Discovering Outlander

Written By : Paige Contreras


Nothing really prepares you for when you read a book. Especially one you've never heard of, seen a review about, or have never even heard of the author before. You may read the back cover or the synopsis on the inside, but it only gives you a general idea. Or, if your like me, all it takes is looking at the cover of a book. So when I saw Outlander, even though never hearing of it before, something made me stop, look, pick it up, and go to the checkout counter.


It was a little over a year ago when I bought my first copy of Outlander (its gotten a little beat up since then). At the time, it was just a book. A new book to add to my growing library. And that's when I noticed that little red circle on the cover that say "Now a Starz Original Series". 


I thought "Well that's great! I can have some faces to put to the characters!" and then I thought "Great, another period drama" (I'm a bug sucker for those. I blame my grandmother) . But instead of looking up on my computer of who the cast and crew was (obviously the two people on the cover where involved somehow) , I made myself open the book and read. I did not know what I was getting myself into. Now normally, it takes me a while to get involved with a book. I decide within the first 50 pages if its worth continuing. Outlander changed that.

Within the first line of Outlander, I was sold. It was the easiest thing to picture in my head. Mrs.Baird's bed and breakfast ; the details in the old buildings and houses , or Claire and Frank watching the druid dance at sunrise. I fell in love with a book. Everything was so vivid. The nature, the country, the clothing and the characters. It felt so real that if you where to close your eyes and picture what you just, you could reach out and touch it.

I read until Section 2 and then decided to look up who the cast and crew where on the show. I searched "Outlander" and this pic popped up


First thought was "Beautiful scenerey!! But who the heck are these people?!?!" IMDB helped me out with that one. I learned who was playing the characters and that the season had just premiered at the 2014 SDCC a couple of days before and that the first full episode had been uploaded on youtube by Starz. I watched that episode so many times that day, I had the theme song memorized by the end of the day. The last time I did that was the first episode of Downton Abbey.

 After watching the first episode, I went back to book and finished in about 15 hours, which is the fastest I've ever read book. Especially, considering it's over 800 pages. By the time I finished the book, I was a complete emotional wreck. It left me speechless. It had everything you could want from a book. Action, romance, comedy, time-travel and every emotion under the sun. It had colorful characters ranging from strong, brave, and heroic to evil, sadistic and conniving. And how every relationship had a purpose.

Whether it was between Claire and Frank , or Jamie and Claire, or Jamie and Jenny, nothing was written without having a purpose. And nothing prepared for me the last section of the book. I almost threw the book at the wall a couple times! My heart literally hurt. My dad even checked on me to see if I was ok. I assured him I was. When I realized that there was another book, I got excited! But when I saw just HOW MANY books there where, I was a little scared and intimdated. I bought the second book cause I was far to impatient to wait. The rest I ordered from the library. I read them ALL in a little over two months. BIGGEST HEADACHE I HAVE EVER HAD! And I have this wonderful lady to thank for that. The author Diana Gabaldon.



Do yourself a solid and either go to Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or your local library and read the book. Outlander is something special. It's a force to be reckoned with. And the books have certainly proved it. And you have the lady in the above picture to thank for that.

 So I'm curious. How did you get involved with Outlander? How long have you been a fan? What makes Outlander special to you?


Do you want more Outlander chat? Get your fix by listening to The Outlander Cast Podcast with detailed show discussion and amazing interviews with cast, crew, writers and directors of Outlander on Starz.

17 comments

  1. Great article, Paige! I first discovered Outlander 15 years ago, when I was working at Walden Books (waaaaaay back when). I was a lit snob and had an attitude about "romance novels". A co-worker recommended 'Outlander' to me and I started it reluctantly. I'm a bit less lenient. I don't have a 50 page rule. I'll give an author a page to convince me. The writing itself, not just the story, has to be amazing, right off the bat. The story, I know, will improve, the deeper I get. The writing, though, that's consistent and can destroy a good story. Diana had me at "People disappear all the time." I could not devour it quick enough. Her deft touch with the language and the richly developed characters kept me coming back for at least the first four books.

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  2. I feel your Outlander headache pain! I discovered the show before the books. In late April, I was channel surfing and my cable provider was allowing customers to watch one episode. So I watched. I ordered Starz immediately to watch more.

    Once that I caught up on the current season, I realized that if this was based on a book, it had to be one helluva book. I bought the book the next day. The lady at the bookstore "highly" recommended it from personal experience. She said I should be grateful that I could read the series continuously and not have to wait years in-between like she and her retired teacher friends had to do in the 90's.

    I read the book in 4 days (I would have completed it sooner if not for my two children and a full time job). I googled what the bookstore lady had suggested and discovered that there were many more books. I bought the next three and read them like my life depended on it.

    I watched the new episodes as they aired. I could not believe that the 1st book had been out since 1991. What rock had I been living under??? I became an official Outlander Ambassador - telling all who would listen and many who wouldn't - that they HAD to read the books. I read all the books in 3 months, milking MYOB for over 4 weeks. I knew that it would be a year or more before a new book and that the 2nd season of the series would not air until 2016.

    Droughtlander has proven to be tougher than I had imagined. I have picked up the Lord John Series. I have started researching my own Scottish heritage and my sister and I are kicking around a possible trip to the Motherland. I love the books. I regret loaning them to my sister, as I want to re-read them and pick up on possible things that I missed, as I devoured them so quickly. My sister is reading them at a snail's pace. I am headed to the book store to purchase book one (again). I could not have discovered this series at a better time in my life. It has been a pleasant distraction from my eldest leaving for college. The love story has warmed this sad momma's heart.

    The rich characters and stories make the entire saga "believable". I have to keep reminding myself that it is fiction. I love that Ron Moore has stayed so true to the book's story line and the essence that Diana Gabaldon created. The cast is AMAZING. The humor on the show is infectious. The only person that isn't happy is my boyfriend. He keeps referring to them as "those damned books" . . . I only suggested that he wear a kilt and be more romantic!

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    1. Hahaha!!! I had the same feeling. I couldn't believe I hand't heard about these books so late in the game.

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  3. I love that I got to see every detail your brain processed after picking up the book. Mine works that way too! A good friend posted a very funny Buzzfeed link back in March and just said casually "Anyone as into this series as me?" I had never heard of it, which is unusual because I'm a TV buff. I bought the first half on Amazon, read the description and said "huh. I don't know, but Amelia said it was good." I was taken a little aback that no one I had heard of was in the show, but I hit play. And I haven't come up for air yet - books or TV. And I love it. And your post!

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    1. Oh wow! You have a good friend there! I'm kind of glad that they picked ones that weren't widely known. I feel we would have gotten a completely different outcome with the show.

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    2. Exactly. That's what made me fall in love with it more. When I watch or read, I picture ONLY Jamie and Claire and not well-known characters that Sam and Cait have played before. I always use the Star Wars example here. When the movies first came out in the 70s, Harrison Ford and the others were mostly unknown (save for a few recognizable roles). They WERE Han Solo and Princess Leia, etc. When they "rebooted" the franchise with Episode 1 back in the late 90s, it was rough. I remember seeing Samuel L. Jackson and thinking "oh cool, the dude from Pulp Fiction went into space."

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    3. Agree with you on that one!! And YEAH!!!! A Star wars fan!!!

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  4. Verra awesome article. I got into Outlander in March of this year. I found out that we are indeed really winners when it comes to Outlander here in the Phoenix, AZ area because Diana lives in Scottsdale and frequents the Poisoned Pen Bookstore. My experience was a lot like yours, and others described above. Verra similiar to Ashley's as well! Watched the first part of the series on Blu Ray special edition, then read the first book while waiting for Draughtlander to end. My birthday was the day before the return of the season, and my husband surprised me with a Starz subscription to keep current! I then have finished DIA, Voyager, Drums of Autumn and Fiery Cross. I am about to start A Breath of Snow and Ashes, but I am waiting for a cross country trip to start that book. It will make my flight just go by super fast! Great replies and great blog to you Paige! Go SUN DEVILS! (I didn't go there, but I have to choose one or another, and I have friends and family that went there. HERSELF taught there, so that also works!!!!)

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    1. haha!! what a nice hubby you have! brace yourself for what ABOSAA. I won't tell you a peep about it but, it's a tearjerker.

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  5. I read Outlander for the first time in 2001. I had never heard of the book when I took it off the library shelf while browsing and decided to take it home with me. I know I started reading it that night. I was hooked at the part when Frank sees the ghostly man in a kilt and I have never looked back. I didn't know I was beginning what would become my favorite book of all time!

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  6. I have only been reading them since May. I got the first half of the season in the UK in April and binged watched the first 8 episodes. I then read a sample on my kindle and loved it straightaway. I also have read slowly so as to not notice so much during droughtlander. I have read up to voyager and the 2 sample chapters of drums of autumn but for the past month I have read the Lord John books can't wait to see his casting as he is such a great character.

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    1. Lord John Grey! My absolut favoriter character, after Claire/Jamie. If you like me, have read all Outlander-related novels/novellas, you might agree. If not you will probably scream "Brianna!"

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  7. Paige-ur path to OL has some similarities to my own, but initially when I glimpsed an earlier advert for the show I thought-no way will I like this!! Boy, was I wrong. Like u, I obsessively watched the show and had to read all the books.

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  8. I read the 1st book way back in the 90's and had to wait for the next book! It was so exciting when the next one came out. My grandma was part of a book club and she always shared her books with me and my mom. So I have grandma to thank. It is my all time favorite book and I have been saying for years they need to make a movie or series. Ron Moore has done an excellent job adapting it and I am eagerly awaiting Season 2.

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  9. I binged the show in August, then read ask right books between November and January..total immersion. I am shoo in love with that couple and that world. I can't get enough, and I can't wait until April!

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