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The Outlandish Companion: In Which Much Is Revealed Regarding Claire And Jamie Fraser.... Hardcover – Jun 29 1999


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The Outlandish Companion: In Which Much Is Revealed Regarding Claire And Jamie Fraser.... + The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel + Written In My Own Heart's Blood
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Canada; First Edition edition (June 29 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385257392
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385257398
  • Product Dimensions: 18.6 x 4.4 x 24.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 626 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #17,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

For nine years, four books, and nearly 4,000 pages, Diana Gabaldon has entranced readers with her talent for historical authenticity, dramatic plot lines, and strong characters in the Outlander series. Her superb writing has earned a loyal audience, but after a million and a half words, even the most fervent of fans may have a difficult time trying to recall the exact details of the secondary characters, let alone the obscure ones. Thankfully, Gabaldon's The Outlandish Companion is here to help.

Part crib notes and part trivia guide, this essential handbook includes synopses of the first four novels, a character guide, notes on plot development and research, answers to frequently asked questions, and teasers for the upcoming novels--there're even horoscope charts of the central characters, a list of fan Web sites, and choice recipes for the truly devoted.

Readers looking for a fix of Gabaldon's humorous voice or insight into her writing processes and characters will certainly be more than satisfied, but those looking for the next installment of Jamie and Claire's adventures will have to wait for The Fiery Cross, the fifth book in this bestselling series, expected sometime in late 1999 to early 2000. --Nancy R.E. O'Brien --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Kirkus Reviews

As with the guides to the Hobbit tetralogy and the fiction of Stephen King, Gabaldon offers a companion volume to her Outlander Seriess four time-travel historical romances, Drums of Autumn (1997), etc., in which she tells us much is revealed regarding Claire and Jamie Fraser, their lives and times, antecedents, adventures, companions and progeny, with learned commentary (and many footnotes) by their humble creator. She also provides full synopses of the four novels and includes excerpts of forthcoming books in the Claire and Jamie Fraser series. Listed, too, are all the novels characters, their origins and family trees, horoscopes, and sketches of clan badges and shields, along with genealogical notes. For non-Gaelic readers, Gabaldon assembles a glossary and pronunciation primer. Additionally, she supplies details on her research, E-mail excerpts, notes on herbal medicine, illustrations, and recipes, plus a huge bibliography. Gabaldon fans who have followed the story of British Red Cross nurse Claire Beauchamp Randall will welcome this act of buoyant hubris by a vividly entertaining author whose later installments have turned into baggy-pants behemoths of 900 pages. (Literary Guild featured alternate selection) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Leslie on May 18 2003
Format: Hardcover
I stumbled across this book in line at the grocery store and quickly became addicted to the entire Outlander series. I've bought them as gifts for family and friends innumerable times. The attention to detail in all of Ms. Gabaldon's books is eerie - in short it makes you wonder if time travel is indeed possible. Calling these books romance novels is unfair because there is so much more to them than your standard bodice ripper. The characters are complex and believable and the dialogue is intelligent and often humorous. At roughly a 1,000 pages per book it's certainly not light reading for the beach but they're so engrossing you'll likely not notice whether the sun is out or not...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Aug. 13 1999
Format: Hardcover
I just wanted to say that I liked this book for what it is-a companion to the novels. As a "die-hard" fan, I can honestly say that for me it was really neat to find out how the characters developed, and how she had help with Gaelic and the other languages that she knows very little or nothing about. I personally didn't like the horoscopes, but I'm not into that kind of thing. Anyway, if you are looking for an interesting and informative read that can give you some insight into how she does reasearch and other things, then please read this. If you don't like that kind of thing, then don't buy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kevin W. Parker on Feb. 1 2002
Format: Hardcover
There are many background elements to the Outlander series: characters, history, food, Gaelic sayings. This is an attempt to cover a lot of them as well as to discuss how Gabaldon came up with the books and its elements.
I shouldn't really take full credit for this book, but it's long enough that I'm not going to feel very guilty about it. I skipped over the synopses of the novels and skimmed the list of sayings and vocabulary words fairly quickly. More interesting was the Q&A, particularly since she got the original inspiration from Jamie on Doctor Who. (I'm a big fan of Doctor Who.) It's also interesting to see how seriously she takes the whole effort: even though she was originally just writing for herself, she took it very seriously and worked hard to do the best job she possibly could.
Most impressive is how she manages at all: throughout her comments it becomes clear that she gardens, she's a Compuserve volunteer, she records audios for the blind, she goes to church, she has two kids. How the heck does she find time to write? She admits that it's a lot to do with going without sleep. Not sure that's something I'd want to try.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 1 1999
Format: Hardcover
I have enjoyed all of Mrs. Gabaldon's novels (perhaps I should be honest and say that the last one was a bit of a disappointment, but still generally quite good), and I do very much admire her style of writing. But I'm afraid I don't understand the frenzy around this book. Astrological charts for fictional characters seems rather redundant to me, for example. In fact, I am rather disturbed by the tone of the other reviews. Little to do with constructive commentary and more to do with group hysteria, it seems. I would have prefered Mrs. Gabaldon to write another novel, rather than spend her time on this rather strange documentation for people who are, after all, products of her imagination.
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By A Customer on Sept. 11 1999
Format: Hardcover
A bit of serendipity came my way when I found the Outlandish Companion on the "new arrivals" bookshelf at my local library. My daughter had just begun reading "Outlander" and mentioned Diane's name the day before. A writer myself, I'd like to direct these comments to Ms. Gabladon Herself. My dear, you are a soul-sister. Your playful spirit and intellectual diversity enthralls me. This companion book is a very handy resource for writers and I will buy a hard copy for my own reference. You might want to consider publishing a book just for writers. Obviously, many readers miss the essence of what you have compiled within these pages. Several disgruntled readers complain that the same info can be found online. Humm - so different venues are unnecessary? "Why make a movie - there's already a book?" Good grief. Another reader complained about Amazon carrying certain comments. I hope Amazon continues to print whatever comes in, as it is all rather entertaining to see how emotional people become over such mundanities. Carry on, MacDuff. Work hard, make your millions and do alphabetize the next glossary. Hugs & kisses to you, Diane.
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Format: Hardcover
I absolutely loved The Outlandish Companion. I think it deserves one star for the Gaelic pronunciations and explanations, a second star for the sketches and pictures (loved seeing Claire's rings!), a third star for the character list, a fourth star for Diana taking the time to answer all of those questions from everyone, and the fifth star for her explanation of where characters come from. I would give her a sixth star for her wit and humor if Amazon gave me that option. I was a little surprised to see how closely the horoscopes matched Jamie and Claire's personalities. Diana didn't write the horoscopes anyway, they were sent to her and she liked them so she included them for anyone who was interested. Who cares that they are fictional characters? Not me. The fact that Diana has made Jamie, Claire & Co. 'real' to so many people is an amazing accomplishment itself. I enjoyed the Companion for the reasons I listed above. Will I read the book cover to cover repeatedly? No. Will I go through it fairly often? Yes. Why? Because it's interesting information and I participate in Outlandish Trivia Games and I could use all the help I can get. My book was worth every penny I spent on it and I hope to someday have it signed along with the rest of my books. Great job Diana and I look forward to books 5 & 6 as well as the next Companion!
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