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Any other Gabaldon fans want to talk about Claire and Jamie?

post #1 of 247
Thread Starter 
I am re-reading this whole series right now in anticipation of the next book being released in September and I am dying to talk to someone about this series!

I've gotten some of my IRL friends reading them, but no one has even finished the first 3, let alone all 5!

My favortite of the books is Voyager and I'm reading it right now.

Anyone? I'd love to chat! :LOL
post #2 of 247
I just started "Outlander" 2 days ago. Normally I refuse to read much of anything with sexy-romance type stuff in it (not 'cause I mind sex, I think I just read too much Steele in high school!) but the series came so highly recommended that I thought I'd give it a try. I'm really enjoying it so far. The type of writing reminds me a lot of Marion Zimmer-Bradley's in "The Mists of Avalon." There's romance and a bit of sex, but a pretty solid plot to hold it all together. I'm at the part where Jamie and Claire get married. I'm sure she'll return to her "present" at some point but I have no clue when.

In your opinion, does the rest of the series hold up? I seem to get burnt by that a lot. I loooove the first book, but the subsequent ones just aren't as good. If it's a good series all the way through I'll be very happy!
post #3 of 247
I am a HUGE huge huge Diana Gabaldon fan. I love all of the books very much. I have probably read Outlander the most, followed by Drums of Autumn and The Fiery Cross, and then the other two. I read Outlander at least 3 times a year.

I didn't know she had another book coming out in September. Now I'm going to have to obsess. I had managed to put the question of why Ian came back out of my head, but now I'm going to start mulling it over again...

I love Jamie, but I love Claire just as much. I really love those books. They always make me feel so warm inside. It seems like Diana (we're on a first name basis, of course) really enjoys writing them. I think that's why they're so long (and I'm glad they are, of course). I think I'll have to reread the whole series again also, now that I know there's another book coming out!

Jessi
post #4 of 247
Has anyone read Lord John and the Private Matter? I'm just curious because I loved the Outlander books, but I really didn't care for Lord John's character. Much as I like Gabaldon's writing, I can't imagine enjoying an entire book with him as the center.

Someone asked if all of the books were good -- I think so. I like Outlander best, but each of the following books was just different enough that they don't blur into each other. With some series, I need more than a book title to remember the significant events. But the Outlander books are each distinct.
post #5 of 247
Thread Starter 
Oh, operamommy, I really think you're going to love them! Be careful in this thread though...you never know what kind of spoilers might show up! I really feel like the series stands on its own. She develops the characters so well and the plot, while obviously calling for some willfull suspension of disbelief, is solid. Its nice too that you have so many books to read before you end up *waiting* like the rest of us!

jgale, I aodre them both so much also! When The Fiery Cross came out, I spent almost two weeks reading it so I could savor every bit of it! I tend to read fast, and I tend to miss little things when I do that. It doesn't usually vex me at all, but with The Fiery Cross, I wanted to savor every moment I could with these characters...It was like spedning a couple of weeks with wonderful old friends!

Here's a link to the Amazon page for the new book: A Breath of Snow and Ashes

thoesly, I have read Lord John and The Private Matter. Now, I've never felt strongly about the character one way or the other, but I did really enjoy this. Mostly becase it was defintely a book by Diana (I'm on first name basis with her too! :LOL). Do you know what I mean? The same style and atmosphere. I really did enjoy it. Its pretty short...I think it would be worth trying. She does tell a great story!

My favorite, like I said, is Voyager. Mostly because I love the beginning where Brianna, Roger and Claire are doing their detective work and we are hearing Jamie's story from both sides...the trail he left in history and his actual experience. It facsinating to me! Makes me wonder what my life will look like to anyone who mind dig in to it in 200 years.

Thanks for talking with me about this.
post #6 of 247
Oh, I do love these books! (haven't read all of them... just the first three or four, I think). My favorite was Outlander. I read it when it first came out, oh so many years ago. I didn't realize it was going to be such a long series. It's been so long since I read them, and I came across the fourth, I think, and got lost reading it, because I had forgotten a lot of the first three. Once all of the books are out, I'll have to do a serious Outlander marathon. I do love Jaime and Claire together, Jaime is such a great guy. I fell in love with him in Outlander.
post #7 of 247
Wow...a new one in September! My little infatuated heart goes pitty-pat! I simply love the Outlander books (and for whoever asked - I thought they stayed just as good as the series progressed - I too have been burned before.)

Swoooooon! Will have to request them from the library after my master's is done June 1st. That will be a great reward! (And I read them all in under 2 months the last time - devoured them voraciously - so that should be long enough.)
post #8 of 247
I read Lord John and the Private Matter and I liked it very much. I did feel annoyed at Diana though, that she was taking time away from the main event...
post #9 of 247
I love Jamie and Claire! I have read the books many times. My favorites are the first two. Sometimes I get a little peeved at the ones after that because so many events seem contrived to dramatically separate the two of them and I just want them together, LOL!

A few years ago (before kids) DH and I were lucky enough to vacation in Scotland, and we got to go, among other places, to Inverness and see Culloden battlefield. It was amazing and very emotional. Of course I felt all knowledgeable about the historical events and had to keep reminding myself it was Diana's version that I knew, LOL!
post #10 of 247
oh, you've peaked my interest. i read the first one a year ago, liked it but never got into another one. can someone post the order of books to read? it's confusing for me, b/c i could never find the order on them at the library, so i kept putting them back.
post #11 of 247
Thread Starter 
loftmama....I'd be happy to oblige!

Outlander
Dragonfly in Amber
Voyager
Drums in Autumn
The Fiery Cross
A Breath of Snow and Ashes (the new one to be released in September)

Go get 'em and come back and tell us what you think!

thyme...I'm so jealous of your trip there! Dh and I are trying to save towards a trip to Scotland and Irealand. Someday.....maybe someday!
post #12 of 247
Quote:
Originally Posted by aisling
I tend to read fast, and I tend to miss little things when I do that.
I do this, too, with favorite authors (including Gabaldon)! My solution is to read a favorite book twice when I first get it -- once as fast as I can (I can't seem to help myself -- read Fiery Cross in 3 days) and then again slowly. I'm so glad you started this thread -- I didn't even realize a new book was coming out so soon!
post #13 of 247
Yay! I'm glad to hear people say that the rest of the series is good as well.

Ok, I have a question now. Remember, I don't read books with romance scenes in them very often, but the scenes in the first book are nicely-written (though I did giggle at some of the things Jamie and Claire said). Anyway, last night I read 2 sections that kinda had me going *cocks head to the side like an RCA dog*.

In the first section, Claire received a spanking from Jamie as punishment for putting everyone in danger. The second section is the part where Jamie decides to show her that he's the "master" of her sexually. What did you all think of these scenes? I was kind of surprised, because they seem to saying, "women, submit to your men" - but of course they are in Scotland in the 1700s. The "master" part got to me because the beginning of it seems close to an attack (I'm *not* saying it's rape, just saying that that's what the imagery called up for me). Is the author playing into that myth that all women want to be dominated? And is it *really* a myth? I mean, this is a woman author, not some man trying to come up with something he thinks is in the female psyche.

Sorry for the questions!
post #14 of 247
Thread Starter 
Operamommy...don't apologize for questions! Let's discuss...I think those are a couple of scenes that most of her readers have had to wrestle with.

My two cents on the first issue...

As for his "punishing" her...I have always been comfortable (relatively speaking, as comfortable as I can be with a husband beating a wife) with it because of what you said: Its 18th century, rural Scotland. Its believable that it would have happened the way it did. Claire did put both of them in extreme danger and she was pretty clueless about it. I just felt that Jamie was making and extreme statement, with the beating, to put her "crime" in perspective for her.

Diana made it clear that beatings, for all kinds of "crimes" and in all kinds of situations was the norm in that society much earlier in the book than this scene. We saw Laoghaire sentenced to a beating which Jamie took for her (for what, being promiscuous? I can't remember now). We hear some stories about Jamie being punished by his father, etc. And, as you read further in the series, you'll see that it doesn't end.

My point is this: I don't believe it is a statement, in any way, on what we think of today when we think of spousal abuse. Nor do I think that this scene has anything to do with that issue. I simply think it was Diana trying to be true to the society about which she was writing.

Thoughts?
post #15 of 247
operamommy -- I don't know if this answers your question, but I remember reading an interview with the author where she said one of her "rules" was to be true to the characters and the situation, without shying away from anything even if it offended modern sensibilities. So in the context of the story -- Jamie living in his world with a wife who wants to play by 20th Century rules -- those scenes "fit." Not that they didn't make me pause, too, just that they made sense because of everything else that was happening.

And I don't think Gabaldon was *trying* to do anything with those scenes other than forward the story. I don't think she even expected the book to be published -- she just wrote the book she wanted to write because she wanted to write a book. She broke a lot of "rules" in terms of publishing and marketability because she wasn't writing to a specific genre and she didn't care if it was published or not (at least, initially, according to what I've read).
post #16 of 247
Thread Starter 
And now my two cents on the other scene...

Yes, the scene did bring up images that were pretty rough, almost an attack like you said. But again, I really never read it as any kind of sweeping statement by the author. Not about women in general and not even about Claire and Jamies relationship overall.

I do think it was a moment when Claire did want to feel that dominance. And Jamie did want to dominate her. But one of the things that I absolutely love about their relationship is how balanced it always seems to be. Throughout the books, when Jamie knows best, Claire defers and even submits to him and his decisions. BUT, when Claire knows best, he is also willing to submit to her and decisions.

That scene, to me, was a powerful description of that particular moment in their marriage.
post #17 of 247
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thoesly
I do this, too, with favorite authors (including Gabaldon)! My solution is to read a favorite book twice when I first get it -- once as fast as I can (I can't seem to help myself -- read Fiery Cross in 3 days) and then again slowly. I'm so glad you started this thread -- I didn't even realize a new book was coming out so soon!
I don't think it was announced very long ago...I tend to check on certain books and DVDs every month or two and I just happened upon this one earlier this month!

I may have to try your 2 read-throughs technique...it'll drive Dh crazy though: he doesn't understand how I can read books over and over like I do!
post #18 of 247
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thoesly
operamommy -- I don't know if this answers your question, but I remember reading an interview with the author where she said one of her "rules" was to be true to the characters and the situation, without shying away from anything even if it offended modern sensibilities. So in the context of the story -- Jamie living in his world with a wife who wants to play by 20th Century rules -- those scenes "fit." Not that they didn't make me pause, too, just that they made sense because of everything else that was happening.

And I don't think Gabaldon was *trying* to do anything with those scenes other than forward the story. I don't think she even expected the book to be published -- she just wrote the book she wanted to write because she wanted to write a book. She broke a lot of "rules" in terms of publishing and marketability because she wasn't writing to a specific genre and she didn't care if it was published or not (at least, initially, according to what I've read).
Great points, thoesly! Thanks for that input. I very much agree that she wasn't trying to do anything but move things along.

I think that's partly why I enjoy these books so much, because I really believe that Diana is a storyteller, not a comentator. These books, for me, are pure entertainment. They are long enough and detailed enough, that its fun to speculate and pick apart and even develop the characters on my own a bit, but again simply because it is (very) entertaining!
post #19 of 247
Oooooh! I just stumbled across this thread and I'm so happy there are other fans out there. I read the entire series while pregnant with ds. I also read Lord John... and thought it was fabulous (and very funny, I might add.) As a pp said, I was pissed that Diana was writing about John Grey instead of Claire and Jamie, but it ended up being so good that I forgave her. (And did I mention funny?)

As for the Outlander series, I absolutely LOVE Jamie and think Claire is such a bright woman. I lvoe that she submits to him at times, not because of some fantasy of female submission, but because I believe it shows the extent of her love and trust in Jamie. It reminded me that submission does not mean you are weaker or have less worth than the person to whom you are submitting, rather it shows trust that others can sometimes have insight and abilities that you don't. (I'm not refering to the sexual submission- that's just for fun and added sexual excitement as far as I'm concerned.)

Keep the comments coming!
post #20 of 247
The one I liked least was Voyager, I think. Where they went to the New World. To much happening, too much of it coincidental/totally unconvincing (like time travel is convincing lol). But the rest of them I liked. Especially that in The Fiery Cross, the first 300 or so pages were all describing one day!!!

I liked the Lord John book too, once I stopped waiting for Jamie and Claire to show up!

The Outlandish Companion is worth a read too.
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