Monday 7 September 2015

Review: Outlander (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just 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 circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.

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

Diana Gabaldon
Diana Jean Gabaldon Watkins grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona and is of Mexican-American and English descent. She has earned three degrees: a B.S. in Zoology, a M.S. in Marine Biology, and a Ph.D in Ecology.

She currently lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.


4 stars

I knew the inevitable was slowly creeping up on me. Yes, I've been putting off this review; I loved this book and I already know that I can't really put into words why I loved it or how much, but I will definitely try.

This book has turned into a TV series that plays on Starz/Showtime. I've gotten a lot of questions if I'm going to watch the TV series or not, but I don't think I will. I've had the same situation come upon me with Game of Thrones and like I've already told others, I prefer books. I like the fact that with books, you can imagine each character as you want to. I imagined Claire much different from the TV series, but Jamie is perfect in the TV series. It's a spitting image of how I imagined him.

Unfortunately I had some of the first book spoiled for me but it didn't stop me from really liking the book! It was like a big adventure and I really enjoyed the journey. Claire was a complicated character whom I disliked in the beginning; it wasn't that she was a bad character I just thought she was really boring. To be honest, I actually can hardly remember any of the beginning with Frank. Frank, who? Oh yeah, Frank, the guy you wouldn't shut up about. Honestly when I saw the picture of Frank online, all I could think is he dulls in comparison to Jamie. Seriously, who would you pick?

My favourite part of the book was when Jamie went "for a swim". He was trying to get the wheel to turn at his old home and ended up losing his red shorts. I found that humorous.

Obviously no one likes Captain Randall (or Blackjack, whatever you want to call him), but I especially disliked Laoghaire because of her... thing with Jamie. She frustrated me thinking they had this "special thing". However, I was extremely pleased when she saw Jamie carrying Claire, as well as when Claire told Jamie that he could be with whomever he wanted. He got so possessive and that pleased me even more.

I feel like it's important to discuss the "BDSM" or lack thereof in the book. I've seen multiple reviews comparing Jamie to Christian Grey and his "ways". First of all, this book is NOT sexist. Might I remind you of the era of the book? Way back when, women were punished for not listening. Men were too, differently then women were. This book does NOT have BDSM in it either. There's a scene when Claire is spanked, big whoop. It wasn't meant to be a sexual encounter; yes, Jamie was turned on. That doesn't mean that Christian Grey is a reincarnation of him. Most men would be turned on by doing something of this to their wife/fiancee/girlfriend. You know why? Men are visual and primal creatures. When they do something like this, it's something only they get to do/see. Outlander should not be thought of as demeaning or sexist.

I'm not trying to say that if you didn't like this book you're wrong, I'm just placing my opinion; I wouldn't call this book sexist because a lot of what happened in this book, happened in this era. Back then, it wasn't a big surprise if a prisoner was raped or beat. You would hope it wasn't happening today, but it does still happen, just not as common.

Anyway, moreover to the point of the review: I enjoyed this book. BUT... the beginning was a little slow for my taste. I had a difficult time reading the first 30 or so pages. I actually started this book about a month or two before I actually got into the book, and the reason I stopped was because I couldn't understand what was "so desirable" about this book. It bored me, and there were multiple times through the book that I had to go back and re-read a paragraph. However, you can expect that in a book as long as this one. That's the reason for four stars.

Honestly, I'm not going to be that person to say "everyone read this". It's certainly not for everyone, and I didn't even think I'd enjoy it myself. However, I have a Sydney to keep pushing it on me (thank you Syd). Anyway, if you like romance I recommend it. You might find you like the past times, you might not. But whatever you do, try your best to get past the first 50 or so pages because it's worth it.

1 comment:

  1. I love the cover, and I am most definitely intrigued. Great pick! Have a wonderful day.