OUTLANDER–Scottish Obsession

CHAVIS’  CLASSIC CORNER

How many times have you read a book that creates a world that is so vivid, so real, and so alive that you would do almost anything to live in that world? One of my very favorite books does precisely that. Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander,the start of an amazing literary experience!Outlander: with Bonus Content

If you’re not familiar with Diana Gabaldon, she came to writing after earning degrees in Marine Biology, Ecology, and Zoology, which is great for us because it means she loves details in her writing. She wrote the first Outlander book about 20 years ago, and it has gained a cult following.

Our central character is Claire Beauchamp Randall who moves to Scotland after WWII in 1946. While walking one day, Claire strolls through a “circle of standing stones” (much like a mini-Stonehenge), and gets sucked back in time to 1743 Scotland. She lands smackdab into a clan full of lusty lads, redcoats, blunt weaponry, and the like. In order to survive, Claire needs to be married off to one of the men in the Scottish clan she’s joined. Enter our hero James Fraser.

James (aka Jamie) is one of those heroes who literally leaps off the page with every passing chapter. If you thought Mel Gibson’s William Wallace was a hot, tough, chivalrous guy, believe me, you’ll love Jamie Fraser. He makes Wallace look like the playground punching bag. Jamie is the right mix of ruggedness, tenderness, and that “X” factor that will grab any reader’s attention, and it’s so much fun watching the growth of his relationship with Claire.

Despite the fantastical setting, Gabaldon incorporates a lot of actual historical content and detail in her books. In fact, she fought for years to get Outlander moved out of the “romance” section of the bookstores because her books are more than simple love stories. They are historical fiction. Gabaldon writes her two main characters with so much real-life details and behaviors that you will probably talk about Jamie and Claire as if they’re real people.

So be forewarned, you WILL get hooked, and hooked hard. While it’s not necessarily a “fast” read, it is one that is well worth the time.  If you enjoy romance, Scottish swordsmen, chivalry, and history, I can strongly bet that Outlander will be a gem to treasure in your book collection. Face it, who doesn’t love a man in a kilt?

Want some Outlander fun? Follow Diana Gabaldon on Facebook and see the dream cast contenders for the key roles. Who do you like as Claire? How about Jamie?

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17 responses

  1. I love the Outlander series. Have every book from Outlander to The Firery Cross, plus the Companion. Haven’t bought the latest yet, but will get it soon. Her history is so good and the characters are totally believable.

  2. Wonderful! You make it so hard not to go spend money I don’t have to get that book on my bookshelf, after I read it of course. It is definitely going into my wishlist!

    1. Thank you so much!! I really appreciate that! I would love for you to leave a comment on how you liked the book after you read it! I know you’ll love it!

  3. This is one of my all time favorite books!! In fact, I love the whole series! Any time I’m asked who my favorite book boyfriend is, I have to say Jamie Fraser because he’s the ultimate book boyfriend in my opinion 🙂

    1. I agree! I’ve been single for over a decade and I can only attribute it to the fact that no man on earth can measure up to Jamie!! ha!

  4. It just seemed like a site called “Book Luvin’ Babes” had to put OUTLANDER in the line-up. I haven’t decided which of the actresses would make the best Claire. I think Jamie Frasier is the ultimate ideal for a hero. If men want to know what a woman wants–tell him to emulate Jamie!

    1. On her FB page, Gabaldon’s fans chose Chris Hemsworth (he played Thor in the movie Thor) for Jamie! Alex Kingston is the actress that won for Claire. I’m not familiar with her, but on appearances alone, she’s very close to what I pictured. I actually pictured someone older, forgetting how young Claire is in the books. My favorite pick is Sean Bean (Boromir from Lord of the Rings) for Dougal McKenzie even though lots of fans wanted Gerard Butler!. I love, love, love Sean Bean! Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy from the Harry Potter films) was chosen for Black Jack Randall,! Right now, they’re voting on the character of Ian and Roger (henry cavill is one of the top picks).

      Everyone should join in on the fun. Just search for Diana Gabaldon on Facebook or Google!

  5. GREAT book although it’s been a very long time since I’ve read it!

  6. I absolutely LOVED the first Outlander book. My mother-in-law had me read it and it was fantastic. I had a lot of trouble with the second one though. There was so much politics in it that it was a hard read for me. I love the characters though. This should be made into a movie.

    1. Phaedra, did you read any of the books beyond the second one? I really liked the second and the third books, but definitely the first one is my favorite! Look at Gabaldon’s FB page. She’s doing a “dream” casting for a FAKE Outlander movie! There’s no movie being made yet, but it is really fun to see the pics of the actors that readers voted on!

  7. Oh, lordy do I love this series. If someone ever asks for a book recommendation, this is one of the first I mention. If I had read this before I got married, I seriously would’ve gone to Scotland looking for my own Jamie. When I’m reading these books, I walk around wondering what the characters are up to (when I don’t have the book in hand.) My poor hubby, I’m usually mad at him for a few days when I start re-reading Outlander–because he’s not Jamie! But, here’s a heads up my friend gave me before I started reading. The first 40 pages or so of Outlander might take a while to suck you in. (all those details come to be important in later books.) Once she slips back in time–forget it. You won’t get anything done for days. Oh, I could talk about these books for days. Anyone know when the next one is coming out?

    1. Book 8 is going to be called “Written in My Own Heart’s Blood,” and according to Gabaldon’s website, dianagabaldon.com, it’s coming out in 2013! I can’t wait!!!

  8. Lisa, I agree! I definitely recommend this book to a lot of people! Yes, her first 40 pages do take the reader a little effort to get into it, but I feel all Gabaldon’s books are like that. I was pretty hooked by the time she goes into the stones though!

    1. Thank goodness it’ll be out soon. That last book ended with such a cliffhanger!! I wish I had an ereader when I first got into the series, though. Those are some big books!

      1. Lots of cliffhangers, actually. I read Outlander when it first came out and it is still my favorite book. I read it every year. Humor, romance, suspense, it’s got everything.

        When is the next one coming out and is it the last one?

  9. Margaret, according to Gabaldon’s website, the last book will be out sometime in 2013, but she hasn’t said if it’s the last one or not! I’d hate for it to end!

    1. Originally, the series was only supposed to be five books and go through the Revolutionary War.

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