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Outlander - Diana Gabaldon

Update:  Twenty-four hours later and still disturbed by this book. I had to knock it down to 1.5 stars. The gratuity and brutality of the violence really stayed with me. I can't recommend it.  What follows is my original review:


This one has been sitting in my TBR for over a year now. The book is well known, so I’m not going to spend time recapping the plot.


So… impressions.


What an odd book. I say that cuz it left me with a lot of conflicted emotions.


First, I see what all the fuss is about . It’s compulsively readable, after a slooooooow start it picks up and doesn’t stop. I read it in two and a half days to the exclusion of other books.


It’s long, way too long. The E-book version I read was 560 pages with a font of what had to be 3. When I saw the print version is 800+ pages I thought, yep- bout right. I’m glad to be done with it. I felt an unusual mixture of needing to read to see what happened to wishing it would just end already.


It was entertaining but parts were highly disturbing. And I mean HIGHLY disturbing. And what's more the disturbing parts were not easily skimmable. Not just violent but graphic and brutal. So be warned. This is NOT a light read.


Ms. Galbadon is great at spinnin’ a yarn. These characters are well done. You feel as if you know Claire and Jaime. You care about what happens to them. You’re so fully immersed in the story, it stays with you if you’re pulled away by life. And it’s extremely easy to fall back into when you pick it up again. She uses great anecdotes and stories within the story to suck you right back in.


I’m not sure if there were witches in the story. As much as I knew of the story, this came out of left field for me. My best answer is maybe. In the beginning it seemed like it was a case of someone from this time traveling back in time with a working cell phone, or like the woman in the car insurance commercial making predictions about saving on car insurance and being accused of witchcraft - you get my point. And the one time I was tempted to put the book down due to a spell, I didn’t cuz it honestly seemed like the supposed “witch” was just getting themselves and the person they were talking to “high.“ Still, I wasn’t comfortable.


Jaime is quite the romantic…at some points. I see why women love him. At other points, though- not so much. Yes I’m referring to that controversial scene. Judging someone who lives in 1700s Scotland by current cultural standards , or even personal standards of right or wrong,  can possibly be called unfair, but it didn’t stop me from doing it anyway.


So yep, those are my impressions.


I cannot recommend the book, because of the highly disturbing nature of some of the violence. I could see how it might do some damage emotionally if you are sensitive to such things., so my conscience won’t allow me to recommend it. I will just give my impressions and that’s that.