Sunday, October 19, 2008

Diana Gabaldon and Outlander: the basic poop

This year has been full of Gabaldon words for me, revisiting the Outlander series in written text and the unabridged audiobooks.  So, if I've managed to get you interested, here's the basic poop and links to take you onward.

I blogged about my shelf of (paperback) Diana Gabaldon books back in August, and am extremely glad that I went ahead and ordered the hardbacks before the Australian dollar nosedived. Here's the upgraded shelf. I've read and reread these books in paperback, engrossed by the characters and stories and the world of them. I don't own a lot of hardcover fiction - most fiction in Australia isn't published in hardcover, unlike the US - so anything I do have in hardback is usually a firm favourite (or something like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, a shorter book that was published here initially in hardcover).

Candy commented on my last entry that my Gabaldon enthusiasm has finally borne fruit (ha! - I've lost count of how many people I've introduced to this engrossing series!) (and I've only had one failure. I won't mention that it's my dear mama, because she sometimes reads this blog) and she's invested in Outlander, asking what comes next?

Here's a visual record for you, Candy. And yes, there is an order in which to read them:
  • Outlander (published in Australia and the UK as Cross Stitch)
  • Dragonfly in Amber
  • Voyager
  • Drums of Autumn
  • The Fiery Cross
  • A Breath of Snow and Ashes
next, coming late in 2009: An Echo in the Bone.  There's a three to four year gap between each Outlander novel being published.

The Outlandish Companion covers the first four books; there is a plan for another volume, but that would likely be when the series is complete (at least two books away, Echo plus at least one more).  Some editions of this were titled Through the Stones.

A significant character from the Outlander series, Lord John Grey, appears in a separate series of shorter novels and novellas:
  • Lord John and the Private Matter
  • Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade
  • Lord John and the Hand of Devils (which contains Lord John and the Hellfire Club, Lord John and the Succubus and Lord John and the Haunted Soldier)
With Cross Stitch, the text is slightly different to Outlander - one scene, and a few other small changes.  Now, by choice, I'd read Outlander.  Which you have to buy from The Book Depository (if you don't want to pay postage), or eBay etc, or a second hand bookseller, as the new book edition sold here as standard is Cross Stitch.

The audiobooks are available in two versions, and the only ones worth considering are the unabridged readings by Davina Porter for Recorded Books.  The abridged ones are as little as 25% of the original text (ie. 75% is gone) and these heavily butchered abridged ones are not worth bothering with, imho.  You can find the unabridged ones at Amazon and, with the unabridged Fiery Cross being the exception, only available to US purchasers from Recorded Books direct.  For me in Australia,, via a membership, was the cheapest way to obtain them, no postal charges and downloaded to iPod.  Of course, if you can find a local library with them, that's another option.

A graphic novel with a Jamie and Claire story taking place with the time span of Outlander is also in the works, likely to be published some time in 2009.  Diana talks about that on her blog and website.

(Entirely selfishly, while helping Candy I've given myself a one-stop location for the Diana Gabaldon links I use.  Ha! again).

* poop as in information.  No pejorative associations implied or intended.


candyschultz said...

Thanks Ruth. I did think Outlander was the first. I am not sure how soon I will get to it after it arrives. I am stocking up as much as I can since I expect to be penniless any day now.

rooruu said...

You're welcome, Candy. Don't put off the treat of reading it for too long.

Hey, our Australian dollar went from near-equivalence earlier this year to being worth about 65cUS right about now. Yikes! So if you're almost penniless, just change your cash for Australian dollars to feel instantly richer!.....

Janellybelly said...

Ruth, the bookshelf looks fantastic, wish I had bought my books in hardcover now (they are already a bit tattered). 'Echo in the Bone' is the 1st book I have had to wait for, in the series, & its excrutiating!
Janelle :)

rooruu said...

Thank you, Janelle. It's kinda nice. Although I resort to the paperbacks if I'm reading them with a meal... Diana Gabaldon blogged today about the 'shape' of Echo, and while I read the entry, part of me doesn't want to know glimpses and hints about Echo - I just want to sit down and read it when it's published, and enjoy it then. Instead of wondering if the shape she said means this or that about one character or another. That's excruciating, too!

Charlotte said...

Hello, I came across your blog cos I googled Marie Claire Birdsong plates and it brought me to you. Then I read down your posts and find you are a massive Diana Gabaldon fan which is AWESOME, cos I love her work so much but so many people haven't even heard of her before. I have read and re-read all the books so many times, I just love them. They are so rich in visual images, I can see all the characters and settings in my mind so clearly. She has spoiled me though, I find it hard to take as much pleasure in other writers now!
Thanks for encouraging and sharing Diana on your blog, I think everyone would enjoy reading the books!

Karen Henry said...

Thanks for mentioning my Outlander blog on your site! I'm glad you're enjoying it.

And I think it's wonderful that we're able to share our enjoyment of these books even though we live so far apart. (I live in North Carolina.) The OUTLANDER fan community truly is worldwide.

Karen Henry

Luxembourg said...

This was the first novel in which I felt so moved by the characters that I wanted to be the heroine and was so entranced by the time-travelling theme that it inspired many a late-night fantasy about Scotland. The book revolves around the life of Claire Beauchamp, a former World War II nurse, who, during her vacation with her husband, Frank Randall, in the Highlands of Scotland, gets transported back in time to the 18th century. "Outlander" details Claire's adventures in Scotland, her relationship with James Fraser and her struggles against her husband's ancestor, "Black Jack" Randall. This book has everything I admire: a strong, intelligent heroine; a valiant and charismatic hero; a nefarious villain that I loved to loathe; a cast of supporting characters that contributes to the development of family, a sense of humor, and various political machinations; a historical backdrop full of intrigue and legend; a well-written story that challenges the reader's mind and tempts our imagination; a stunning climax and a happy ending. I absolutely loved this book.