Friday, July 25, 2014

Yes, I Admit It. I’m an Outlander Fan-girl

By Kim

Most of my literary crushes are transitory, lasting only as long as it takes for me to finish a novel or until the hero does or says something that annoys me, whichever comes first. I don’t remember their names a month later.

Some, such as Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre, Claude Monet in Claude and Camille, and Tom Cole in The Day the Falls Stood Still, remain with me, luring me back to their pages later so I can experience that heady rush again. These infatuations feel more like lingering memories of full-blown love affairs. The daydream dissipates soon enough, though, because I've already lived those stories. I know what he’ll do, what he’ll say, and I know how it will all end.

Outlander series, book 8
I've only ever had one literary husband.

I met him back in 1992, when I was 17 and he was 21. We've shared eight epic adventures spanning 22 years and over 7500 pages, with the promise of more to come. We've aged together, though he has done so at an accelerated pace – he’s 58 at the end of the most recent book – and he continues to exhilarate, exasperate and surprise me.

I refer, as many of you have likely guessed, to Diana Gabaldon’s 18th century Highlander, Jamie Fraser. I admit it, I pre-order each of the Outlander books the moment I can. When one arrives, I drop anything I might be reading or doing, and dive in. Yes, the books are “door-stoppers.” Yes, they meander. Yes, at times the object of my affection doesn't show himself for a frustratingly long time. When he does reappear, depending on the circumstances, I mentally embrace him or smack him over his stubborn Scottish head. Either way I ask, “What took you so long?”

I may leaf ahead to find out how long I must wait, but I always read every word in between.

And now, after years of wishing someone would do the obvious thing and make a TV series, it has happened. Even better, Diana Gabaldon herself has quite vocally approved of the casting choices of Sam Heughan for Jamie and Caitriona Balfe for Claire. The previews look amazing. The show officially premiers on Starz August 9th but fans can watch the first episode online on the 2nd.

I've already cleared my calendar.

Have you read the Outlander books? What are your thoughts on the upcoming series? 


  1. I'm verra interested. I'm guessing this show willna disappoint. ;-) But I don't have Starz. I'm not sure this is something I can't wait to see after it's available elsewhere. Although I readily admit I re-subscribed to HBO for Game of Thrones. (I'd dropped it when The Sopranos ended.) I gave up on Gabaldon after about four of them. Although I really enjoyed the first two, the meandering is difficult without the literary crush you describe.

    For the past few years I've developed a literary crush, too, and am very anxiously awaiting a new book. Not sure what it says about me (I'm decidedly hetrosexual, not even bi-curious). It's Fitzchivary Farseer, from Robin Hobb's multiple fantasy series in the same world. I gobbled up nine big, fat meandering books, and one is due out next month. Can't wait. And I know there are many who said they gave up after the first three or so. Same dealio.

    Hope it lives up to expectations, Kim! Enjoy!

    1. Vaughn, I think anyone can watch the first episode online - it is on the Starz website. Of course, you may like it so much that you have to re-subscribe. The show can't possibly meander as much as the books!

      I don't think your literary crush is at all odd. I've had one on heroines as well - such as Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games series. She kicked butt, and I loved that. (I love your Skolani characters for the same reason).

      Love how you threw in some "Jamie-speak" there. :-)

  2. Ahh...the Outlander series...let me count the ways... Those are books where I "have no life" for a few days! I don't mind the meandering because I never want them to end. (And let's face it, does anyone use "-ly" adverbs better than DG? I'm glad she ignores that "rule.") ;)

  3. I don't mind the meandering either. Diana Gabaldon can ignore any writing rule and her books are still fabulous.

  4. Ooh, thanks for letting us know about the online premier on the 2nd! The first two Outlander books remain some of my all-time favorite literary portals into fantasyland. I LOVE meandering doorstoppers, and I love historical fiction, and I love the romantic relationship that Diana Gabaldon slow-cooked over the course of the narrative. I usually do not like genre romance or time-traveling sci-fi books, but these books completely seduced me and showed me just how good time-traveling romance could be. I have to admit I fell out of love with books three and onward, but the first two in the series have a permanent place on my bookshelf and in my heart. I look forward to the TV series adaptation!

  5. Thank you so much for stopping by Jeannie. I admit I have reread the first two books the most and that some of the later ones I've only read once, but I still devour them when a new one comes out. The most recent ones are Revolutionary War stories, and I adore that time period, so it is that as much as anything else that keeps me reading. And Jamie, of course.


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