[Review] Outlander – Diana Gabaldon

Title: Outlander
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Published: 1991
My Rating: ★★★★★

After WWII ends, army nurse Claire Randall vacations in the highlands of Scotland with her husband. While visiting a standing stone in an ancient circle, she is hurled back in time to 1743, where her life becomes intertwined with a young Scots warrior. 

Holy balls there’s a lot of sex. Like, chapters of it! Pages and pages and pages . . . My eyes are so violated and yet, I still loved this book. I hesitated picking it up recently because it’s so thick (that’s what she said) and I wasn’t ready for the commitment of such a hefty series. But I kept hearing about it, especially with the TV series now airing, and I remembered my older cousin recommending this book to me over a decade ago when I was a teen. She wisely told me to hold off until I was older.

I’m so glad I waited. If I hadn’t, I would’ve hated this book. There were just too many adult themes for my younger self to handle. Even now, there are a few things I could’ve done without, such as all the birthing and nursing scenes. Reading about someone milking themselves is not something I’m inclined to enjoy.

Gabaldon skillfully transports us back in time. Not only to 1945, but to 1743 as well. Her descriptions are so vivid that I actually feel like I’m in the Scottish Highlands. As far as I know, the accents are spot on and weren’t horribly difficult to understand (Huck Finn, anyone?). I wish I knew more about that particular area and time in history, but Gabaldon does a great job keeping me in the story without wondering what the heck is going on. The only problem I had were the kilts. I find them unattractive, so I often pictured the men in pants.

And in the case of Jamie Fraser, the young Scotsman, I pictured no pants at all (*roguish grin*). Ah, Jamie . . .  there were times I was very cross with him for being such a bullish man, but he is a product of his environment and I cannot fault him for that. With all that he has to endure, which is shockingly graphic and horrifying in parts, you cannot help but love him.

I’m sorely tempted to begin watching Hulu’s version, but I’d like to get through the entire series before I do. I don’t like picturing the actors while I’m reading the books, and I’m afraid they won’t do justice to the books. I also don’t want to actually see naked people because icky!

Have you read it or watched the adaptation?