Outlander (Outlander Series #1) (Starz Tie-in Edition)

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Overview

SOON TO BE A STARZ ORIGINAL SERIES
 
Unrivaled storytelling . . . unforgettable characters . . . rich historical detail . . . these are the hallmarks of Diana Gabaldon?s work. Her New York Times bestselling Outlander novels have earned the praise of critics and captured millions of fans. Here is the ...
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Overview

SOON TO BE A STARZ ORIGINAL SERIES
 
Unrivaled storytelling . . . unforgettable characters . . . rich historical detail . . . these are the hallmarks of Diana Gabaldon’s work. Her New York Times bestselling Outlander novels have earned the praise of critics and captured millions of fans. Here is the story that started it all, introducing two remarkable characters, Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser, in a spellbinding novel of passion and history that combines exhilarating adventure with a love story for the ages.
 
OUTLANDER
 
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 border clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743.
 
Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted 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 love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire . . . and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
 
“Marvelously entertaining . . . a page-turner of the highest order.”—Chattanooga Times Free Press

From the Paperback edition.

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  • Outlander "Disappearance" Trailer
    Outlander  

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Marvelously entertaining . . . a page-turner of the highest order.”Chattanooga Times Free Press
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553393699
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/1/2014
  • Series: Outlander Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 896
  • Sales rank: 70,591
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Diana  Gabaldon
Diana Gabaldon is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the wildly popular Outlander novels—Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes (for which she won a Quill Award and the Corine International Book Prize), An Echo in the Bone, and Written in My Own Heart’s Blood—as well as the related Lord John Grey books Lord John and the Private Matter, Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade, Lord John and the Hand of Devils, and The Scottish Prisoner; one work of nonfiction, The Outlandish Companion; and the Outlander graphic novel The Exile. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with her husband.

From the Paperback edition.

Biography

To millions of fans, Diana Gabaldon is the creator of a complex, original, and utterly compelling amalgam of 18th-century romantic adventure and 20th-century science fiction. To the publishing industry, she's a grassroots-marketing phenomenon. And to would-be writers everywhere who worry that they don't have the time or expertise to do what they love, Gabaldon is nothing short of an inspiration.

Gabaldon wrote her first novel while juggling the demands of motherhood and career: in between her job as an ecology professor, she also had a part-time gig writing freelance software reviews. Gabaldon had never written fiction before, and didn't intend to publish this first novel, which she decided to call Outlander. This, she decided, would be her "practice novel". Worried that she might not be able to pull a plot and characters out of thin air, she settled on a historical novel because "it's easier to look things up than to make them up entirely."

The impulse to set her novel in 18th-century Scotland didn't stem -- as some fans have assumed—from a desire to explore her own familial roots (in fact, Gabaldon isn't even Scottish). Rather, it came from watching an episode of the British sci-fi series Dr. Who and becoming smitten with a handsome time traveler in a kilt. A time-travel element crept into Gabaldon's own book only after she realized her wisecracking female lead couldn't have come from anywhere but the 20th century. The resulting love affair between an intelligent, mature, sexually experienced woman and a charismatic, brave, virginal young man turned the conventions of historical romance upside-down.

Gabaldon has said her books were hard to market at first because they were impossible to categorize neatly. Were they historical romances? Sci-fi adventure stories? Literary fiction? Whatever their genre (Gabaldon eventually proffered the term "historical fantasias"), they eventually found their audience, and it turned out to be a staggeringly huge one.

Even before the publication of Outlander, Gabaldon had an online community of friends who'd read excerpts and were waiting eagerly for more. (In fact, her cohorts at the CompuServe Literary Forum helped hook her up with an agent.) Once the book was released, word kept spreading, both on the Internet and off, and Gabaldon kept writing sequels. (When her fourth book, "Drums of Autumn," was released, it debuted at No. 1 on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list, and her publisher, Delacorte, raced to add more copies to their initial print run of 155,000.)

With her books consistently topping the bestseller lists, it's apparent that Gabaldon's appeal lies partly in her ability to bulldoze the formulaic conventions of popular fiction. Salon writer Gavin McNett noted approvingly, "She simply doesn't pay attention to genre or precedent, and doesn't seem to care that identifying with Claire puts women in the role of the mysterious stranger, with Jamie -- no wimp in any regard -- as the romantic 'heroine."'

In between Outlander novels, Gabaldon also writes historical mysteries featuring Lord John Grey, a popular, if minor, character from the series, and is working on a contemporary mystery series. Meanwhile, the author's formidable fan base keeps growing, as evidenced by the expanding list of Gabaldon chat rooms, mailing lists, fan clubs and web sites -- some of them complete with fetching photos of red-haired lads in kilts.

Good To Know

Outlander may have been Gabaldon's first novel, but she was already a published writer. Her credits included scholarly articles, political speeches, radio ads, computer manuals and Walt Disney comic books.

Gabaldon gets 30 to 40 e-mails a day from her fans, who often meet online to discuss her work. "I got one letter from a woman who had been studying my book jacket photos (with a magnifying glass, evidently), who demanded to know why there was a hole in my pants," wrote Gabaldon on her web site. "This strikes me as a highly metaphysical question, which I am not equipped to answer, but which will doubtless entertain some chat-groups for quite a long time."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Diana Jean Gabaldon (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      Flagstaff, Arizona
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 11, 1952
    2. Place of Birth:
      Flagstaff, Arizona
    1. Education:
      B.S., Northern Arizona University, 1973; M.S., Scripps Oceanographic Institute; Ph.D., Northern Arizona University, 1979
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Jamie made a fire in a sheltered spot, and sat down next to it. The rain had eased to a faint drizzle that misted the air and spangled my eyelashes with rainbows when I looked at the flames.

He sat staring into the fire for a long time. Finally he looked up at me, hands clasped around his knees.

"I said before that I'd not ask ye things ye had no wish to tell me. And I'd not ask ye now; but I must know, for your safety as well as mine." He paused, hesitating.

"Claire, if you've never been honest wi' me, be so now, for I must know the truth. Claire, are ye a witch?"

I gaped at him. "A witch? You—you can really ask that?" I thought he must be joking. He wasn't.

He took me by the shoulders and gripped me hard, staring into my eyes as though willing me to answer him.

"I must ask it, Claire! And you must tell me!"

"And if I were?" I asked through dry lips. "If you had thought I were a witch? Would you still have fought for me?"

"I would have gone to the stake with you!" he said violently. "And to hell beyond, if I must. But may the Lord Jesus have mercy on my soul and on yours, tell me the truth!"

The strain of it all caught up with me. I tore myself out of his grasp and ran across the clearing. Not far, only to the edge of the trees; I could not bear the exposure of the open space. I clutched a tree; put my arms around it and dug my fingers hard into the bark, pressed my face to it and shrieked with hysterical laughter.

Jamie's face, white and shocked, loomed up on the other side of the tree. With the dim realization that what I was doing must sound unnervingly like cackling, I made a terrific effort and stopped. Panting, I stared at him for a moment.

"Yes," I said, backing away, still heaving with gasps of unhinged laughter. "Yes, I am a witch! To you, I must be. I've never had smallpox, but I can walk through a room full of dying men and never catch it. I can nurse the sick and breathe their air and touch their bodies, and the sickness can't touch me. I can't catch cholera, either, or lockjaw, or the morbid sore throat. And you must think it's an enchantment, because you've never heard of vaccine, and there's no other way you can explain it."

"The things I know—" I stopped backing away and stood still, breathing heavily, trying to control myself. "I know about Jonathan Randall because I was told about him. I know when he was born and when he'll die, I know about what he's done and what he'll do, I know about Sandringham because ... because Frank told me. He knew about Randall because he ... he ... oh, God!" I felt as though I might be sick, and closed my eyes to shut out the spinning stars overhead.

"And Colum ... he thinks I'm a witch, because I know Hamish isn't his own son. I know ... he can't sire children. But he thought I knew who Hamish's father is ... I thought maybe it was you, but then I knew it couldn't be, and..." I was talking faster and faster, trying to keep the vertigo at bay with the sound of my own voice.

"Everything I've ever told you about myself was true," I said, nodding madly as though to reassure myself. "Everything. I haven't any people, I haven't any history, because I haven't happened yet.

"Do you know when I was born?" I asked, looking up. I knew my hair was wild and my eyes staring, and I didn't care. "On the twentieth of October, in the Year of Our Lord nineteen hundred and eighteen. Do you hear me?" I demanded, for he was blinking at me unmoving, as though paying no attention to a word I said. "I said nineteen eighteen! Nearly two hundred years from now! Do you hear?"

I was shouting now, and he nodded slowly.

"I hear," he said softly.

"Yes, you hear!" I blazed. "And you think I'm raving mad. Don't you? Admit it! That's what you think. You have to think so, there isn't any other way you can explain me to yourself. You can't believe me, you can't dare to. Oh, Jamie..." I felt my face start to crumple. All this time spent hiding the truth, realizing that I could never tell anyone, and now I realized that I could tell Jamie, my beloved husband, the man I trusted beyond all others, and he wouldn't—he couldn't believe me either.

"It was the rocks—the fairy hill. The standing stones. Merlin's stones. That's where I came through." I was gasping, half-sobbing, becoming less coherent by the second. "Once upon a time, but it's really two hundred years. It's always two hundred years, in the stories. ... But in the stories, the people always get back. I couldn't get back." I turned away, staggering, grasping for support. I sank down on a rock, shoulders slumped, and put my head in my hands. There was a long silence in the wood. It went on long enough for the small night birds to recover their courage and start their noises once again, calling to each other with a thin, high zeek! as they hawked for the last insects of the summer.

I looked up at last, thinking that perhaps he had simply risen and left me, overcome by my revelations. He was still there, though, still sitting, hands braced on his knees, head bowed as though in thought.

The hairs on his arms shone stiff as copper wires in the firelight, though, and I realized that they stood erect, like the bristles on a dog. He was afraid of me.

"Jamie," I said, feeling my heart break with absolute loneliness. "Oh, Jamie."

I sat down and curled myself into a ball, trying to roll myself around the core of my pain. Nothing mattered any longer, and I sobbed my heart out.

His hands on my shoulders raised me, enough to see his face. Through the haze of tears, I saw the look he wore in battle, of struggle that had passed the point of strain and become calm certainty.

"I believe you," he said firmly. "I dinna understand it a bit—not yet—but I believe you. Claire, I believe you! Listen to me! There's the truth between us, you and I, and whatever ye tell me, I shall believe it." He gave me a gentle shake.

"It doesna matter what it is. You've told me. That's enough for now. Be still, mo duinne. Lay your head and rest. You'll tell me the rest of it later. And I'll believe you."

I was still sobbing, unable to grasp what he was telling me. I struggled, trying to pull away, but he gathered me up and held me tightly against himself, pushing my head into the folds of his plaid, and repeating over and over again, "I believe you."

At last, from sheer exhaustion, I grew calm enough to look up and say, "But you can't believe me."

He smiled down at me. His mouth trembled slightly, but he smiled.

"Ye'll no tell me what I canna do, Sassenach." He paused a moment. ... A long time later, he spoke.

"All right. Tell me now."

I told him. Told him everything, haltingly but coherently. I felt numb from exhaustion, but content, like a rabbit that has outrun a fox, and found temporary shelter under a log. It isn't sanctuary, but at least it is respite. And I told him about Frank.

"Frank," he said softly. "Then he isna dead, after all."

"He isn't born." I felt another small wave of hysteria break against my ribs, but managed to keep myself under control. "Neither am I."

He stroked and patted me back into silence, making his small murmuring Gaelic sounds.

"When I took ye from Randall at Fort William," he said suddenly, "you were trying to get back. Back to the stones. And ... Frank. That's why ye left the grove."

"Yes."

"And I beat you for it." His voice was soft with regret.

"You couldn't know. I couldn't tell you." I was beginning to feel very drowsy indeed.

"No, I dinna suppose ye could." He pulled the plaid closer around me, tucking it gently around my shoulders. "Do ye sleep now, mo duinne. No one shall harm ye; I'm here."

I burrowed into the warm curve of his shoulder, letting my tired mind fall through the layers of oblivion. I forced myself to the surface long enough to ask, "Do you really believe me, Jamie?"

He sighed, and smiled ruefully down at me.

"Aye, I believe ye, Sassenach. But it would ha' been a good deal easier if you'd only been a witch."

From the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted July 25, 2014

    I was working at Waldenbooks when this series came out and we we

    I was working at Waldenbooks when this series came out and we were having a problem trying to figure out where to place it in the store . . Romance . . Science Fiction . . Fiction? So I read the book and fell in love with the series. Yes. It is a Romance which is where we ultimately shelved the series. But I still remember taking women over to the Romance section from the Science Fiction/Fantasy section to show them this book. You see, most Sci-Fi/Fantasy readers wouldn't be caught dead with a Romance.

    My only complaint is that Ms. Gabaldon doesn't write fast enough! I am constantly checking the "Soon to be Released" looking for my next fix and counting the days until it shows up on my Nook. Her books are the only ones I ever Pre-order so I can have it as soon as possible.

    So, even if you aren't into Romance but like Historical Fiction with perhaps a little Science Fiction thrown in on the side . . take a chance and read this series. I can pretty much guarantee you will join the ranks of readers eagerly awaiting the next installment in the lives of Claire and Jamie.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2014

    Absolutely love the Outlander series and it all starts with this

    Absolutely love the Outlander series and it all starts with this book 1.  Best book I've ever read in my 60 years.  Diana is brilliant and pulls the reader in as if you are experiencing every adventure.  You care deeply what happens to the characters and can't get enough.  I have lost track of how many copies of Outlander I've purchased and give away.  Read it, you won't be sorry.!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2014

    I got this book for a gift back in 1998 and it has been my favor

    I got this book for a gift back in 1998 and it has been my favorite series ever since. Historical fiction is my favorite genre and the characters are so alive and real, none of my daughters have read it yet, but they know about Jaime and Claire. I refer to them as though they are flesh and blood people. I am an avid reader and this series is so detailed and vivid, it is more like an experience than just a good read. I had for many years hoped that this would become a movie, but since the Game of Thrones series I changed my mind and was wishing for a cable series instead. I am thrilled that Diana and the Starz series actors are going to be at Comic Con this week! I am most anxious for the show to begin!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2014

    To use an overused word - amazing! Gabaldon pulls you into the s

    To use an overused word - amazing! Gabaldon pulls you into the story and you don't want it to end! I thoroughly love this series and have started over from the beginning several times when a new book came out.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2014

    ADVENTURE and ROMANCE all in one!

    This book is definately for readers who love series books. I picked it up cause I don't have STARZ and the previews were interesting. I read the book in a week and devoured the next one just as fast. Give it a try, I bet you will love it too.

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  • Posted August 11, 2014

    I was thrilled to get Outlander through LibraryThing's Early Rev

    I was thrilled to get Outlander through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program.  But I was very sad to find that the book - long considered a classic - did absolutely nothing for me.




    I did not finish the book, though I did manage to hold out until Claire went back into the 18th Century.  The pace was too slow, and I had no interest in what happened to the characters.  I was unable to suspend my disbelief, and as someone who regularly reads sci-fi/fantasy, that's saying something.  This book simply bored me, and I couldn't face slogging any farther into it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2014

    She is a very exceptional author and I recommend her Outlander S

    She is a very exceptional author and I recommend her Outlander Series to everyone who is interested in Historical information
    on Scotland and the American revolution.  I have purchased all of the outlander books and look forward to seeing
    more in the future......   

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  • Posted July 22, 2014

    I read this book twice when I was on bed rest for my triplets.

    I read this book twice when I was on bed rest for my triplets. I eventually read most of the books in the series. I always knew it would be a terrific story on the screen. Thank goodness someone realized it. BTW - I named one of my daughters Claire!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2014

    This is a wonderful series and is easy to get lost in! If you

    This is a wonderful series and is easy to get lost in!



    If you want a reading escape, this is a good one!

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  • Posted July 16, 2014

    I have read and re-read most of the Outlander series and thoroug

    I have read and re-read most of the Outlander series and thoroughly enjoyed them every time. Even went so far as to visit Scotland and looked for the stones. It was as if you were going through the journey with the characters. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2014

    One of the best books and series I have ever read. Gabaldon has

    One of the best books and series I have ever read. Gabaldon has a way of pulling you into a setting and really making you see it in your mind. Her characters are three dimensional and you find your self laughing and crying along with the characters as they go through their journey. Don't get discouraged by the length of the book. Once you start reading you are pulled into the story and find yourself bummed out when the book ends as you want to keep following the characters. Good thing is there are mutliple books in the series.

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    Posted July 18, 2014

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    Posted August 8, 2014

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    Posted August 2, 2014

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    Posted July 23, 2014

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