…read the Outlander would you too?
In order to better understand this post, you probably need to know that there are certain kinds of books I don’t really care for. These are:
*ghost love stories (though there are two that I love in this genre***)
*time-slip novels (because why? it just doesn’t appeal to me)
*historical fiction (because you ALREADY know the end. it’s spoiled before you’ve begun. SPOILER ALERT: Anne Boelyn dies)
So Outlander . . . is based in history (PS Things don’t go well for the Highlanders). Also Time-slip. Also, it feels like once you’ve read:
There’s no need to read it again with a time-slip thrown in. Right? Right? Especially if you don’t like that kind of stuff. And here’s another confession, though I have read and loved many novels set historically in the Highlands, I always kinda hate them too, because it doesn’t go well for those dudes. And even if it’s set in an okay window of history for the Highlands, it’s not like it’ll be good for their kids. Y’know? You want to have some sort of hope.
Except then Auburn Seal and Cheri Lasota were getting all excited for some mini-series, and I wanted to play too. And then there were the many, many, many, many recommendations I’d gotten over the years to just read the damn series already. So, I downloaded the cheap kindle copy, took advantage of the cheap audio offer and have been listening to it. And this is what I think:
It’s a solid three stars. Solid though. In the, I’ll read the second one kind of way. I’d have given it four, but I’ve gotten too irritated with some things I’ll go ahead and lay them out for you here. (These are SPOILER-Y and ranty.) Don’t let the rage fool you. I’ve totally enjoyed this and will probably, eventually read the whole series. Probably. On audio. While working.
*Not a fan of the *having* to get married thing even though you’re already married in your own time. It just doesn’t work for me as a romance. I’d go so far as to identify it as adultery. And I’m not a fan of adultery. The end. In fact, I kinda hate it (not the end after all). You could get rid of Frank entirely and this would still be a book that totally worked. Why, why, why is Frank there except to add pressure to return? Which could have been done without making it adulterous. How about returning because Captain Randall has it out for you? Or because beloved Uncle Lem isn’t dead, and you know he needs you? Or because you have obligations that worry you? Or any of 100 other things?
*How many guys are going to make gay overtures in a rape-y kinda way to Jamie? I mean. . . I imagine that being gay in the 1700s was a real problem if you wanted to act on your desires. But still. ONE man gets TWO (so far) rape-y encounters. I mean…Oscar Wilde got kicked out of Britain for that like over a hundred years later. This was no time to be openly gay. Mind you, my understanding of this side of history is as balanced as all of my understanding of history which means if it is not directly connected to an author I already like or portrayed accurately in a novel I enjoy I don’t know anything about it. Unless it’s a HUGE piece of history. Then I might vaguely understand that piece of history. So color this as a really shaky interpretation of history.
Fictionally, however, I think that the author should have made another choice. Even if it links the Randall dude back to the duke, it’s still shaky. Why, why, why are they both able to get Jamie in a situation where they can attempt to rape him? Why is it that Jamie’s who is clearly straight having this happen except to show how hot he is.
I get it.
People want to have sex with Jamie. But only Claire gets to. Yay Claire.
Except. Why? Why do we even go there? So, Jamie is Chris Hemsworth hot. And that’s so hot straight guys lose their breath for him. Maybe Jamie is the Chris Hemsworth of the Highlands? Is that what you’re trying to say? Surely you can say it in a way that seems more likely. Because did anyone else have a really? moment when Jamie was having his confession over Captain Randall making the moves on him? And even if that jerk did, the second time when he’s retelling the duke I was like WTF. WTF, man. WTF. And he tells it so openly. Like it’s a big joke. And then he decides that he kinda likes the duke later. Like, you tried to rape me when I was a kid, and I had to dose myself with some stuff that made me super sick, so I’d puke all over you. And then I had to run away. And then I had to warn everyone openly as though talking about when I was abused like it’s a joke is fun for me, because you’re coming, and I don’t want the cute little stable boy to be raped like you tried to rape me. But hey, man, no hard feelings. You’re fun to hunt with.
No. No that’s not how it works. It works like this. You tried to rape me when I was a kid. You took advantage of the fact that I was a kid and alone, and you were the duke. Now I will punch you in the nose, the balls, and then your kidneys. Because that’s called child abuse and I’m all big and strong now.
Let alone why is Jamie so hot? Why can’t he just be normal hot? Why can’t he be just attractive? Or dare I say, have a crooked nose. Be shorter than the other dudes? Why does he have to be extraordinary? I think this part, for me, just might be too many stupidly attractive heroes. Feel free to disregard my thoughts here if you’re not on overdose. In fact, feel free to disregard all of my opinions.
*What are the chances of one chick slipping time and running across another chick who slipped time? And why does that other chick support some random King/ Prince (I wasn’t paying attention as much here. Because history.) I mean, it’s not as if Gilly’s support is a worthwhile activity for someone who ALREADY KNOWS what’s going to happen as she’s from the FUTURE. The FUTURE. I mean. . . if you weren’t having sex with a stupidly handsome Highlands God, wouldn’t you be trying to get back to indoor plumbing, a right to vote, and a much larger chance of not sleeping in a bed with fleas, lice, and/or bed bugs? Let alone cars, central heat, showers, air planes, places where it doesn’t literally take you days just to make candles???? I get staying if you’re in love. Because love.
But I don’t get staying if you’re married to a man you don’t like, have apparently zero human empathy, you’re working for a cause you already know the result of, and you aren’t in love. I mean…Gilly is married to a dude who’s awful and disgusting. She’s a suspected witch, she’s clearly not in a good place. She ends up murdering for this cause. And her end fate is to get burned. I mean how the hell can you justify that type choice? She isn’t making a difference. She knows the end. How bad is your “real life” in order to be willing to stay in the flipping 1700s? They don’t even have Midol for your cramps.
*I’ve spent far, far, far too much of this novel thinking about how bad Jamie and Claire must smell. I mean this is a fantasy. Why aren’t they having sexy swims with soap?
Now this rating is pre-finishing. But I thought it would be interesting to compare to my final thoughts. I’ve got about 25% to go and will probably finish next week cause who has time for reading on the weekend when you have a job, kids, and writing to do? Oh you? Then, maybe you’d like to read this:
PS the two ghost books I like are Anna Dressed in Blood and Dark Deed’s at Night’s Edge. Anna is fantastic. Dark Deed’s is a dirty, alpha male romance that I can not in good conscience recommend without telling you that. Also Anna is fantastic. And bloody. And wonderful. And I LOVED it. And in the sequel, the romance ends just how a ghost romance should.
PPS For those of you considering jumping off the Outlander cliff with me. It’s not…dirty, but the fade outs happen later than I like, and it’s certainly too graphic for children. IMO. I prefer an early fade out (even though I ❤ Dark Deed’s) and more violence. Because…because.
PPS In case you’ve lost all respect for me as a reader, first: suck it. Second: next up is The Odyssey. Or maybe The Illiad. I’ve read both before, but John Green is doing another season of Crash Course Literature, and I think I’ll read along. Except Hamlet. I’m gonna watch the movie. Maybe I’ll watch three of them. First I should probably plug my TV back in.
PPPS If you were to compare Jamie to the last winner of my Hero VS. Hero contest (I think it was Archie Goodwin) I’d take Archie Goodwin. Because, he comes with something that just can’t be over-valued. And that, my friends, is indoor plumbing. Just reading Outlander makes me want to take a shower. And use all the hot water there is available to me at the time. But lets be real. I do that every morning.