Wednesday, September 9, 2009

An Invitation for Outlander Fans...

Good day to everyone! As I look at my widget countdown for the release of Diana Gabaldon's latest book in the Outlander series, I can't believe it's only a few days away. Such anticipation for me, and I'm sure for you, too, if you're a fan of the series! I fully intend to fall off the face of the earth for a few days when I get my little hands on a copy and revel in the world that is Jamie and Claire.

I thought it would be fun to celebrate the upcoming release of Echo in the Bone by taking a few days and posting about my experiences with this terrific series. I invite you to join in and share your thoughts and experiences as well. We might even be able to encourage some who have not read the books to give them a try.

To start off the celebration and countdown, I thought I would answer one of the most frequently asked questions when I talk about the books with someone who is not familiar with the series:

"What are they about?" they ask curiously and innocently.


To answer this question, I'm going to quote the author, Diana Gabaldon, because it pretty much sums it up as succinctly as possible:

In the pages of Outlander, you will find...
"history, warfare, medicine, sex, violence, spirituality, honor,
betrayal, vengeance, hope & despair, relationships, the building
and destruction of families and societies, time travel, moral
ambiguity, swords, herbs, horses, gambling (with cards, dice, and
lives), voyages of daring, journeys of both body and soul...
you know, the usual stuff of literature."

--Diana Gabaldon

I think one of the reasons I enjoy Diana's writing is because it doesn't fit neatly into any one category or genre. If you're a fan of history or historical fiction, you'll find well-researched books about the Scottish Highlands, the Jacobites and the Rebellion of 1745, the events leading up to the Revolutionary War in the colonies, as well as a fascinating look at daily life in the past; if you enjoy science/science fiction, the time travel element is an ever-evolving puzzle in each book, and Diana Gabaldon's scientific background is evident in the skills she gives Claire as a "healer"; the love story of Jamie and Claire is truly engaging and unique in that they are portrayed realistically as a couple who share joys, struggles, and sorrows together as they experience life and mature; the plots are intricate and unpredictable for the most part, and there is always something mysterious happening (even a few ghosts) for those who enjoy mysteries; you just never know what twisty turn the plot will take, and you're constantly guessing. So much fun!

So, for all of you who are Outlander fans, what aspects of the books do you enjoy the most?


Kim said...

I'm not familiar with this series. (please close your mouth if your chin just dropped) Sounds like something for everyone! I'll be listening ...

Joanne said...

Hey, Kim -- I've read several posts lately from people who mentioned that they have not read the series or have not heard of it. With the new book coming soon, there will be lots of talk about Outlander. Thanks for stopping by!

Laura's Reviews said...

You had me with your comment on my blog about a count down to An Echo in the Bone and discussion of the Outlander series.

I love Outlander and it's pretty much for all of the reasons written above. I love the detailed historical fiction, but most of all I love the complex characters of Jamie and Claire.

Joanne said...

So glad you stopped in for a visit, Laura! Glad to meet a fellow Outlander fan!

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

I love the time travel aspect of it the most, as well as Jamie himself - but I love Clare too - let's face it, I just love all of it and foremost their attraction and love for one another, no matter how old they are. But the thing that hooked me was the irrisistible pull I had in imagining I was Claire carried back in time, having to deal with it all and then meeting Jamie and being thrown together the way they were. It was all so haphazard, yet kismet, they were meant for each other. Not only that, I love the tension of the manacing Jack Randall. The first book, IMO, is the best, but I do love them all for the rich detail and ongoing story. I'm a sucker for detail and I know many complain that her books could be edited considerably, but I like all of those details! Don't take them away! It really makes me feel like I'm there living in the 18th century - it's a great escape for me. Nothing else I've read has come close to the detail and sheer desire to read on and on as I have with this series - and believe me I've tried to find something comparable and just have not found that same magic that is in the Outlander series.

Joanne said...

Julie - I'm so glad you mentioned that Outlander is your favorite; I was going to ask you which one you favored. I, too, love Outlander, but I also adore Voyager.

The length of her books can be intimidating to some, but I just can't wait to get lost in the pages. I agree, I don't want one word edited out!

Favorite Period Dramas

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Joanne's to-read book montage

On a Highland Shore
A Light on the Veranda
The Queen's Vow: A Novel Of Isabella Of Castile
The Edwardians
Maisie Dobbs
Howards End
Lady's Maid
Instruments Of Darkness
When Maidens Mourn
Where Shadows Dance
What Remains of Heaven
Where Serpents Sleep
Why Mermaids Sing
When Gods Die
Before Ever After
The Sugar Queen
Garden Spells
After the Night

Joanne's favorite books »