Sunday, March 25, 2012

Outlander (audiobook) by Diana Gabaldon


by Diana Gabaldon

Unabridged audio book narrated by Davina Porter
To listen of a sample, here is the Amazon Link

Book Blurb:
The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is 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 stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach--an "outlander"--in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord...1743. 

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

There are some books & some series that readers mentally plan out and make time for re-reads. For me, that is the Outlander series.  I've re-read Outlander a few times and once again I got that Scottish itch that it was time to have another go'round. It all started with the new release of The Scottish Prisoner and then I just had to continue on from there. I naturally went straight to Voyager after The Scottish Prisoner because I just had to read about Jamie and Claire's reunion. My heart was feeling heavy regarding their 20 year separation and Voyager healed that gap. Well then of course, I had to read about Brianna and then so on and so on. Once I completed Echo in the Bone, I wanted to go back to the beginning and thus, that brought me back to Outlander where it all started. 

I was fortunate to win a copy of Outlander in an audiobook format during a fun blog hop. I have only listened to an audiobook twice before so this chance was a treat. I loved it and I loved the opportunity to listen to the Scottish Gaelic words being pronounced. I am sure I'm not the only faithful Outlander reader who was mispronouncing Loaghaire's name incorrectly.  It appears as though that wasn't the only Gaelic word or name I was mispronouncing. 

The Outlander story itself was spell-blindingly beautiful as always. Even though I had read the book a few time previously it amazes me on the little things that I had missed before. I found myself smiling at certain points as I was experiencing them for the first time. I did not remember the scene where Claire sprinkles a line of sand grit into Capt. Jack Randall's wig and closes the cabinet to leave for him to find later. I loved encountering scenes like that. 

Listening to an audiobook was an interesting experience. It was a new sensation to have been read to. Sometimes I felt so soothed by by the sound of Davina Porter's heavenly voice that I drowsed off and woke later from a nap that I was not expecting. Other times I was pleased to have an exciting scene paced out for me and read so clearly that I didn't miss any of the minor details that usually rush up in the excitement. I find that sometimes when I'm reading a most anticipating scene, I read so fast with my heart beating like a drum that I can end up missing parts. With the expertly paced and toned voice of Davina Porter, I was forced to endure these scenes like an action movie and I was so grateful for it. That rush is probably the reason that I had missed the "sand in wig" scene before with Claire in Randall's office. 

One of the things that I was worried about regarding listening to an audio book was how could I keep track of all the voices and accents. Particularly how would I feel about Jamie's voice being portrayed by a woman? Rest assured, this confusion was never an issue. Davina Porter is clearly a gifted narrator. She eased through numerous conversations held between men & women and of varying United Kingdom accents. She seamlessly voiced through Scots and cultured English and even voiced through the less cultured English used by the lower level garrison soldiers. It blew me away listening to all the conversations and how she effortlessly she switched. Incredibly impressive to be sure. 

The one thing that was different from my previous impression vs the audiobook was at times with Claire. I found listening to the voice of Claire, Davina Porter seems to portrays her as being so incredulous. When I hear Claire in my mind saying, "What for?" I hear just here a slight English accent talking. But when I hear the version of Davina Porter speak Claire's voice, "What for?" comes out as an exasperating or  incredulous  or the most ridiculous thing Claire has ever heard.  Mostly it is probably my own minor experience with hearing an English accent but it seems like Claire was in a constant state of unbelieving or annoyance. Regardless, it was pleasurable to hear her to come to life. 

I highly recommend if you get the opportunity to listen to Outlander on audiobook, you give it a try. I was extremely pleased that I had won a copy and I will be glad to listen to it again in the future. 


Anonymous said...

I loved the Outlander audiobook as well, and will probably continue to listen to the series. Will you go on with the other audiobooks as well, or do you prefer to read them?

Unknown said...

It's funny you ask. I have started my re-read of Dragonfly and I am missing the audiobook now. I am going to check to see if I can get a copy to borrow from the library. I think I would like to continue listening.

Jilly said...

I have had Audiobooks for two years and got a free special to listen to A Breath of Snow and Ashes (60 hours long)! I figured that I would listen to it on one of my upstate NY to Denver Amtrak trips that took place a few months after I obtained the book. The only thing I knew about it was the few sentences that said something about an 18th century man and his 20th century wife and I love time travel themes. I was so confused knowing Briana is Jamie's daughter but she and Roger were joking about the 20th century. It only took about 4 hours of listening to realize I probably had a series (#6!). That was in May 2013 and I'm now on The Fiery Cross and soon ready to start Breath again. I am also in Scotland staying in my college friend's 400+ year old B&B in Musselburgh for a week! Stopped in World's End for some water this morning because it wasn't open for lunch yet. Just loving my short Outlander experience. Jill Marie (not a blog but my freelance academic editing/ dissertation coaching site)