Sunday, October 26, 2014

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (3)

First things first, sorry for the radio silence! I did a show in August. It was awesome, thank you for asking. Then two days after it closed I started grad school. And did some staged readings. And started directing a children's show. I've been mostly "reading" via audiobooks as I fall asleep, so I haven't been paying as much attention as previously. 

Second, this post needs a giant, flashing SPOILER ALERT sign at the top. 
You have been warned. 
I get into spoilers pretty quick, and while I may not tell you what characters live and die I spoil some pretty big moments. 

I gave it a 3/5. Three stars means I liked it. I wasn't bored but it didn't change my life. I will probably some day read the next one maybe. Time will tell.

Outlander is the story of Claire Randall, a former combat nurse recently reunited with her husband after the conclusion of World War II. While on their reunion-second-honeymoon in Scotland, Claire wanders off and falls through a mystical stone and ends up in Scotland, 1743. Stuff happens, she tries to get back to her own time but kind of falls in love with this other dude. 

Claire and Jamie from the show.
I say "kind of" because they get married so that the Scottish don't have to turn Claire over to the villain because plot. And then she starts to admit to liking him. But mostly she likes her real-time husband. And eventually she's just really in love with her Scottish Highlander husband, James "Jamie" Fraser. 

I was actually way more into the plot than the love story. I really, really like Claire. Claire is super interesting and fierce. Jamie really likes her, which is cool I guess but I found the not-love story part more interesting than their love story quite frequently. Which is saying something, because I love a good love story.

There are also some things I found problematic about the book. 
1. That time Jamie beats Claire for not doing what he says. 
"But Jana, that's how the world worked back then!"
Nope. Don't care. Nope.
"It made them closer as a couple."
Definitely nope.
"He kinda sorta apologized when he found out Claire was from the future."
"Later there was a character who beat his child ALL THE TIME FOR NO REASON, and he was a bad it's not like Gabaldon is saying it's ok to beat people..."
...unless they really deserve it. NOPE. 

2. The only gay character, Jonathan Randall, is a horrendous villain. (This part gets REALLY spoiler-y so please stop reading now if you don't like knowing really climatic scenes)
Am I being super liberal here or is that weird? WHY is there this super big plot scene where Jamie literally sacrifices his body to Randall to save Claire's life? 
I feel all kinds of uncomfortable about all of this.
Oh DID I MENTION he's also super into torture and people being in pain? So it's not that he's a villain BECAUSE he's gay...but it does feel like Randall being gay is almost as big of a deal as him loving to torture people. 

Again though, I really liked Claire. I found the novel really interesting and the problematic elements were surrounded by stuff I cared more about so I accepted it. I kind of judge myself for looking past it but we can't all be super liberal all the time can we. Can we? 

Now, please excuse me, it's time for my semi-annual re-read of The Hunger Games, because I'm an addict.
Neither Peeta nor Gale would beat Katniss.
And if one of them tried, she'd kick his ass. 

Does anyone love Outlander? Is it all camp 50 Shades of Grey people or am I just crazy?

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