2007: 52. Outlander

  “People disappear all the time.  Ask any policeman.  Better yet, ask a journalist.  Disappearances are bread-and-butter to journalists.

    Young girls run away from home.  Young children stray from their parents and are never seen again.  Housewives read the end of their tether and take grocery money and a taxi to the station.  International financiers change their names and vanish into the smoke of imported cigars.

    Many of the lost will be found, eventually, dead or alive.  Disappearances, after all, have explanations.


Outlander, Diana Gabaldon

Oh my, was this a trashy book.  This was a book I had heard a lot about on the internet, in various locations, so when I saw it, for free, in a “take a book and leave a book stand,”* I took it.  I don’t know what I was expecting (ok, I do - I was expecting it would totally charm me, like other books internet folks raves have turned me onto, such as To Say Nothing of the Dog), but this was nothing but a fancy, long, sci-fi romance novel.  It is, I guess, reasonably well-written, but honestly, if this is what passes for good sci-fi, I am glad that my genre of choice is mystery fiction.  While the bulk of mystery fiction is pretty cheesy, the good stuff is great.

Anyway, this book (which is the first in a long series that I will never complete), concerns Claire a 1940’s nurse on a second honeymoon in Scotland, who is mysteriously transported back in time to the 1700’s.  There she faces danger and mystery and falls in love with the brave dashing Jamie Fraser.  And oh, what a love it is! Adventure! Passion! Fidelity (well, on his part, being a virgin - she is a married, after all!!)! Hot, hot, Scottish 1700’s sex.  It is just goofy - what a fake perfect couple they are and what a fake perfect life she falls into.  

I guess what chived me about the book, is that there would be hints of interesting themes that were dropped.  Like the fact that Claire so easily accepts what happens to her, and gets over her husband so easily - shouldn’t there be a lot of angst and wishing for the future?  And the whole plot with the woman from 1960 who also fell back in time and decided she liked it and wanted to stay.  What modern woman (let alone two modern women) would rather be in the pre-penicillin, pre-women’s rights, pre-hygiene 18th century? It just doesn’t work.  I get the appeal - there is a lot of action, and Jamie is a perfect swoony hero (but really, a sweet, liberated, modern-minded virgin?), but I say bleh.  What I mean is, I won’t be reading the sequels.

Recommended for:  People looking for brainless reading who would like to read romance novels but don’t have the stomachs for them.

Date/Place Completed: 4/15/07; D.C.

Categories: Fiction

* I must admit, I didn’t leave a book, so maybe this is bad book karma?  But, if I have the opportunity, maybe I can leave this somewhere, returning it to the wild and realigning my chi.  Also, I took this book in January 2006, when we were on our California adventure.  Took me long enough to get to it, huh?

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017