Friday, October 10, 2014

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon


Title: Outlander (Outlander #1)
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Time Travel
Published: January 1991

My Rating: 5/5


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.

I have to say I’ve been obsessed with the Outlander series lately. I had been wanting to read this book and, since the show was about to come out, I decided to go ahead and read it.

I can’t tell you how much I loved this first book, it’s AMAZING. It’s got a little bit of everything: action, romance, gore, fantasy, suspense… everything, I tell you!

The story follows the life of Claire Randall, an English combat nurse who goes to Scotland on a second honeymoon with her husband. While being there, she’s suddenly transported two hundred years back in time, and has to face the dangers of Scottish clan life. Soon after that she meets Jamie, and this is where madness begins. Yes, madness. There’s so much going on in this book! This is a real page-turner, all right.

A lot of people have been calling this the Scottish Game of Thrones. Now, I’ve read some of the books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series and I watch the show, so I thought I could talk about some of the similarities between both series:
  • They’re both very time consuming if you want to read them, since the books are very long. I’ve realized that the books of A Song of Ice and Fire are a little bit more tedious to read. Not because they’re not as good as Outlander, but because you have a lot of narrators, and it may happen very often that you’ll have to read from someone’s POV and you don’t even care about that character (or want them dead, ahem)… I’m looking at you, Theon Greyjoy.
Theon Greyjoy - game-of-thrones Fan Art
  • Both series have a lot of action, violence, fantasy and sex. Now, I’m not very interested in erotica. I remember checking some reviews of Outlander before reading it and a lot of people were complaining about the sex, saying that there was a lot of it. When reading it I thought that these people were exaggerating a little bit, I mean, there are some sexy times in the book, but it’s not all the time and it just lasts a little while. In A Song of Ice and Fire there’s just as much sex, but I think people don’t realize this since it’s always between different people, while in Outlander it’s between the two main characters. I wouldn’t consider any of these series to be erotica, so if you’re like me and you’re not really into that genre, I think you could read any of these two series just fine.
  • They’re both set in the past (Well, I think A Song of Ice and Fire is set in the past?) So we have all these traditions and culture, the fighting, the violence, the superstitions and we also have the way women were treated back then. But I still consider Claire and the women from GOT to be incredibly strong and empowering, which is the most important thing, since we can’t really change the past and the way things were.

I’m not saying that if you like Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire you’ll like this series, but there’s still a high chance you might.

So now to the story of Outlander (btw, this is where the spoilers begin).

I wanted to start talking about Frank. I’m actually quite grateful that I wasn’t a big fan of his. It’s not that I didn’t like him, I did. I liked the fact that he was so engrossed in history, the things he said were really interesting. I don’t really know much about Scottish history, but Diana Gabaldon did an incredible job with this, I don’t know what’s true and what’s not, but I still enjoyed it and felt it was real.

Also, am I the only one who thinks that Frank may have cheated on Claire? Because for a moment he was all "Well, I would not mind if you had slept with some other man, you know, we were apart for a very long time"… Uhm, so, does this mean that you slept with some other woman, Frank? Does it?

Now to Jamie. I was very surprised to see how sweet and how much of a gentleman he was, most men there were all brutes and so disrespectful, but he was oh so adorable, covering Claire with his plaid, staying outside her door to protect her… You know, the little things. It was cute. And well, there’s also the fact that he’s a 23-year-old virgin, I’m pretty sure no reader would’ve expected this, what with so many men there wanting to rape every woman that happened to be near.



The relationship between Claire and Jamie is really touching, and it’s definitely real, they have arguments and fight like any normal couple would. And I loved that he said he liked her since the very beginning, I’m a sucker for stories like that, I’ll admit. These two make one of the best literary couples out there.



Of course, there’s this one thing that most readers have a problem with: when Jamie beats Claire with a belt for putting all of their lives in danger. Now, I’m not by any means saying that this kind of behavior is right, it’s not. At all. BUT we have to understand that this is the 18th century and a husband beating a wife wasn’t that uncommon. Claire did something she was not supposed to and got kidnapped; Jamie and the lads had to risk their lives to save her… Jamie actually tells her that, had she been a man, the punishment would have been a lot worse, but since she's a woman, she had to have that kind of punishment and it had to be carried out by her husband. Yes, yes I know, it’s awful. It’s like a little part of your heart breaks when this happens, because he’s so very protective of her and then he goes and beats her himself… you start to consider it to be a bit hypocritical. But what I found to be very interesting is that we move on… somewhere in the book we kind of forgive Jamie. He does feel a bit bad when he finds out why she tried to escape and got kidnapped, when she tells him about the truth of who she is and where she came from, because he beat her for trying to go back to her own time and to her husband. And he later promises to never lay a hand on her again.

In the end it all works out, they’re so very happy together and she chooses to stay with him. But oh my God, how very frustrating it is that they’re always in some kind of trouble, what with Jamie having a price on his head and Claire being considered a witch all the time, I was always so nervous when there were happy times, because I knew they would not last long!

And I felt so bad for Jamie at the end of the book, when you thought he was getting better something else might come at him and he was close to death again… I don’t completely understand how Claire saved him; you know, when she makes him all mad so that he would get up and fight her… but hey, it worked.

I have to say that these past few weeks I’ve been seeing the world around me and realized how far women have come, and I’m really proud… Yes, I know I always get all philosophical and start thinking about the origins of the world and what not, just let me be… It’s just that I always felt so bad for Claire, it must have been so frustrating, coming from the 20th century, having experienced a lot more of gender equality and then going back in time and having to endure all that, ugh… I always get mad when I see sexism around me nowadays, it’s still present and there are still a lot of places where women are being treated like they’re just objects, but I have to say that reading this book made me appreciate how far we’ve come and it gives me a lot of hope for the future… -End of weird philosophical rant-.

I was watching the show while it was being aired, NOW WE HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL APRIL OH MY GOD... I really LOVE it, they’re doing a wonderful job. I’ve been thinking about posting a review of the show as well, so you can expect that from me soon.

I definitely recommend this book, to both men and women. I know a lot of people think this book is just for women because of Jamie, but it’s not, there are actually a lot of men who’ve read this and have loved it. Just keep in mind that this is a mature book, and I’m not saying that because of the sex, but because there’s a lot of violent situations and rape.

Still, it’s easy for me to say that it’s become one of my favorites. It's one of those books you can barely put down and leaves you thinking about it even when you're not reading it.



OH AND AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO'D LOVE IT IF DIANA GABALDON RELEASED THIS BOOK FROM JAMIE'S POV?! CAN SHE PLEASE MAKE THIS HAPPEN?!

Have you read Outlander or watched the TV show? What did you think of it?

Thank you for reading! Bye-Bye!

22 comments:

  1. Sounds nice!! I never heard about this but its interesting!

    Happy weekend
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    1. Thank you! :)
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  3. Replies
    1. Thank you! Yes, it is really good! :D

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    1. Thank you so much for nominating me!! :D

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  9. Love the show! Clare is one of my all time favorite female leads!
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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Someone who also watches the show!! That's great! :D
      Yes, she's amazing, I really love her :)

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  10. I just discovered your post on Outlander. I LOVE this book, once of my all time favorites! I completely agree with you, Diana should write a book in Jamie's perspective! The first season of the show was great, however the prison episode was really hard for me to watch, but nonetheless I persevered! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes!! It's one of the best books I've ever read!! I know, I would seriously love to read it from Jamie's POV <3 I think they're doing an amazing job with the show! And that part was really hard to watch indeed, poor Jamie :'(

      Delete

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