This book is 627 pages long, but I listened to the audiobook. It was narrated and read by Davina Porter; unabridged and 32 hours and 30 minutes long on 28 discs. I have been acquiring audiobooks for knitting purposes, and I had heard about this one in particular from Audiobook Knitters group on Ravelry. I am very glad I did listen to the audiobook. Though it took me a bit to adjust to the narrator, I was continually engaged with the story and the characters by her narration and the evident good storytelling.
I only knew a little bit about the story going in. I usually just jump into book, only vaguely knowing what they are about. It is better that way because then I can judge and interpret the story as the author presents it. For Outlander, I knew that it was a historical romance of sorts. It was violent in parts which is appropriate for the era, but it was darker than I thought it would be especially at the end. The book surprised me with its flawed but interesting characters, dark moments, and its ability to be engaging while being very long. It is incredibly well researched; I learned a lot about the time period, Scotland and clans while reading it. Diana Gabaldon was apparently a scientist and professor before becoming a writer which explains how in depth the book and research is.
At the beginning of the audiobook, it was not easy to warm to Davina Porter’s voice because the majority of the characters are male and I felt I was listening to a one woman play rather than muti-character story. I was impatient and wanted to read the books, but then I got more use to her voice and the characters. She is an excellent narrator. Her delivery at parts makes me smile, and I admire her choice in reading styles. It must have taken weeks to make this audiobook, and I’m aware she has done the others in the series as well. I would really like to listen to her narration more. Her British voice is the voice of Claire in my mind. I can see her so much more clearly with Ms Porter’s vocal interpretation. It is unlikely that I will listen to the others in the series because the books are all long, each ranging from 33-47 hours. I’d prefer to read it if that were the case. I’m too impatient for resolution. Abridged versions are not an option as I prefer unabridged, and I’m aware those are read by another narrator.
In conclusion, now I have another series to follow. I will review as I go along, and I am looking forward to the other books.