The April Blog-O-Sphere Think Tank Group blog topic:
“Your Favourite book, or movie, and why?”
Well….. That’s hard. I love to read….. I am not sure I can list just one……So here’s what I’m thinking: My favourite book *series*
The Outlander Series – by Diana Gabaldon.
Outlander, Dragonfly In Amber, Voyager, Drums Of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breath Of Snow And Ashes, An Echo In The Bone
Some background…. I am an avid reader. I *love* a good book. I read fiction, learning books, non-fiction, technical manuals, etc. Just about everything. I generally have at least three books in progress on my bedside table…. I grew up devouring books. My mother was an English teacher, and my father always has a book in his hand…..So I am guessing I came by it naturally. As an adult, I continued to read. When The Anne Rice Vampire books came out… I loved them. Not so much that I loved mythical beings, or supernatural, but because they were good, captivating, long reads. You couldn’t finish them in a day. That has always been a qualification for me for a *good book*…… It needs to be captivating , of course; but if I sit down to read for a few hours in an evening, lost in the story – the thing I hate is being finished in a day or two. So I need a book to be a good, lengthy monolith of a book. I want it to last…. which leads me to The Outlander Series.
Somewhere in the early 90’s; my dad lent me the first three books of the series (as that was all that were published), from his paperback collection. My dad reads mostly Western Novels. (He had lent me a couple other things I did enjoy, but our reading style is a little different that way… well, then it was!) So I wasn’t sure I’d like them, but eyeing their heft and small print lustingly, I took them. Three, big, heavy, long books. Definitely worth a try 🙂 Over the next decade I read the first three books many, many times, until the copies were falling apart – and I eventually replaced them with new copies to return to my dad. (And bought myself new copies as well.)
Within a day of beginning to read Outlander, I was pulled into this series, hook line and sinker. Even now, I re-read them all, from beginning to end, anxiously awaiting the next to come out. I have the collection in a combination of hardcovers, and trade paperbacks (the big, hardcover sized ones.) Yes. I know what happens. I have read them at least a dozen times. But the writing of Diana pulls you in. The story is captivating. When I read them, I can’t put them down, until my eyes are burning and I can’t see the words. And it takes me a week or two with each book. Even longer at times. That’s awesome.
But the story…. It revolves around 2 main characters. Jamie, and Claire. The story begins in the 1940’s, with Claire. While visiting Scotland, she finds herself at a stone circle, like Stonehenge, and on a Solstice day, a rift in time opens up, and she is unwittingly pulled thru the rift back in time, into 1743….. to Jamie, a young Scottish man. The adventures that ensue are what keeps you captivated in the thousands upon thousands of pages that follow. I’m not gonna tell you the details, you can read the book blurbs. But I will tell you this – They never get old. I never want it to stop. *You know, like when the third part of a movie comes out and you feel like it’s being clubbed dead with a stick? Ya, this isn’t like that. It’s captivating.
So the story…. So much of book, is based on actual historical events. So it’s not just fantasy. It’s firmly rooted in many events of the time, that happened in Scotland, and the USA. Wars, Famines, People. It’s a real history lesson. On things I probably would not have known. ( I suspect the historical aspect is what makes my dad enjoy the series. ) And it’s very interesting – Living in the 1700’s obviously is very different than anything we know. So getting into the gritty day to day details of what life was like, is interesting, and I think useful. When Diana writes, she does the research – so you can bet what you are reading, is what it was like – in as much as we can image. But the facts are right. I love this. Have you ever thought about what it would be like spending every summer moment collecting food, so that you won’t starve thru the coming winter? It certainly gives you a very real perspective, and dose of respect for beings who lived then….. Then of course, there is much adventure in the book. With a dose of fantasy too, as there is more than one ‘time travel’ incident….. And then there is romance. Good, meaty romance that breaks your heart. The books wind sorrow, happiness, trials, and life together. Truths and fictions. History, and fantasy. Love, and war. If you told me this about the books, I don’t know that I would race out to pick the novels up thinking I’d love them….. but boy oh boy I do. All of them. (Each book is more like a chapter in my mind, and when that book is done, It is going to be a sad, sad, day.)
And now…. I think I’m gonna have to start reading it again. It’s been a few months. But now I am craving it. Maybe it’ll hold me over until Book 8 comes out – hopefully next year…
I’ve only read An Echo In The Bone twice, I think… perhaps I’ll re-read it first….