• Outlander: International Edition

  • Outlander, Book 1
  • By: Diana Gabaldon
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 32 hrs and 38 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (65,205 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Outlander, Diana Gabaldon's landmark novel of Scottish lore, has captured the hearts of millions of listeners around the world and catapulted her to the top of the New York Times best seller list.

Intrigue, danger, and desire merge in this lush novel of loyalty and time travel.

In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon. Their blissful reunion is shattered when she touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone ruins and is instantly transported to a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans - in 1743. 

Will Claire find her way back to her own time, or is her destiny forever linked with Clan MacKenzie and the gallant James Fraser? Davina Porter's lyrical narration will launch listeners into an exhilarating world of heroism, pulse-pounding adventure, and breathtaking romance as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love.

©2004 Diana Gabaldon (P)2020 Recorded Books, Inc.

What listeners say about Outlander: International Edition

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    48,569
  • 4 Stars
    9,504
  • 3 Stars
    3,746
  • 2 Stars
    1,830
  • 1 Stars
    1,556
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    45,155
  • 4 Stars
    6,577
  • 3 Stars
    2,023
  • 2 Stars
    623
  • 1 Stars
    622
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    41,356
  • 4 Stars
    7,529
  • 3 Stars
    3,100
  • 2 Stars
    1,486
  • 1 Stars
    1,323

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I may be the only woman alive who didn't like this

I am almost an hour in and have yet to become invested in any of the characters. This book just doesn't work for me. It seems to drag and I find my mind wandering. I had high hopes but perhaps I am just not the kind of girl to get swept up in verbose historical romances.

30 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Great narrator but terrible story

As a guy it takes a good deal to disturb me. But the amount of glorified violence and erotic rape going on in this book, I found not only deeply disturbing, but also made me very uncomfortable. The fact, that this loose story of strung together scenes of rape and abuse is rated so well astonishes me to no end.

Don't get me wrong. There is not much death in this book, not compared to game of thrones, but a lot of really wierd erotically described rape, that gets to you on a much more personal level, making me think that the author has some very deepseated issues. Can't recommend.

16 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting story with a little too much romance

A very interesting story but spends too much time on the romance and sex than the actual storyline with long stretches between the interesting action parts

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

too long & unsatisfying

The writing is beautifully detailed but the story is too drawn out, the book too long as and the ending unsatisfying. Too bad. I forced myself to finish it but feel quite disappointed.

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Meh

The story is okay, though I can leave it running for long stretches without really listening and not feel like I've missed anything important in the story. My main complaint is the narration. I have enjoyed this narrator previously, but she is not convincing as a 20-ish woman. She sounds too old for the part and I would prefer a softer voice that doesn't have that upward screech inflection like my granny is telling me a story. It doesn't feel "romantic" at all.

5 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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worst book I have ever bought.

This is a rambling, go nowhere story. I wasn't even able to get through half of it. the author repeats herself over and over.

5 people found this helpful

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  • AV
  • 10-08-17

More pornographic than literature, sexual violence triggers

Attn abuse and assault survivors - be aware there are triggers. I’m not fond. There’s a bit here and there where the story is good, but most of it reads like porn. So much sex, so much attempted rape, and sickening bits where marital rape happens but oh then she’s aroused so her “no stop you’re hurting me” and his ignoring it makes it “rough sex”. Not to mention the abuse. I honestly don’t know what the author is thinking. This is the kind of writing that supports rape culture. It’s disturbing.

5 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

18th century Harlequin romance.

This story has more gratuitous sex and violence (spoiler, it's horrific) than any book can have without any actual plot to go along. While the performance was spectacular and Gabaldon can string words together well, I COULD NOT WAIT for it to be over. How this ever became a tv series escapes me as my intellect was not tickled once.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Not what I expected

This book was more of a romance than a fantasy novel. Fine if that's what you are looking for.

5 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Not for me.

I didn't enjoy this book. Wish I wouldn't have used a valuable credit on it.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • L
  • 10-01-06

First book of a series

This series is a mixture of science fiction, history, medicine and romance. Forget historical or geographic accuracy. This is escape and should be taken as fiction based on fact. Diana Gabaldon wrote this as an exercise and did it extremely well, even though she had never visited Scotland before writing Outlander. It is thought provoking, funny, sad, erotic and dramatic.
There are, to date, six books in the series following the Frasers from Culloden (and the lead up to it) to the beginning of the War of Independence in America. There is one or possibly two more books to come.
Ever wondered where certain ideas came from? Who thought of putting phosphate on bits of wood with an air proof covering? Could have been someone who had already seen the idea in action.
I thoroughly enjoyed the books and Davina Porter is an excellent narrator. She manages to capture a 1940's English female accent but still does a very good Scottish male voice. Quite an achievement and well worth listening to.

80 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alan
  • 03-28-07

Lose yourself in a gripping story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this. Being a bloke I was looking for a nice time travel adventure but I soon got caught up in the thrills and spills of highland life without missing the real reason for choosing the book. The first couple of chapters drag a bit but keep close attention as they make historic references picked up later on. I was fascinated and enthralled!

59 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 12-02-13

Get out of bed and get on with the story!

What would have made Outlander better?

The story gets the narration it deserves. Both are tedious and more Mills and Boon (I imagine as I haven't read any) than serious historical novel. A possibly good idea is interrupted by so much sex and "oooohhhhh Jaaaammmmieeee" that it never really gets a chance. I did listen right through to the end, even though I wanted to stop half way, and have masochistically even gone part way through the second book, thinking it may improve, which it didn't. If anything it got worse. Unfortunately I bought three of this series at the same time on the basis of other reviews, but just couldn't face any more of this tedious drivel.

Would you ever listen to anything by Diana Gabaldon again?

Emphatically not!

Would you be willing to try another one of Davina Porter’s performances?

Highly unlikely.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Outlander?

About 60% of it.

Any additional comments?

I can honestly say that nothing I have read has annoyed me more than this series.

56 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Victoria
  • 04-26-12

Mind-numbingly dull

I found this painful to listen to. Firstly the reader speaks as though she is the Queen, which I found really off-putting at times. Secondly, the chapters before the time travel drag on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on.... and they go into so much boring detail about things that no-one could possibly be interested in. It also included some of the most excrutiatingly embarrassing and unsexy sex scenes.
I thought once the time travel happened, I would be embarking on a thrilling historical romp. I was sorely disappointed. It was more of the interminable detailed descriptions of the most boring events and more of the awful sex scenes.
Dreadful!

49 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Marcus H.
  • 09-14-12

Clichéd chick-lit

I actually fell for the 5* reviews on this book and feel like a bit of a fool for doing so. This really is "chick lit" and quite poor at that. The story is historically very weak indeed and is really aimed at female titillation because every other scene revolves around sex and, to be honest, it's so damned boring! What's more it has the clichéd goody v baddy storyline that has been done to death since time immemorial.



It took so long to get going that I almost gave up on it on three or four occasions. It's a shame really because when it did get going it was actually quite good but for 70% of the time it wasn't. If it wasn't for Davina Porter's amazing narration I don't think I'd have stuck it out til the end. Without her wonderful voice the whole thing would've ground to a halt rapidly.



To put it in the sci-fi/fantasy section is a bit misleading because the only thing that is faintly related to this genre is the initial time slip. With a bit of imagination from the author we could've really been put into the excitement and terror of a 20th century woman suddenly finding herself in the 18th century but instead we have a main character that knew exactly how to behave and speak from the start and was all too accepting of her situation.



Because the times where the story got moving were quite good I give it 3*s but for the most part it was a load of tosh and I certainly shall not be listening to any more of the series!

44 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Sceptical Shopper
  • 03-06-12

Entertaining romp

A page turning bodice ripper with added pornography. The book started off ok but I found the increasing dominance of the sex scenes became boring. Definitely written to appeal to women rather than men - my husband couldn't stand it and gave up on the first book.

38 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Stewart
  • 11-03-11

Excruciating!

I acquired this as the free title in a 3 for 2 offer. Thank goodness I didn't pay for it!
Be very careful, the sample is taken from the sensible start of the book.
I only managed half of it - 16 hours of sex and violence fantasies are more than enough for me.
If your idea of fun is a huge 18th century be-kilted Scotsman being beaten and having sex incessantly, this may be for you.

32 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Karen
  • 05-10-07

Outlander (Cross Stitch)

Having read the books many years ago as they were written, I thought it would be interesting to listen to the first one being told. It was very quickly addictive and many things went by the wayside until I finished listening to the story. Davina Porter was very good, however, I agree with the reviewer who commented on her Scottish voices. I am Scottish, and the accents did grate slightly. However I appreciate the difficulties in being female and trying to narrate in an 18th century male Highlander voice. Overall, very entertaining, and very enjoyable. I look forward to listening to the others.

28 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul D
  • 12-01-13

Eat your heart out Barbara Cartland!

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Some degree of historical reality/accuracy is useful in a historical novel,.

What was most disappointing about Diana Gabaldon’s story?

Lacked any depth, just a bodice ripper using a historic setting - the Scottish highlands. No conception or the era or realistic characterization.

Did Davina Porter do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

No. Heroine, "oh gosh, I've time travelled, never mind."

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No redeeming features for me. A big error. Thought it may be interesting and a little different. It was certainly different to anything I would spend time listening to.

Any additional comments?

My mistake, but perhaps it should have been made clearer in the blurp that this was a shallow bodice ripper in Mills and Boon gendre and should be avoided by all but those of a certain gender and age.

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Julie
  • 11-07-13

Unexpectedly Brilliant

Any additional comments?

I loved this book!!! I downloaded it expecting to be a bit disappointed........time travel/scotland in the 1770's....really!! However, the storyline is thoroughly enjoyable and won't let you turn it off! The narration is extraordinary, you can instantly recognise the vast array of characters!. A word of warning - there are some quite saucy parts, and there are also some quite distressing parts.........I do not recommend having your nan in the car while you're listening to it at certain points, can be a little awkward.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anneka
  • 11-02-16

Narrator's voice does not match the character

What didn’t you like about Davina Porter’s performance?

I couldn't pair the narrator's voice with the character - the narrator's voice felt too old and stuffy to be the young, headstrong Claire. I couldn't keep on with this audiobook after the first 3 hours. I have now read the book in its normal written format and loved it, but still cannot bring myself to return to the audiobook version as narrated by Davina Porter. Sorry Davina, it's not you, it's me!

34 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Deanna
  • 09-11-15

couldn't handle the voice actor

I found it unbelievable the voice actor sounded much older than the main people's perspective and it just kept me back from sinking in to the book. she had a lovely voice and it was pleasant to listen to. I just couldn't merge the book and the voice. But it did sound like a good story, what I got through. so listen to the sample and if you like her voice give it a try!

34 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • wendy
  • 10-08-14

bodice ripper posing as historical fiction

What would have made Outlander better?

not sure there was anything that would make it better, i just didn't like the interminable sex (yeah i get it, they were hot for each other) unbelievable close scrapes and escapes for Claire, and Jamie the superhero surviving beating after beating. just toooooooo much.

What could Diana Gabaldon have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

obviously lots of people really like it and the series … why should she change it for me?

What didn’t you like about Davina Porter’s performance?

Davina was fine, is was the content

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Outlander?

most of them…but particularly the escape of Claire from the prison only to land in a pit full of bodies, then get attacked by wolves, which she kills single handed (NO weapon) then gets picked up by some dude who wanted to marry Jamies mother way back when… oh dear, REALLY?!?!?!

Any additional comments?

obviously I accidentally chose a genre that i really don't like, but i did go on the many many previous reviews….almost 100% positive … so maybe its just me….

33 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • elena collins
  • 04-27-20

Like waiting for Donald Trump to finally shut up.

My new mantra is "don't rely on best seller claims". I'm 6 chapters in and so far there's been a long winded instruction on gardening and another on how to dress a wound, and not much else. I picked the book based on the summary and claim of reader popularity. I was expecting something clever but instead found a lot (an awful lot) of words that presume to be clever, about a woman whose husband's only interest is sex, and who appears to divide people Iinto 2 categories: overweight or not. I'm at the end of my tether as I obey the Stay-at-home orders and persevere with this book. Or will I? So far I've had about as much enjoyment as I get listening to President Trump drone on about nothing each day in his "Corona taskforce briefing". Oh man, I should have taken the blue pill.

Update: I'm on Chapter 13 and FINALLY something appears to have happened. Hurrah!

update again. I'm now on Chapter 15 and can't go on. This book is awful, nonstop drivel. I'd rather visit the dentist. At least I tried.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sandra
  • 07-01-14

Great Story.........great Narration

What did you like most about Outlander?

I absolutely love the story and I can't wait to get into the next book in the series. I also love the Narration by Davina she is very believable with all the various characters.

What did you like best about this story?

I love the time traveling and of course the love story between Claire & Jamie,

Have you listened to any of Davina Porter’s other performances? How does this one compare?

This is my first Performance by her but after this series, I will be looking at other stories.

16 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • gayle l mcdonald
  • 07-12-18

someone needs some cough mixture

the narrating was ok, the background out of sync echo when listening on headphones is very distracting and the random coughing throughout in the background is also off-putting, I found myself tuning in to the background.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dim
  • 10-24-16

Enthralling

Absolutely loved this book. I'm a huge fan of The Bronze Horseman series by Paullina Simons, and I've been looking for something as good as. Throughout listening to this book, I drew a lot of parallels out of both books. The characters are well defined and the story is full of detail. The voice actor does a great job and I'm looking forward to listening to the next one.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • BookwormDownUnder
  • 01-31-17

Outlander

I started my journey to read the series way back in 2004 and eagerly awaited each new book. I love the books and wanted to give audible a try. I wasn't disappointed my only bug bear is that the narrator, Davina, at times, sounded a little to "listen with mother" in the way she spoke. Her Scottish accent was god though.

This series is brilliant if you are in doubt, don't go by the BBC tv series currently out, as usual the transfer from book to tv is poor.

Our Jamie Fraser is a bear of a man, big, strong, with reddish blonde hair and if swooning was still a thing, I'd be doing a lot of it!

Claire is tall and confident and a five years older than him.

Do yourself a favour, either buy the books or download them here. I am using my monthly subscription to buy them all on audio although not sure if I can wait till next month, might have to get two a month. 😎

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-02-19

Brilliant story

With ones own imagination coupled with the writers own admirable talent, this is a delight to listen to. The author has told a story that in another less talented scribe would not fill you with all the emotions that Diana has done. A great deal of thought, research and hard work has given us, the reader a journey that I cannot wait to continue in reading the second in the series ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • shannon
  • 01-30-15

struggled

time travelling mills and boon. yawn. most interesting part, time travel, 90% dialogue and romance..

9 people found this helpful