Wednesday, October 3

Bibliophile: Outlander

For the right person, this book is a winner.

Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon

I'd be surprised if you hadn't heard about this little (large) number. A wildly popular fantasy/romance/historical fiction series of 7, Outlander is the first. This epic-Scottish-time-travel-love-story may best be summed up by the blurb:

Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century, and a lover in another...

In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon--when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone 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's destiny in soon inextricably intertwined with Clan MacKenzie and the forbidden Castle Leoch. She is catapulted without warning 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 passion so fierce and 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 really mean what I said at the top- for the right reader, this will be enjoyable. Possibly a favorite. My sister comes to mind as someone who will not get hung up on the time-travel sci-fi aspect, but will deeply appreciate the love story and accurate historical fiction- Scotland in the 18th century was an exciting place to be, and our heroine is, of course, in the think of it. I feel like swashbuckling may be the way to describe this. 

Now, as supportive as my sister would be of this novel, my friend J would have no time or patience for this nonsense, so figure out what side you lie on before you embark on this 850 page journey. You gotta have a little imagination and a tolerance (appreciation?) for smut. If that's you, pick this up for an almost-guilty read, and you won't be disappointed.

*update: I just read a presumably conservative reviewer of this on Amazon say it should be called "50 Shades of Plaid", and I literally choked on my coffee from laughing. The review: "this book is full of violence, crude sexual behavior, sadism and even homosexuality"...EVEN homosexuality, HOW COULD THEY?!? All joking aside, while there is some smut here, it's not celebrated 50-shades style, so don't worry. The one Bad Guy (whose actions I assume this reviewer is referring to) is a deranged pervert but not a main character.

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