A Novel

Book - 2011
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Twenty years ago, Diana Gabaldon swept readers into her mesmerizing world brimming with history, romance, and adventure. In celebration of the series that has captured the heart of millions, here is a special 20th anniversary edition of the novel that started it all--including a new essay, a new map, a CD with Outlander the musical, and more.

Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach--an "outlander"--in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire--and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Praise for Diana Gabaldon's Outlander novels

"Marvelous and fantastic adventures, romance, sex . . . perfect escape reading." -- San Francisco Chronicle , on Outlander

"History comes deliciously alive on the page." --New York Daily News , on Outlander

"Gabaldon is a born storyteller. . . . The pages practically turn themselves." -- The Arizona Republic , on Dragonfly in Amber

"Triumphant . . . Her use of historical detail and a truly adult love story confirm Gabaldon as a superior writer." -- Publishers Weekly , on Voyager

"Unforgettable characters . . . richly embroidered with historical detail." -- The Cincinnati Post , on Drums of Autumn

"A grand adventure written on a canvas that probes the heart, weighs the soul and measures the human spirit across [centuries]." --CNN , on The Fiery Cross

"The large scope of the novel allows Gabaldon to do what she does best, paint in exquisite detail the lives of her characters." -- Booklist , on A Breath of Snow and Ashes

"Features all the passion and swashbuckling that fans of this historical fantasy series have come to expect." -- People , on Written in My Own Heart's Blood
Publisher: New York : Delacorte Press, c2011.
Edition: 20th anniversary edition
ISBN: 9780440423201
Branch Call Number: GABALDON
Characteristics: 662 pages : map ; 25 cm.


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The Outlander Series

List - Polli Recommends
LPL_PolliK Sep 06, 2016

Fall into the world of Jamie and Claire and you'll always have a sanctuary when you need to find one in a book.

LPL_PolliK May 12, 2014

A fantastic read to take you away from it all. I've come back to the series several times and it's always satisfying. Even my husband likes them. Great historical content, page-turning adventure and a riveting love story (Jamie and Claire forever!)

List - Polli's Pick
LPL_PolliK Apr 10, 2015

How to explain... intricate historical fiction with a side of fantasy. James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser offered adventure, romance and danger while I was sleep deprived and covered in spit-up, and I fell into his world forever.

From the critics

Community Activity


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Sep 15, 2020

Book 1

Jul 09, 2020

I’m a huge. The Outlander is a wonderful story with time travel, humor, grief, love, warfare, history, and dynamic characters. This is such a fun series! I’ve enjoyed the first five books and intend to keep going to the end, this first is perhaps still my favorite.

Jul 07, 2020

Interesting concept, and way to learn about daily life centuries ago and some history. Longer than expected and wanted, due to diminishing returns. The male lead is unexpextedly progressive and idealized compared to his fellow contemporaries. Frequent romantic interludes. Listened daily, but didn't finish before expired. Didn't renew... yet. Might renew, just to skip to the last chapter for closure. ...ehhh

Jun 23, 2020

An entertaining episode of fiction and history The Outlander by Diana Gabaldon provides a good story, but only that. With all the fan fare that surrounded the book, there tends to be a higher standard that is accompanied to justify the popularity. This book is good. The characters are endearing and full bodied, leading to interesting dialogue and developments. The settings are rich and easily enrapture the imagination. The story itself is intricate and isn’t explicit after the first fifteen pages, which is more common in a romance novel. But all of this could be seen in a good book from the New-York times best seller list, not something that’s been made into a TV series and is the hallmark for hallmark movie aspirations. The only truly remarkable thing is the intelligence of our leading lady Claire. The rational demeanor in which she takes on her new surroundings, adjusts to barbaric situations and overcomes adversity is the most engaging part of this book. Her sarcastic wit is charming and encourages you to continue reading despite the rest of the novel being good. If the bar wasn’t so high from its stardom, it would be a recommended read for a lonely heart looking for something smart. But as it stands, it is just above average and only worth reading if you want to understand what all the nonsense is about.

Feb 04, 2020

Undoubtedly one of my favorite authors and best series of books I've ever read. The Outlander series on STARZ does not follow the books exactly, but it's so great to see her characters and stories come to life on the screen!

Jan 15, 2020

I felt like there were a lot of parts in this book that were unnecessary and didn't add to the story. With that being said, I still enjoyed the characters and the book as a whole. Will probably not read the others in the trilogy though.

Dec 14, 2019

I really don't understand why this is such a highly rated book. The writer's style is very verbose, except when she skips over events that don't seem to follow logic. Consistency of the characters is also somewhat below average. The main character is killing a boy soldier with a knife one day. Watching her husband get beat up by 2 men the next sitting by timidly. Then the next she is fighting off a wolf with bare hands and her coat. The male character also seems to have some schizophrenic personality, that he is gentle one minute, then to the other extreme, really? The plausibility of this book is what really is weak. I understand the time travel part, but some of the other stuff is hard to swallow. Like another reader said, just one highly imaginative event after another. It was hard for me to really get into this book and I tried and read it from cover to cover.

Dec 04, 2019

Not a historical fiction fan but love romance? This book (series) has it all! Get ready to travel through time with Claire Fraser and her one true love Jamie.

Sep 26, 2019

Not for the faint hearted, but I kept on reading to the end, so that is something.

I will read more of the series.

JCLBeckyC Sep 23, 2019

After working at the public library for twenty-six years, I finally jumped onto the Outlander bandwagon! I've had so many patrons over the years recommend this series to me, but not until recently did I think I could manage to read it. The books are so long! Time-travel romance? Isn't that cheesy? After binge-watching the first four seasons of the TV series based on Gabaldon's books, and now having read the first book in the series all I can say is this: I AM HERE FOR IT. Finally. I am proudly obsessed.

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Add a Quote
Aug 26, 2016

“Ye are Blood of my Blood, and Bone of my Bone,
I give ye my Body, that we Two might be One.
I give ye my Spirit, 'til our Life shall be Done.”

Jun 21, 2016

Ye are Blood of my Blood, and Bone of my Bone,
I give ye my Body, that we Two might be One.
I give ye my Spirit, 'til our Life shall be Done.”

Jun 18, 2015

“Now, then. What does ‘fucking’ mean?”

M_ALCOTT Sep 29, 2014

" Hanovers and Stuarts? To me, these were still no more than names on a chart on the schoolroom wall. What were they, compared with an unthinkable evil like Hitler's Reich? It made a difference to those who lived under the kings, I supposed, though the differences might seem trivial to me. Still, when had the right to live as one wished ever been trivial? Was a struggle to choose one's own destiny less worthwhile than the necessity to stop a great evil?"-Claire

M_ALCOTT Sep 29, 2014

" Aye, I believe ye, Sassenach. But it would ha' been a good deal easier if you'd only been a witch."-Jamie

M_ALCOTT Sep 29, 2014

" Ye need not be scairt of me. Nor of anyone here, so long as I'm with ye."-Jamie

M_ALCOTT Sep 29, 2014

" I wanted ye from the first time I saw ye-but I loved ye when you wept in my arms and let me comfort you, that first time at Leoch."-Jamie

M_ALCOTT Sep 29, 2014

" For where all love is, the speaking is unnecessary. It is all. It is undying. And it is enough."-Claire

M_ALCOTT Sep 29, 2014

" There are things that I canna tell you, at least not yet. And I'll ask nothing of ye that ye canna give me. But what I would ask of ye-when you do tell me something, let it be the truth. And I'll promise ye the same. We have nothing now between us, save-respect, perhaps. And I think that respect has maybe room for secrets, but not for lies. Do ye agree?"-Jamie

M_ALCOTT Sep 29, 2014

"Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ."-Claire

View All Quotes


Add Age Suitability
Apr 28, 2017

katie_bos thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

May 20, 2016

heidisue78 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Aug 14, 2015

RaRaJade thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Jun 30, 2015

hippo_crates thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Jun 08, 2015

BritleeW thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Jan 07, 2015

Anistasya thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Oct 07, 2014

AusTex78729 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

PBnuffsaid Jul 27, 2014

PBnuffsaid thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Feb 12, 2014

RLoewens thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


Add Notices
Jan 07, 2015

Sexual Content: Although not explicit, there is quite a lot of sex in this book (mostly between consenting & married adults). There is one instance rape which, while not shown explicitly, may still be disturbing to some readers.

Jan 07, 2015

Violence: 18th century Scotland is a grimy and violent place. Claire is a healer, so sees her fair share of blood and gore. Violence is not too explicit, however, and most of the focus is on the impact of violence on those who survive it.

PBnuffsaid Jul 27, 2014

Sexual Content: Some sexual scenes


Add a Summary
mickaylasnana May 11, 2011

English nurse Claire Beauchamp Randall and husband Frank take a second honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands in 1945. When Claire walks through a cleft stone in an ancient henge, she's somehow transported to 1743. She encounters Frank's evil ancestor, British captain Jonathan "Black Jack" Randall, and is adopted by another clan. Claire nurses young soldier James Fraser, a gallant, merry redhead, and the two begin a romance, seeing each other through many perilous, swashbuckling adventures involving Black Jack. Scenes of the Highlanders' daily life blend poignant emotions with Scottish wit and humor. Eventually Sassenach (outlander) Claire finds a chance to return to 1945, and must choose between distant memories of Frank and her happy, uncomplicated existence with Jamie.

EPLPicks_Teen Apr 07, 2010

In Scotland with her husband on a second honeymoon after World War II, Claire enters a circle of stones and is transported back to the Battle of Culloden 200 years earlier, where she must marry a Scot to save her husband

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