Book Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

by Diana Gabaldon
E-book edition, 733 pages
Published June 1st 1991 by Dell
The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just 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 circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.


I had no intention to read this book or whatsoever. But Sasha (abookutopia on Youtube) loves this book so much, she has around 4/5 copies of this book. Plus this book is turned into a tv show. And I also never read anything about Scotland or set in Scotland (except for Silver and watching Reign) and I know nothing about it (except Mary of Scots of course) so why not?

Unfortunately, I have mixed feelings about this book. There are things that both I love and hate. First of all, this book is 733 pages long. I think it’s the longest book I had read in a while, and it just feels too much for me. I just can’t. The writing is so detailed, down to the smallest rock. I love how easy it was to visualised being in Scotland, but it also feels tedious and too much. I love Claire and Jamie. It wasn’t love at the first sight, they actually get to know each other first and fall in love gradually. I love how they love each other passionately and completely. But I’m sorry, they have too much sex in my opinion. I know this is an adult book, but do we have to get sex scenes in every places they visit?

Also this book is so slow paced. It could spend days on the road, or castle, or hiding, doing nothing other than everyday chores. While it helps me imagine how life were in 1745 Scotland, it gets boring. And I love how the Scots actually speak in their own accent, even though I had trouble understanding them. It just feels more real.

Overall, I think this book is too mature and too much for me. I like the plot, but the pace and the length of this book turned me off. I don’t think I would continue this series, but I would definitely check the TV show out. And I would definitely read Into the Dim, which is supposed to be the YA version of Outlander.


12 Replies to “Book Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon”

  1. The beating also ruined it for me, I actually had to stop reading a few days to cool myself for a bit! But after a lot of thinking, I think it makes the story more believeable (even though it's outrageous) since at that times, it was actually normal for husband to “own” their wives, and Claire was wild for that time period!


  2. I am really tempted by this and I have owned this for so long. I am nervous though as I have seen some bad reviews mentioning him beating her, which would just kind of ruin it for me. I don't know. I think I would try an audio for this if possible. It just looks like such a big read.


  3. I'm not entirely sure whether I would ever give this book a go, especially considering that the series is STILL going and each book is SO long D:

    And ugh, descriptions. I know what you mean – it does give a lot to the world building, but if there's too much, i can get pretty bored.

    I've heard some pretty amazing things about the Claire/Jamie ship, and I'm glad it wasn't insta-love. But I don't know if that's enough to inspire me to read this series XD

    I have got Into the Dim, which I am super keen for!

    Great review ^.^


  4. It was abusive at times… But it was realistic. I mean, women are “below” men at 1745 so I guess it wasn't considered abusive at that times if men do whatever they like to women… But yeah it was outrageous at times…


  5. I was kind of tempted to try this…because I DID handle Game of Thrones a lot (and gee that is for mature audiences at time too *waves goodbye to innocence*) but the fact that this one is basically solely a romance scares me. And I heard someone say the romance was really abusive??!? So I DON'T KNOW. XD Good on you for giving it a try and getting through all the nitty gritty details! 😀

    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!


  6. Oh wow. When I heard that this was adapted to a TV show and that it had really descriptive writing (I love descriptive writing), I was like OH YES. But I had no idea this was an adult novel, and I don't think I can handle that, especially if it has lots of sex scenes in it :/

    Jillian @ Jillian's Books


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