Scottish Sassenach in Outlander || AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

5/5 STARS

Genre: Historial Fiction, Sci-Fi
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Published: June 1991
Publisher: Recorded Books
Audiobook Length: 33 hours 

Page Count Equivalent: 627 {Paperback}

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Review on Goodreads


Initial Thoughts Upon Finishing

Oh WOWWW! This was amazing! It took me forever and ever to munch my way slowly through this audiobook but it was such a fantastic experience. This is a 33 hour audiobook, guys – be proud! The story is just so ridiculously good and the characters are both rich and real. Oh my. I have no words for how well done this is. And you bet I’ll be listening to the rest of the series on audiobook . . . and then probably buying all the physical books . . . and watching the TV series . . . and buying the merchandise. *crazed laugh*


Outlander

This book is a beautiful piece of historical fiction with a touch of sci-fi. It follows the story of Claire who is a strong and very capable woman who happens to find herself 200 years in the past. Having discovered an interesting rock formation that is still used as some sort of ritual site, Claire returns to this spot later and finds herself accidentally passing through a time portal – bringing her smack bang out of her time, 200 years previously in the exact same location.

The story begins when almost immediately she is swept up into this group of Scottish men who live in the beautiful Scottish highlands . . . and her double life begins. As Claire tries to work out how she can escape Lallybroch and its politics, things become more complicated thanks to the unwanted interest from a man called Randall and the very much so wanted interested of a Scotsman: Jamie Fraser.

The plot is enormous, expansive and thoroughly interesting – despite its size you’ll find yourself flipping to the end as Claire travels through many lands, becomes the healer for Lallybroch thanks to her medical background during the war (in her original time period) and makes unexpected friends along the way. Not to mention her tangled mess of a heart as she falls in love with two very different men.

actual footage of how Claire feels on the inside

Claire & Jamie

These two have easily worked their way into my heart and among the places of my favourite fictional couples. From the get-go, you know there’s going to a be a sizzling relationship between the two of them, filled with wonderful bursts of angst and equal amounts of laughter. I love them so much. Gabaldon has made their relationship so genuine and so much fun to watch being developed.

As it took me so long to plough through this audiobook (apparently you don’t magically whizz through these things if you listen to it for only 30 minutes a week #oops), I felt like I really got to know them. I was so sad to get to the end of the book – thank god the series is never-ending.

Claire is such a fabulous lead for this story. She’s very level headed, wondrously witty, smart and everything I could ever hope to be (except for being stuck 200 years in the past . . . although if there was a Jamie Fraser waiting for me there then wwweeellll . . . ). She takes every challenge that’s thrown her way like a champ and it was just awesome to see her medical skills put to use as well – it really made it feels like she could become a part of this community and show off her talents of being an AWESOME STRONG FEMALE.

Jamie was utterly delightful. His manners were beautiful, his chivalry made me weak at the knees and his muscles and ability to just not give in could challenge any man’s. What a pity he’s only fictional. He made a great companion for Claire in balancing out her hot-headedness with his total calm, cool and collected self. Even before things get anywhere near serious, you know he would give up anything and endure anything to keep Claire safe.

And this is a fact that is proved time and time again through backstories and in all the little things that he does. We won’t even talk about the ending of the book and ALL. THE. FEELS. What a man. I just love how complex both of them are, how real they feel and how well they match each other – especially when it comes to secret keeping. The backstory for Jamie Fraser is a high priority on my list to discovery right now (so excited to read Virgins!)

Something must be said for the awful character of Randall. I loved the complexity that this was one of Frank’s (Claire’s husband) ancestors and that him being such a horrible person caused her so many issues in associating him with her Frank. Dang, that whole tangled love triangle of marriages was a crazy thing indeed.


Is It Big and Waffly?

This is basically just a quick nod to all the things (yeah, like one or two things) that I didn’t love about the book. One being that occasionally it felt a little ridiculous how long it took to slog through descriptions and Tolkein-esque paragraphs of text. The other thing was the entirely baffling scene where Claire fights some wolves. I was so confused as to the purpose of that scene – someone please enlighten me!


Audiobook Experience

I read this as the audiobook and I loved it. It’s long but doable and the narrator, Davina Porter, did a wonderful job. Definitely one of my favourite audiobooks out there just down to the fact of how amazingly it’s done. It takes out all the stress of pronouncing the Gaelic names and places wrong – and she gives a wicked Scottish accent to all the men. Porter has done a fantastic job of distinguishing between male and female voices, too. It didn’t take long to stop hearing Porter and to simply hear the characters themselves.


Summary

I have very few faults of this book. It’s beautifully written, completely enthralling and I’m seriously so excited to continue on with the series! I can’t recommend this enough – I know so many people have already read and raved about this book, but I was thrilled to give it a go myself and find it was wasn’t ruined by the hype and that the hype was justified; this book is an incredible piece of fiction and there’s a damn good reason why everyone has fallen in love with it!


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Have you read Outlander?

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Happy Reading

~~ Kirstie ~~

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5 thoughts on “Scottish Sassenach in Outlander || AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

  1. Outlander is one of my favourite books, so I am soooooo happy that you loved it!!! I have heard people criticise Claire, but I think that comes down to people not liking that she is an incredibly independent woman who adapts to every situation with ease. Jamie…sigh, I agree with you on wishing he was real. The following books are really good too, but they do get waffly as well so quite long reads. This is an awesome review, you have made me want to reread Outlander again!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ohhh wow that is one heck of an audiobook. 😂I think the Game of Thrones ones were about that long too?! It takes forever to get through them, but it’s almost easier than a daunting physical book I find sometimes haha. Anyway, I’m kind of curious about this series but really not sure historical romances is my genre.😂But I LOVE The Book Thief and since you’ve compared them…well, maybe I should try this someday. Hehe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would they just be pretty comparable – and DANG that just made me think maybe I should read A Clash of Kings on audio to get on with it 🤔👏🏻 and you should!! I’d be so curious to see what you make of it!

      Like

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