Saturday, August 8, 2009


Diana Gabaldon's Outlander had been on my TBR pile since the summer. After reading Perfume, Valiant, The Graveyard Book, The Stories of Eva Luna and 9 chick-lit, I finally picked it up. I'm not a big fan of historical romances, see. I had thought that Kinsella and Giffin were at least light reading and short, as opposed to Outlander's 850 pages of sentimental love story. The chick-lit novels were in fact faster to read, though I couldn't wait to finish them because I was getting slightly annoyed by the frivolity. Getting through them was a matter of principle (whenever I start a book in a series, I make it a point to see it through to the last book), not to mention an exercise in fortitude. On the other hand, I breezed easily through Outlander, because Gabaldon creates a landscape so convincing that each scene comes alive in every page. Outlander is the story of Claire Randall, an assertive, intelligent and fiery army nurse who has just come back from the war to go on a second honeymoon with her husband in Scotland. An innocent act hurls her back two hundred years into the past, where she is caught in the middle of clan wars and political intrigue. Here, she meets James Fraser, a young Scotsman who becomes her hero and protector, and who shows her a love so unselfish, so passionate and so constant. Claire faces the dilemma of choosing between going back to the future from which she had come, where her husband and the life she had committed to him wait, and staying where she had been unwittingly transported, in a place where she had begun to build a new life--- initially out of necessity, until, eventually, the thought of leaving everything and everyone behind becomes painfully hard to bear.

The novel is fast-paced and adventure-filled, where heroes are heroic and where damsels in destress are not quite so helpless and naive. Gabaldon creates characters so alive that the reader cannot help but empathize with them, and paints a picture of 18th century Scotland so real as can only be accomplished through exhaustive research and zealous attention to detail.

Outlander is 850 pages of absorbing entertainment, and the hours pass by unnoticed.


Peter S. said...

Hi Ajie! I've always wondered about Gabaldon's books -- they're so long. Doorstop proportions!

Hmmmm... I guess this is the perfect book to bring along during long vacations.

sumthinblue said...

Ooh. In one of our book raids sa Book Sale I saw a copy of Outlander but I passed it on to Marie. Will have to hunt it down again :)

mental wayfarer said...

Peter: Oo nga, mas makapal pa mga libro na 'to kesa sa mukha ko.:P Pero worth the read. Love story nga pero hindi mo masyado mapapansin.

Blooey: Do that. And i'm interested to know how fast you can finish the book!:)

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