Outlander

How about a good old-fashioned book review?  About time you say?  Agreed.

—2.5—

Alas fellow readers!  I had wished to love this book.  I had dreams of finding a new series to read.  I had thought that it would enthrall me to no end!  But the enthralling had no beginning, which is sad, no?

How to summarize such a behemoth of a book?  Claire, an English nurse, and her husband go on a second honeymoon to Scotland in order to reacquaint themselves after WWII.  Through a mystical stone henge, Claire finds herself in the same place, only in 1743.  Claire is rescued from an evil ancestor of her husband Frank, and forms a bond with Scottish soldier James Fraser.  Of course, romance develops between the two, and Claire has to adjust to her new life centuries before her other existence.  Much, much later, she must choose between returning to Frank in 1945, or remaining with Jamie in an uncertain time.

I feel I have been misled.  Other reviews have implied that Outlander by Diana Gabaldon was a mix of sci-fi and historical fiction.  Historical fiction, perhaps, but much more bad romance than this little girl can take.  Blah.  Absurd (and all too frequent) sex scenes were just awkward and sometimes unintentionally comical.  And although the premise is supernatural, this is by no means sci-fi!  To me it was just plain ridiculous.  And ridiculously long!  And I don’t know why anyone would care enough to pick up the other multitudes of 600+ page sequels.  But from the reviews I’ve seen, I’m in the minority, so I digress.

Anyways, you may be saying, this sounds terrible, so why a rating of 2.5/5?  Well, when you’ve invested 600+ pages, you force to find aspects to enjoy.  Clare is actually a fairly remarkable woman.  How many of us could survive Scotland 1743?  I can’t survive without my hairdryer for heaven’s sake.  And I really enjoyed the parts where she applied her nursing medical knowledge to 18th century illnesses and injuries.  She was much more resourceful than I could have been without antibiotics or antiseptics!   I will also admit that the Scottish Highlands are a picturesque place to set a novel, and I do like historical fiction to a certain extent.  So these highlights redeemed the novel to a 2.5.  But I have to continue searching for a new series to read, because this wont be it.

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3 Responses to Outlander

  1. eleanorbess says:

    You even make it sound good, but I’ll believe you and won’t try. Regarding your “searching for a saga” I read an interview to Donna Leon las weekend: she has a a saga of detective novels set in Italy… very famous over here. Take a look and let me know if you like any:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donna_Leon#List_of_Brunetti_novels

    Despite being set in Italy the main character is very…. liberal. The author herself is anti-Berlusconi!!

  2. eleanorbess says:

    Another saga, a European detective too, but more recent than the Brunetti ones; the Jackson Brodie saga:
    Case Histories (2004)
    One Good Turn (2006)
    When Will There Be Good News? (2008)
    by English author Kate Atkinson

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