Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series

What other authors do Tolkien fans enjoy? Come on in and enter into a broadened conversation on the great literature of this and other times.

Postby Yavannië » Sat Jun 17, 2006 9:37 am

Ooooooo... I don't think I've ever seen any of Butler's films but I just fell in love as I googled him for pics and lenght. Turns out he's 6'2'' or 188cm and that sounds more like Jamie. :) And I really found his looks quite suiting for Jamie as well. So if he can act he might even cut in before Ewan... :roll:

I've been sort of dreaming of re-reading the books once again this summer. I can't wait really! :love:
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Postby Trasmerg38 » Sun Jul 02, 2006 7:01 pm

I just finished Voyager with much different emotional reactions than the last book. At the end of Dragonfly, I bawled. But this time, it was more like, :shock: and a lot of breath holding. :shock::P

I can't wait to read the next one! :happydance:
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Postby portia » Fri Jul 07, 2006 6:56 pm

I will now confess to. . . something. Heresy? Blasphemy?

I skipped some of Drangonfly and all of Voyager. Instead I picked up the recent book, "Ashes." I do not feel as if I missed a lot, as she explains the intervening action.

*ducks to avoid brickbats and howls of outrage*[i][/i]
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Postby Trasmerg38 » Sun Jul 09, 2006 12:54 pm

You WHAT??? :Q
:nono: :club:

Just kidding. ;):P

I think it's good when an author can write books that don't rely on each other but can stand on their own, even though they carry on the story. I don't see why you couldn't just pick up any book and read it...but I couldn't do it. It's just so much more fun going through each adventure in the order they were written. :)
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Postby portia » Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:19 pm

I see your point and there is a lot to be said for getting all the flavors of the developing story. I think my problem with the books I didn't read was that they were So. Incredibly. Long. I was put off by the length. That same thought drifted through my mind as I was reading "Ashes," but I gave it another chance.

I read enough books that 750 pages really should not deter me. But it did.
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Postby Witchwench » Mon Jul 24, 2006 7:09 pm

I"m going to jump right in here, hope y'all don't mind :D

Well I really liked the first two of this series, the rest started to get on my nerves.

Frequently when I read too much of one author I start to get jaded towards their writings and tend to know where they are going..Diane was no different.

That said, again, I loved the first two...also the author really started to get too much into the sexual descriptions. I do not know why good authors start doing this, if I wanted detailed sex I would go pickup a Penthouse forum, I do not necessarily want it graphically told in the book I'm reading..I can figure it out myself, thankyou very much. :D

Now who said they would like to see Ewan as Jaimie??? Bite your tongue! I love Ewan but honestly he is too effemenent (sp?) imo to be Jaimie, you need a MAN, a real honest to God MAN to play that role, not someone as soft looking as Ewan. I have no clue who this would be, keep throwing names out there.
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Postby Trasmerg38 » Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:11 pm

Portia, I know what you mean about them being very long. I'm a horrifically slow reader, so it takes me a while to get through her books. :roll::wink:

Witchwench, I agree about too much description on the sexual side, I could do with fewer details myself. However, it does seem it's getting less and less with each book(unless I'm just getting used to it?). :P

I finally got the next two books, Drums of Autumn and The Fiery Cross (YAY! :D). I started reading Drums, which picks up about 2 months after Voyager leaves off, and for some reason I turned the book over to read the back cover. I really wish I wouldn't have done that, because it would have been such a wonderful surpise. :roll: Oh well, spilled milk and all...

So, Witchwench (do you have a favorite nickname? :)) you think Ewan isn't manly enough? I dunno, I saw him in a kilt and he looked pretty manly to me... :twisted: ...but we'll try some other names. What do you think about Mel Gibson? ;):D
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Postby portia » Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:09 pm

Gibson would probably be alright, except he always shows a little bit of nuttiness in his parts, a bit offbeat, and I don't see that in Jamie. I also think he might be too short, but that can be handled in the movies.

He just has to get rid of his current baggage.

When Sean Connery was younger, he always seemed too dark and "scowl-y" for Jamie. Now, he is too old. But many of his qualities would work very well.

Addition:

Part of the difficulty is that Jamie needs to be very confident, almost arrogant, but open minded enough to believe Claire's story and her information about the future, and to accept her competence. That is a difficult combination to find or portray.
Last edited by portia on Sat Aug 12, 2006 7:36 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Witchwench » Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:51 pm

So, Witchwench (do you have a favorite nickname? ) you think Ewan isn't manly enough? I dunno, I saw him in a kilt and he looked pretty manly to me... ...but we'll try some other names. What do you think about Mel Gibson?


People usually call me either Witchy or WW on the boards :D

Now don't get me wrong people, Ewan in a kilt or in a towel is good looking enough, but in a boyish sort of way. Seriously, if you were to pit Ewan angainst say, John Wayne, well poor Ewan would be killed. Not saying John Wayne would make a good Jamie, looks wise no, but personality wise..well, yes, that is the way Jamie leans personality wise. At least in the first two books, did he get mushy later?

Mel...well too old for the first novel and too much baggage, not talking about off screen exploits, but his movie history would be too extensive it would cloud my view.

Yeah, Sean C would have been good in his 40's if he didnt have the Bond baggage. Sean was definitely a man.

I dont know, some unkown actor with a swagger in his step and a twinkle in his eye would probably work.
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Postby Trasmerg38 » Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:11 am

Portia wrote:Part of the difficulty is that Jamie needs to be very confident, almost arrogant, but open minded enough to believe Claire's story and her information about the future, and to accept her competence. That is a difficult combination to find or portray.

It's because Jamie is just perfect... :love::D

Witchy, I almost thought Wenchy because your title says more wench than witch, but it just didn't sound right. :P :lol:

I see your point about Ewan being rather boyish, but I think that's how I first pictured Jamie in Outlander. Add about 20 years and Ewan would probably do. ;) Then again, he isn't very big is he...it would be very unbelievable that he would have suffered torture on so many occasions.

It would most definitely have to be some unknown, maybe in his mid to late 30's where he could pull off both a younger and an older Jamie, tall and muscular and twinkly eyes that could turn hard in an instant when the need called for it.
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Postby Yavannië » Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:55 am

Trazzie wrote:It's because Jamie is just perfect... Love SmileyBig Grin

Now you're talking!! :lol: He really is. :love: :love:

Hi, Witchy! *waves* Good to meet you!
And I'll try not to judge you for only reading the first two. :D

And I'm just reminding you all again; they still haven't translated the Fiery Cross so that means I haven't got my hands on it yet. And that means I'd really appreciate if you didn't give out any spoilers or if you did, maybe you could write in huge red letters: "ANI! BEWARE! SPOILERS ON LOOSE!" or something like that. :roll:

And when it comes to the detailed erotic descriptions, I've got to say I could easily do with a little less detailed versions. But then again, especially in the first book, the passion between Jamie and Claire is sort of the key to their relationship. At least at first, when they've just got married and they're just getting to really know each other.

And oh, then Portia told she skipped the Voyager, didn't she? Well, I had quite similar intentions at one point. The cruise over the Atlantic just seemed to take forever and I really struggled to keep on reading it. With the other three that I've read I haven't had no such problems whatsoever; I've kind of hogged them in a few days. :lol:

Did anyone else get annoyed with Drums where Roger suddenly became this very victorian man? I mean, it just reminded me too much of Jamie and Claire's relationship where their ways of thinking kind of differed...
Eg with Brianna and her pants; out of the blue Roger thinks they're too revealing and totally inappropriate. :|


EDIT: And oh, Mel Gibson is a definite no-no, at least in my opinion. I got enough of him in Braveheart; I didn't really like his accent and there were times his acting was mostly posing. :|
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Postby Trasmerg38 » Tue Aug 15, 2006 7:24 pm

Erm, Ani dear...I've just started reading Drums (I'm only in chapter 2), so I would truly appriciate it if you would say something like, "DON'T LOOK TRAZ! DRUMS SPOILERS!" :thppt::D

I've only read the first three so far, but I'm working on it. :thumbsup: It's funny you say that the Voyage across the ocean was a struggle to read. I had no trouble with that (I guess because I love those old sea vessels and pirates and such), but I did have a struggle with all the time they spent in Paris...couldn't tell you why. I suppose it's similar to peoples experience with LotR. I know those who loved the chapter with Treebeard and the Ents, and I found it terribly long. We're all so wonderfully unique, aren't we? :D
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Postby Yavannië » Wed Aug 16, 2006 1:40 am

Oh I'm so sorry, Traz!! :Q :hug:
I'm glad I didn't give anything real away... And I promise to keep my mouth in the future :)

And oh, you're totally right, the Paris -part got slightly monotonous at times. So as amazing as the novels are, Gabaldon could maybe work on a bit on the skill of condensing. :roll:
But on the hand, though some of the sequences aren't exactly keeping with the main plot, they're still important in a way. I mean, in real life too there are times that are less meaningfull.

And adding to the point you made about LOTR; one of my friends, who read the books after seeing the film, was completely shocked about the whole cleansing the Shire -part at the end of the third book. She said it was completely unnecessary and extremely dull! :Q :Q
To me, it has always meant a lot for the story. Sort of that the hobbits go on their journey cause they want to protect their homes, the Shire, and when they come back the evil has taken hold there too. That they were completely unaware of this kind of possibilty cause the Ring had already been destroyed and Sauron defeated... And their faith in Shire's purity was so child-like that this evil work of Saruman's just made them truly see the worth of their homeland.

Okay, getting a bit sidetarcked there, Ani... :roll:
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Postby portia » Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:03 am

Gee, I wish I could find someone who has read the most recent book. I have to keep my mouth shut around here, for fear of spoilers. Well, I do not suppose it is a spoiler to say that Jamie and Claire are still alive in it.

:roll:
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Postby Trasmerg38 » Wed Aug 16, 2006 6:45 pm

portia wrote:Well, I do not suppose it is a spoiler to say that Jamie and Claire are still alive in it.

Well that's a relief! :P;)

Another way to talk about something that's possible a spoiler is to put it in a quote and change the font color to white so it can't be seen by those who don't want to know. For those who want to know, they can just click and drag the mouse to hi-light the text, like this:

Drums Spoilers wrote:I loved the "ghost" that showed up in the graveyard! (click and drag your mouse to highlight)

I learned that trick on a thread about LOST! :D

Ani wrote:one of my friends, who read the books after seeing the film, was completely shocked about the whole cleansing the Shire -part at the end of the third book. She said it was completely unnecessary and extremely dull!

:Q I sorely missed that scene in the movies...the only reason I forgave PJ for not putting it in is that it would have added at least an hour and a half to the movie (which would have been ok with me ;)) to cover the battles with the Ruffians, and to handle Sharkey (who should NOT have been killed the way he was in the film, but oh well....), but for the general audience it probably wouldn't have worked. But I, too, digress...... :P
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Postby Yavannië » Thu Aug 17, 2006 1:22 am

Portia: Oh I'm so sorry for you! :( I love to speculate and share thoughts about the books with friends and keeping mouth shut like that must be so hard! I know it is for me, anyway.
Eg one of my RL friends, that I made read the books, stopped after reading the beginning of Voyager (she says I freaked her out when I said the sailing part got a bit dull at times :( ) and now I can't talk with her about books anymore, except for the first two and they're pretty well chewed by now.

Besides, I don't think it's fair that she blames me for not reading further. If she really wanted to read them she wouldn't care a damn about my opinions, would she?
She did the same with Les Misérables... :( I told her about the sequence depicting the Battle of Waterloo and how it took me a while to read it and now she claims she hasn't read the book because I, once again, got her scared.

Trazzie: That quote-spoiler-thing is really cool!! :) :clap:
...brand new for me, obviously :oops:

But about Lotr again; I thought it was just so unfair for Saruman's character, and for Christopher Lee too, that he got first cut out like that from the theatre version and then on the EE he has to die in such tacky, distorted manner. It was really rude :evil:
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Postby Witchwench » Fri Aug 18, 2006 7:38 pm

Okay, I think I'm going to cave in and attempt the other books. I think I will do a quick re-read of the first two just to refresh my brain, since it has been years.

I used to call these books my guilty pleasures, I'm delighted to see so many others enjoying them, y'all make me want to try it again. :D
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Postby Yavannië » Tue Aug 22, 2006 1:28 am

Oh I am so happy for you Witchy!!! :happydance: :hug:
You're doing the right thing, undoubtedly.

But still, I think the first two were the best this far. In the two followig ones everything's slightly different. It's always bittersweet when characters you love suddenly grow old... But actually, that goes for real life as well. :shock:
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Postby Trasmerg38 » Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:15 pm

Witchy, good for you!! :clap::thumbsup:

I'm still only in chapter two of Drums...I haven't picked it back up in over a week! (stupid RL). :roll:

*note to self: GET BUSY AND READ!* :horse:
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Postby Yavannië » Tue Aug 22, 2006 11:51 pm

Trazzie, I know what you mean... I've been trying to re-read Lotr (once again :roll:) for months now, but because of my summer job draining me out, I haven't really had the time or the energy to pick it up. But yesterday I stayed up till 1am or something and just hogged! :lol:
Éomer's so hot... :love:
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Postby portia » Wed Aug 23, 2006 11:29 am

Well, I am going to try the technique of putting a spoiler in white.







One of the things I like best about Jamie is that he is willing to believe Claire, even when what she tells him about the future is very hard to believe. He believed her about Culloden and, in the most recent book, he believes her about the American Revolution, against all his instincts.



OK, spoiler over. :)
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Postby Trasmerg38 » Wed Aug 23, 2006 4:50 pm

That worked great for me, Portia! :thumbsup: The only request I would make is to tell us what book the spoiler is from, because I can read all the spoilers from the first three. ;)

Ani, I've been wanting to re-read LotR too but it has to wait for a little while so I can try to catch up on everything else I'm doing (or supposed to be doing...lol)

Éomer never really turned my head, but on the other hand, Faramir is my favorite...as far as men go, that is. Hobbits are another story altogether! :love:
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Postby Yavannië » Thu Aug 24, 2006 12:47 am

Portia: I think what Trazzie suggested was to put the spoiler in a quote box... I could still read that one. But I'm glad you didn't give away anything that wasn't read or anticipated already! :D

Trazzie: Ooh don't let me get started on Faramir...! :love:
And I think the reason Éomer realy turned my head is the way I picture him to be... He looks like this Knight of Diamonds from a real old deck of cards I used to play with at my grandad's summer cottage when I was a kid [and by playing I mean watching awed at the pictures and using the cards as some sort of paper-dolls :roll: ]
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Postby Ethel » Sat Aug 26, 2006 1:24 pm

portia wrote:Gee, I wish I could find someone who has read the most recent book. I have to keep my mouth shut around here, for fear of spoilers. Well, I do not suppose it is a spoiler to say that Jamie and Claire are still alive in it.


Just finished it, portia. I liked it quite a bit better than the previous two. (Do we need a spoiler thread where we can talk about it?)
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Postby Yavannië » Tue Sep 05, 2006 5:06 am

I got started on the Fiery Cross last weekend!!! :happydance: :happydance: :happydance: :happydance: :happydance: :happydance:

It finally got published here in Finland. It's this 1300 paged brick and I've only read like 550 this far [quite busy with Homer's work that I've got to read for one of my literature classes]. I've really liked it, though. :)


Ethel: I don't think you need a seperate spoiler thread. Just do as Trazzie suggested [that thing with the white text in the quote box].
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Postby bessthebard » Thu Nov 09, 2006 4:20 pm

I just saw this thread, albeit a couple of months late. But I have read all these books at least 2 times and some of them more. So I'd love to discuss them.

I loved the first 3 the best, although Fiery Cross was really good. Drums of Autumn (as Ethel said to me a loooong time ago) could have used some more aggressive editing. Breath of Snow and Ashes was pretty good but a couple of parts in the middle really dragged for me. One of my favorite parts of this last book is we get more time with Willie. (Hope that is not too much of a spoiler. :) )

I also highly recommend the Outlandish Companion, which came out between Voyager and Drums of Autum (I think). It gives detailed summaries of the first 3 books, Gabaldon's background and her efforts to get the first book published, her bibliography and other research sources. It's very funny and interesting. Her background was a biology researcher who cut up seabirds for a living, although she also wrote technical manuals and, at one point, Disney comics.

I will put my 2 cents in for the movie versions of the books: Liam Neeson for Jamie--the height, the accent and the gravitas all in one package! And Emma Thompson for Claire. I think she would be perfect.
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Postby portia » Thu Nov 09, 2006 6:24 pm

I like both of those casting decisions, although I imagine Claire as not quite as thin as Thompson. No reason why, really.
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Postby bessthebard » Mon Nov 13, 2006 12:33 pm

Maybe Emma Thompson could "plump up" a little for Claire's role. I just think she has the right, somewhat "timeless" sensibility for Claire. A woman who grew up in the early 20th century but who lives out her life in the 18th century. An actress who portrayed Claire could not be too modern, if you know what I mean.

I agree Claire might not be skinny, but not very voluptuous, either. It's Brianna who is described as being "jugbutt". :P :lol:
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Postby portia » Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:46 pm

:lol:
Yes, and that is why I imagine her as the Duchess of York in earlier, larger, days.

That look seems to be a type that ahows up every now and then: red hair pale skin, freckles, bluish eyes, a tendency to be big (tall and broad). Surely there are actresses around with that look.
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Postby bessthebard » Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:12 am

Yes, I think the Fergie from the early days would be very much what Brianna looked like. Actually, my 6 ft 1 inch red-headed niece is my private vision of Brianna, but she's a cellist, not an actress. 8)

I think there are lots of interesting topics suggested by the books including the nature of history, fidelity in marriage, sacrifice, what it means to be a man, or a woman, genetics, etc.

But because people are at different places in the books they've read, I'll start with a topic from the first book.

In Outlander, Claire is torn between her husband Frank in the 20th century and her new-found love for Jamie in the 18th. She still feels compelled to try to get back to the standing stones in order to return to Frank, even if it means directly disobeying Jamie's orders and seeming to put his men in danger of discovery by the English army. Jamie, not knowing her true origins or reasons for disobeying him, is furious that she put herself and his men in deadly peril. So he gives her a thrashing with his belt, on her bottom and legs.

Did other readers have a real problem with this? I know Jamie is an 18th century man with very old-fashioned ideas about women and this is very early in their relationship. But I had already fallen in love with Jamie myself and this was a rude awakening. Gabaldon had to know how this would affect her 21st century readers. Why risk turning her audience against the hero?

To be fair, Jamie ultimately explains to Claire that he was thrashed growing up and felt it was not a big deal, that he was careful to not hurt her too badly as she is a "frail woman". And the scene where he swears not to lift a hand against her in anger ever again, brought tears to my eyes.

I just wondered what reactions others had to this scene and how you felt it was handled. Did it influence how you felt about Jamie after that? Or Claire, as she abandoned Frank for Jamie even after Jamie beat her?
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