Sunday, November 24, 2013

Audiobook: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Read by Davina Porter

Synopsis: The year is 1945. Claire Randall is traveling with her husband when she touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is hurled back in time to a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord 1743. Catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, she soon realizes that an alliance with James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, might be the only way to survive. Thus begins a work of unrivaled storytelling that has become a modern classic.

My Thoughts: I usually do not re-read books because there are so many other books out there that are seeking my attention. However, there are still a few books that call to me to re-read, and Outlander is one of them.

I've read Outlander about five years ago and I fell completely in love with it. I even bought the anniversary edition with a CD sample of the musical. Every so often, I will open this edition and flip to a random page and read a few paragraphs just so I could remember this wonderful story. Now with the upcoming Starz series premiering next year, the itch to re-read Outlander became stronger. The downside that I had was I simply couldn't find the time to read a 800+ page book. So what did I do? I went to my local library and ordered an audio copy of the book. I'm so glad that I did because I was in heaven listening to it.

I found listening to the story to be very fascinating. Not only was I reminded of many wonderful scenes (and some depressing scenes), but I also experienced "new" scenes that I missed in my first read. I was not expecting to be surprised since I thought I knew the story very well, but I couldn't help smiling when I encountered the unfamiliar scenes. I was giddy because it felt like I was "reading" Outlander for the first time.

As I listened how Claire traveled to the past and was forced to be the wife of a young Scottish lad, I found myself falling in love all over again with Jamie's character. James Fraser had always been one of my favorite literary characters and this audio confirmed why I loved him so much. He was caring, funny, naïve, strong, and very loyal. The romantic things he said to Claire made me swoon over Jamie and the tragic event towards the end made me sob for him. James Fraser will continue to be a favorite character of mine.

My thoughts on the performance: Davina Porter was an incredibly talented narrator. I was delighted to hear her portrayal of all of the characters and I couldn't help but admire Ms. Porter on her voice talent. She was able to switch accents very fluently: from Scottish, to British, to male and female. She made the characters come alive.

Also, listening to this audio helped me realize how many Gaelic words and names I was mispronouncing. Davina Porter pronounced these words and names so elegantly that I felt like I butchered them when trying to say them. At least now I have an idea how to say Loaghaire's name.

Overall, this was such an incredibly experience having an audio as a way to re-read an all-time favorite of mine. I was able to relive favorite scenes, encounter scenes that I've missed, learned how to pronounce Gaelic words correctly, and fall madly in love with Jamie. This audiobook has become a new favorite of mine and I know that I'll be going back to it again sometime in the future. I rate it:

You can buy the audiobook over at Amazon.

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