Book Review : Outlander

On March 21, 2010 by Aimee

850 pages of tiny, tiny print. Wow. I’m told it’s on the order of 300,000 words. Talk about a massive amount of story to write! 😉 Diana Gabaldon has a whole series of these books and Outlander is the first (published in 1992). It’s in my list of “to reads” so off I went …

Here’s my first “warning” … if you aren’t into movies like Braveheart, Rob Roy or Saving Private Ryan or The Passion of Christ? Don’t read this book. It is graphic. For me to make that warning is very reflective of me. I haven’t watched ANY of those movies above because of their realistic violence. Well, no, I take that back. I watched Rob Roy and sobbed through the entire thing, had to leave 3-4 times and have my husband tell me what happened. So now, he knows that if a movie gets “detailed” he’s going to have to summarize.

And for me, I can only wish I’d had the cliffs notes version first.

850 pages is fine … I’ve read a few that long … even with the “small” print. I LOVE to read and the love story in this one between Claire and Jamie is probably second to none (though I don’t know what the first would be). It’s intensely passionate, filled with love and very very real. They are both strong characters that pop right out of the page. I can imagine them, see them, feel what they feel and know that their love is strong. They care, they fight, they make love … because their relationship is so strong. Just amazing.

Then there is the rest.

Set in the Scottish Highlands of the mid 1700s … this is not a book for the faint of heart. That era was a tough one and while we can say life today is easy and it not be … life then was freaking difficult and to survive it, much less come out with a happily ever after takes some crazy passion … which Jamie and Claire have.

But it’s more than rough life. There is incredible danger throughout the beginning of their life and a number of the scenes, I could have done without. Sure it was probably necessary to make the story go the way the author wanted, but I had to start skimming … that means, I knew what was coming and in order to know what happened but not have bad dreams for the evening, had to start skipping ahead.

There are pretty much only two reasons I start to skim/skip … I’m bored. I’m freaked.

I was definitely not bored. But poor Jamie started to remind me of Jack Bauer on 24 … everything that happens, happens to him and everything that can happen does … and it’s all incredibly terrible to body, mind and soul. And that I can’t take.

So, three cheers to the love story. If that could be dissected from all the “gore” I’d have been one happy camper. Instead, some of that will be stuck in my head until some time passes and I can get it out. And it’s because of that that I won’t read further in the series, but will move on to another book instead.

Recommended? Yes and No. It’s really going to be based on your “sensibilities”. 🙂

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