Friday, March 4, 2011

Review - Outlander by Diana Gabaldon


TITLE:    Outlander
AUTHOR:    Diana Gabaldon
INFO:    Paperback, Fiction, 850 pages
PUBLISHED:   Delacorte, 1991
ISBN#:   978-0-3853-1995-9
SOURCE:   Received from Pump Up Your Book Tours for Review and Blog Tour

FROM GOODREADS:  The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon--when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach--an "outlander"--in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life...and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

MY TAKE:    Anyone who knows me or is familiar with my bookish obsession will be aware (possibly painfully aware) that Outlander is my favorite book of all time.  There is no wiggle room, it just IS.  So while I jumped at the chance to be on this blog tour to celebrate this masterpiece, I also felt a bit of hesitation.  How do you describe something that in the many re-readings has touched different parts of your heart and mind?  Bear with me and I will attempt it.

I actually "met" Claire and Jamie when Diana Gabaldon was first writing their story.  I belonged to the writer's forum on Compuserve for a while where Diana was submitting excerpts from her "practice story".  I must admit I fell in love with Jamie back then!  Fast forward a few years and I stumble across a book called Outlander.  The entire time I was absorbing this mesmerizing story I felt it was familiar.  It took a while to figure out that I had actually read bits and pieces years before.

This is an epic story that truly does have something for everyone.  It doesn't fit neatly into any one niche or genre though.  Fiction, history, romance, science-fiction, paranormal, family, military, Scotland, American, Celtic, fantasy ~ do you see what I mean?  I have recommended this book and entire series to men and women, of various ages including my then husband-to-be.  He was also touched by this book, so much in fact that we implemented part of their wedding vow into ours:

"Ye are Blood of my Blood, and Bone of my Bone.
I give ye my Body, that we Two might be One.
I give ye my Spirit, 'til our Life shall be Done."

As I don't want to give away any spoilers, I will end my glowing tribute with a quote from one of my favorite parts of the story.  It occurred in their bridal chamber right after Jamie & Claire's forced wedding when they are getting to know each other.  As they are drifting off to sleep, Jamie tries to comfort Claire and says, "Don't be afraid, there's the two of us now."  To me, this statement sets the tone for the rest of the story and series and sums it all up.

*Just needed to share this last bit:  I had "General Hospital" on in the background as I was writing this post.  One of the actors was gifting her hospitalized sister with books.  That made me look up and I started "whoo hooing" when she presented the girl with OUTLANDER!  Excellent taste ladies!  I have also gifted this book to many, many people.  It is the only book I have ever bought more than ten/five/two copies of! 

Out of 5 JEWELS, I give it:

Outlander Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, Book 2) Voyager (Outlander)  Drums of Autumn   [DRUMS OF AUTUMN] [Paperback]

The Fiery Cross (Outlander) A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander) An Echo in the Bone: A Novel (Outlander) 

The eighth installment of this phenomenal saga is in the works now.  In the meantime, Diana and her legion of fans are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Outlander this year.  You can read more about Jamie and Claire as well as Diana herself by visiting her website at 

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~~~~~ Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own.  I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links.  I may receive books in  order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review - only a completely honest one.  Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.


  1. I have heard such great things about this book from many people. Will definately have to add to my tbr list. Thanks and have a great weekend!

  2. Every time I read a review of this book or some feature on it during Diana's tour, I'm amazed that I've missed this book and this series all these years. Where the heck have I been? Now I want to read them and my TBR pile is larger than it's ever been. Sigh! My goal is to at least read Outlander before the year is done.

    Thanks for the wonderful tribute to your favorite book.


  3. So glad to meet a like-minded person who loves Outlander as much as I do! That's amazing that you've been following the story since the early "practice book" days! I had a great thrill last year when I met Diana at an AZ event -- she is an amazing writer and very gracious to her fans. Loved reading your post today!

  4. It's hard not to fall in love with Jamie and Claire and all the other characters right from the start. Love this series and I'm looking forward to my next reread!

  5. Chris & Cheryl, you MUST read this book. Obviously I'm nuts about it and not alone. I really had to cut my post down as I went on and on...

    Joanne, I'm jealous! I'm hoping to meet her this May in Kingman. My inlaws live there & I've turned my MIL into an Outlander fan as well so we'll make it a family affair.

    Deniz, you are so right. The characters are so well written you feel you know them well! (I reread the entire series every time a new book comes out :)

  6. Jules:

    Yes, the General Hospital bit the other day was quite a surprise, wasn't it? I thought it was great. Judging from Diana's reaction to the news, on Twitter and Compuserve, she evidently thought it was hilarious. :-)

    It's great to meet someone who has known and loved the OUTLANDER books since the beginning! (I only discovered the series in 2006.) If you haven't been back to the Compuserve forum in a while, I would encourage you to stop by and check out its current incarnation, the Compuserve Books and Writers Community. I'm Section Leader in the Diana Gabaldon folder on Compuserve, and we're always happy to talk about any aspect of the books. :-) I'm sure that Diana would love to hear from you. (And any other OUTLANDER fans are more than welcome to come and post there, too. Diana is on the forum almost every day.)

    If you're a fan of the OUTLANDER series, please visit my blog, Outlandish Observations, for the latest news and information about Diana Gabaldon's books. I try to keep it as up to date as possible.

    And if any of you haven't yet read the OUTLANDER books, I highly recommend them!


  7. This is the first time I see this book.
    From the cover, it's so adult.
    I hope I get the chance to read this book since it's historical fiction. One genre that I adore.

  8. Karen, thank you for the info. I wondered if Diana knew about the GH scene. I didn't even know Compuserve was still active. BTW, I'm your newest follower :}

    Aleetha, I hope you get a chance to read it soon. It is a wonderful story.

  9. Outlander is the kind of book that you pick up and just can't put down until you are completely done. Of course, once you are done, you'll immediately want to rush and get "Dragonfly in Amber", etc...this series is absolutely addictive!
    Gabaldon's first book is a wonderful time travel adventure where Claire Randall, a 20th century woman, is transported to 18th century Scotland. As can be expected, this causes more than a bit of "jet lag" and Claire gets a crash course in how different the world was before things such as modern medicine, women's lib, and fair trials for accused witches.


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