull

I found this painful to listen to. Firstly the reader speaks as though she is the Queen, which I found really off-putting at times. Secondly, the chapters before the time travel drag on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on.... and they go into so much boring detail about things that no-one could possibly be interested in. It also included some of the most excrutiatingly embarrassing and unsexy sex scenes.
I thought once the time travel happened, I would be embarking on a thrilling historical romp. I was sorely disappointed. It was more of the interminable detailed descriptions of the most boring events and more of the awful sex scenes.
Dreadful!

47 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Get out of bed and get on with the story!

What would have made Outlander better?

The story gets the narration it deserves. Both are tedious and more Mills and Boon (I imagine as I haven't read any) than serious historical novel. A possibly good idea is interrupted by so much sex and "oooohhhhh Jaaaammmmieeee" that it never really gets a chance. I did listen right through to the end, even though I wanted to stop half way, and have masochistically even gone part way through the second book, thinking it may improve, which it didn't. If anything it got worse. Unfortunately I bought three of this series at the same time on the basis of other reviews, but just couldn't face any more of this tedious drivel.

Would you ever listen to anything by Diana Gabaldon again?

Emphatically not!

Would you be willing to try another one of Davina Porter’s performances?

Highly unlikely.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Outlander?

About 60% of it.

Any additional comments?

I can honestly say that nothing I have read has annoyed me more than this series.

53 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Eat your heart out Barbara Cartland!

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Some degree of historical reality/accuracy is useful in a historical novel,.

What was most disappointing about Diana Gabaldon’s story?

Lacked any depth, just a bodice ripper using a historic setting - the Scottish highlands. No conception or the era or realistic characterization.

Did Davina Porter do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

No. Heroine, "oh gosh, I've time travelled, never mind."

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No redeeming features for me. A big error. Thought it may be interesting and a little different. It was certainly different to anything I would spend time listening to.

Any additional comments?

My mistake, but perhaps it should have been made clearer in the blurp that this was a shallow bodice ripper in Mills and Boon gendre and should be avoided by all but those of a certain gender and age.

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

well worth listening to

I was never sure about reading audiobooks until an injury meant that I couldn't hold a book to read. So I bought Outlander a historical novel - has wrongly been labelled a romantic fiction - should be relabelled as a historical fiction, I enjoyed in paper form but listening to it on Audiobook really really makes a difference, Davina Porter (the narrator) has a natural gift at bringing the various characters to life. I absolutely love this book, so much so that I rave about it to all my friends and I have listened to the book on more than one occassion. I would definitely recommend it.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-11-18

Interesting story with a little too much romance

A very interesting story but spends too much time on the romance and sex than the actual storyline with long stretches between the interesting action parts

50 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ❤️Cyndi Marie❤️🎧Audiobook Addicts🎧
  • 16-06-20

✫✫ 5 Stars ✫✫

I really enjoyed this story but give it 4 stars for the length! This book was SOOOO long and I don't enjoy really long books. I love the story and the history. I started off hating Jamie but boy I sure LOVE him now! The narration was great too!

34 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Tifanismith
  • 23-11-15

I tried to hang in there, but it wasn't for me

Would you try another book from Diana Gabaldon and/or Davina Porter?

I would possibly try another book by Diana Gabaldon in the future, but this style wasn't for me. I read online to try to figure out if I needed to "hang in there" until a certain point to get hooked, but I found most people love it or don't care for it, and I fell into the latter category.

30 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sara
  • 10-09-14

The Time Travel VS Romance Quandary

I downloaded this book years and years ago and settled down to a 30+ hour listen. Based on many raving reviews I thought the book was a time travel tale of beloved fiction. There was so much about the book that I knew I would enjoy. The time travel, the Scottish highlands, medicinal herbs, life hundreds of years ago, gardening...the list goes on.

However, I have to state up front I hate romance novels. At the half way point I had the sudden realization--I know I'm quick-- that this book was a dreaded romance novel. I was horrified and had heard enough of what Jamie wore or didn't wear under his kilt to last me forever. The heaving bodices were weighing me down as well. This was before Audible allowed returns of hated books. So I shelved the book with a shudder, gave up, and it sat there in my library untouched for years.

Fast forward to last month when the Outlander cable program started and I watched just to see what it was like. Well--to my shock--it is wonderful. The filming, the setting, the costumes--all fantastic. So I'm listening again with renewed interest. I cringe a bit every now and then to be honest. But I am enjoying the book at long last. I can see what those positive reviewers were about. Living proof that if you don't like a book give it time. You might like it after all.

957 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Frank Walter-Meinsteier
  • 16-04-19

Great narrator but terrible story

As a guy it takes a good deal to disturb me. But the amount of glorified violence and erotic rape going on in this book, I found not only deeply disturbing, but also made me very uncomfortable. The fact, that this loose story of strung together scenes of rape and abuse is rated so well astonishes me to no end.

Don't get me wrong. There is not much death in this book, not compared to game of thrones, but a lot of really wierd erotically described rape, that gets to you on a much more personal level, making me think that the author has some very deepseated issues. Can't recommend.

60 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • BeesKnees
  • 05-10-17

I may be the only woman alive who didn't like this

I am almost an hour in and have yet to become invested in any of the characters. This book just doesn't work for me. It seems to drag and I find my mind wandering. I had high hopes but perhaps I am just not the kind of girl to get swept up in verbose historical romances.

52 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Tracy Wood
  • 28-04-17

mostly romance and gore

narrator was great. i like listening to her voice. amazing how she keeps track of all the voices. Story line, not all that. i don't undetstand why people love it so much. mostly romance, gore, and poor choices.

30 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lulu
  • 19-08-12

The Reason for the Existence of Audio Books

I had read a few audiobooks and had even joined Audible. But until I read this book I did not understand the magic of the format. Before reading this book I had no interest in1) romance 2) science fiction or fantasy and 3) time travel genres. I'd heard enough about the series that it piqued my interest because I loved historical fiction. Especially the period of time I knew the book covered. And I always found the challenge of tackling a big book rewarding.

This book changed so many of my perceptions of genre and reading format. While I still argue that though there is definitely a romantic and sexual relationship at the books core, it was only one part of the adventure. It still doesn't fit the romance genre to me, but it did such a good job of weaving romance and sexuality into the adventure it made me curious to read more traditional romance novels and see if they handled the topic as well. They didn't, but I discovered other good books I never would have tried of not for Outlander.

Likewise, other than Anne Rice's Vampire series which I had read many years ago, this was one of my very rare ventures into fantasy-science fiction. Setting aside my understanding of reality to accept someone else's is always difficult. But reading Outlander and the subsequent books in the series, I found myself trying to work out in my mind how this might have happened. It encouraged me to explore this genre more thoroughly as well. Even more surprising, it made me evaluate my perception of "time", what it means and how it works. I found myself paying more attention to physics and the study of the time and space relationship.

The twists and turns of the plot kept me turning the page just like the best mysteries I read. While reading the book there were enough unanswered questions, clues and short glimpses of scenes or events that caught my attention and made me store them away to remember "when all was revealed." But all was not revealed at the end and I found myself turning over these clues and snippets, trying to determine their significance, what I thought they meant and what their purpose was. One requirement of a great book is that you cannot get it out of your mind after you turn the last page. This book met that criteria. I thought about it for weeks.

Most importantly I learned that other voices can bring a whole new level to the reading experience, if it is the right voice for the right book. I would have enjoyed this book regardless, but if I read it myself and heard my voice in my head the characters would never have come so alive as they did in Davina Porter's voice. This is a perfect marriage of book and narrator. I was so surprised when I later discovered more about Porter's age, experience and background. She made a 21 year old Scotsman come to life. Her voice is Jamie to me. She handled each character wonderfully, although it is the first and only time I have ever listened to a book or series of books and thought a woman narrator did a better job on the men's voices than she did on the women's. I have loved hearing how the narrator has aged the character's voices throughout the series. You hear the young Jamie in the middle aged Jamie's voice, but you also hear the growth and maturity. I have accepted the narrators in the Lord John series, even when the book includes Jamie and actually think they are narrated well. But I am not certain I could accept another narrator for future Outlander books.

Finally, my initial interest in this book was from a historical fiction viewpoint. A good historical fiction novel, by Bernard Cornwell or Sharon Kay Penman sticks to as much historical fact as possible but presents it in an engaging and relate-able format. It makes you interested enough in the times and events that you will endure the dry-er, less lively recitation of facts of that same event or time in a nonfiction book, just to learn more. Outlander and this series delivered that in spades.





764 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Teresa
  • 01-03-14

Too much....

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

First I must state that I am only 11 hours into this book and I realize it is probably unfair of me to do review it. That being said I must vent. I was quite enjoying the first 8 or so hours. Then it started. Screw after screw after screw. No, I am not a prude but I have outgrown Harlequin style prose. Especially with a Scott accents that reminds me of my brother-in-law's mother and an English accent like my old piano teacher... creepy. I am skipping forward to chapter 19 in the hope that he can keep his hand out from between her moist thighs for the next 30 hours.

Would you ever listen to anything by Diana Gabaldon again?

Not sure yet.

What would have made this romance irresistible?

I didn't know it was a romance. It was in the scifi list.

82 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Grouchy Old Guy
  • 21-11-14

Tricked Again

This is not sci-fi. This is a completely quiche romance novel. Strong modern women trapped in old times ... strong primative man ... forced to wear amazing dress ... bad guys threatening rape ... rescue ... surrender ... etc. Its so weird that romance writers can only write one plot and weirder still that anyone would voluntarily read such drivel.

30 people found this helpful