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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most believable historical fiction - bar none
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...
Published on May 18 2003 by Leslie

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars definately interesting
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...
Published on Aug. 13 1999


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most believable historical fiction - bar none, May 18 2003
By 
Leslie (Appleton, WI USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Outlandish Companion: In Which Much Is Revealed Regarding Claire And Jamie Fraser.... (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
3.0 out of 5 stars definately interesting, Aug. 13 1999
By A Customer
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Background to the Outlander series, Feb. 1 2002
By 
Kevin W. Parker (Greenbelt, MD) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars excessive, July 1 1999
By A Customer
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Never read a Gabaldon book before, Sept. 11 1999
By A Customer
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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5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic COMPANION to the Outlandish series, Aug. 20 1999
By A Customer
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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4.0 out of 5 stars A nice "bits and pieces" book, Aug. 20 1999
By 
T. Lorenz (Chicago, Illinois USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I really have enjoyed reading the Companion -- not in the same way that I obsessively stuck my nose into the novels and didn't come up for air 'til the last pages -- but, rather, as a nice "nightstand book," good for reading a page or snippet or chapter at a time.
Sure, there are things I could have lived without (the extensive horoscopes), things I would have loved to see included, but weren't (Steve McManaman!, and just what additional paragraphs were added to "Cross Stitch" that weren't in "Outlander"), and things I would have changed (the foreign phrase dictionary in alphabetical, rather than chronological, order), but those are just my quibbles. On the whole, I found it tremendously entertaining.
I was surprised, when I was reading the synopses of the 4 novels, to learn new things from Diana's summaries -- especially given the fact that I practically have the books memorized! Just for those new insights, the Companion was worth the price.
On the whole, it was what I expected, but bigger, and better, and certainly funnier. It has definitely whetted my appetite for Novel 5...
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5.0 out of 5 stars It's just a book people! No reason to start WW3!, Aug. 13 1999
By A Customer
Ok all... I understand that you have your own opinions, but there is no reason to bash Diana Gabaldon's Companion. We all know what the book was about. It was in no way supposed to be the next enstallment of the series. It was for people who really loved the series and wanted to know more about where Diana got her ideas, what the sayings meant, and to answer any questions. The horoscope was for fun people! It wasn't supposed to start a review war. It is a fun book that lets you get in touch with other people and groups who liked the series as much as you did. We all pretty much had an idea what the Companion was about when we bought the book. If you don't like the companion, then you shouldn't have bought it. I think Diana Gabaldon's work is great and I for one look forward to the next 2or 3 books and another companion. For you that don't like this one... don't by the next companion. Give the woman a break... it is just a guide to her books after all. She isn't trying to create world harmony... just something to tide us all over till the next book. I for one would like to thank Diana for all the effort, reasearch, and hard work that goes into her stories. Keep up the good work!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A wee bit o' fun, not somethin' t'draw steel over!<g>, Aug. 11 1999
By 
I didn't read the Outlander series. I devoured it.
Normally, I'd rather be strung up and dunked head first into a vat of cold parritch than be forced to read "romance" novels, but Ms. Gabaldon's books went straight to my Celtic heart. I bought used copies in paperback to share with friends and hard cover editions for my library--that's a wee bit of change, but well worth it.
Before ordering the Companion, I spent time flipping through a copy at the bookstore--and that might be a good idea if some of you aren't sure you want to spend the money on this--personally, I was laughing out loud and one lady even asked me "Is it good? What are you reading?" Grinning, I stuck a copy of Outlander in her hands...and yep, she bought it.
I keep running into Outlandish people everywhere, and it's great. Diana--thank you so much for the many, many hours spent in the pleasurable company of the Fraser clan.
Okay, put up your swords and stop hagglin' over the book.<g> Check it out first and buy it or not. Mine is on order right now....
(PS: I KNEW she had to be a Doctor Who fan! I mean "Fraser Hines/Jamie McCrimmon"? Had to be!)
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3.0 out of 5 stars I think I'll wait until the series is finished..., Aug. 4 1999
By A Customer
I'm not here to bash Ms.Gabaldon and her novels (all of which I quite enjoyed (okay I didn't love Dragonfly in Amber - but so what?)) A couple of weeks ago I wandered into my local book store and picked up the Companian and I have to admit I was enthralled by it. Ms.Gabaldon has a clear, honest, true voice that is very obviously her own and I really appreciated her insights on the novels. I did not buy a copy at that time (knowing I could get it cheaper on-line). The thing is I still haven't bought one. Mostly because I took a second and checked out her homepage and found the exact same stuff as was in the book.
Was I disapointed? Big time. But so what? A lot of people love these book, and don't have access to the internet. Personally I think I will wait until the other books in the series have come out before buying this book. Because as it stands right now, why buy a companion to an unfinished series? So I am hoping that by the time Ms.Gabaldon is finished with her writing in this series, she will take the time and give us an updated Companion to enjoy along with her great series.
And as for all this squabbling about this book - what does it really matter if one person loves it and another doesn't? Is it really that big of a deal? I don't think so.
Enjoy the series and grow up a little and understand that Ms.Gabaldon is under contract to a publishing company. She may very well have had to write this book due to contractual purposes. And if she did write it for money making purposes, who cares? This is her job - she has to make money to live on. You don't have to buy it. (Whoops sorry, got a little testy there myself.)
Like I said, personally I'm going to wait until the series is finished, and then buy this book (hopefully updated) to complement a great collection of works.
This is just one person opinion - you don't have to listen to me either. Buy what you will, enjoy what you will.
Happy Reading.
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