Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Why OUTLANDER is like a teenager

I just stumbled across this blog post by Jeannine at Chasing Chapters and I can't resist sharing it with the rest of you.

The Outlander Series: Why it's like the unpredictable teenager on my bookshelf
Yet, much like an unpredictable teenager, the road isn't always smooth.  There have certainly been hiccups along the way.  Moments when I wondered where the author was taking me, or why.  Moments when things have dragged on forever and I almost gave up (the Gathering at Mount Helicon in Fiery Cross, anyone?), or times when I was annoyed or disappointed by the path the characters or story had taken.

Kind of like living with a teenager, don't you think?  ;)
I can relate to this.  I'll never forget my reaction on the first reading of FIERY CROSS ("A hundred and fifty pages, and they're still on the first day?!?  Isn't there going to be a plot in here somewhere??")  I've since found that FIERY CROSS improves on re-reading, like a fine wine <g>, and it's become one of my favorite books in the whole series.  But that Very Long Endless Day does take some getting used to!
And strange as it may be, with both a book series and a teenager, one really good moment often has the power to help you forget all the bad. Or at least allow you to put the not-so-great stuff aside long enough to appreciate that nice moment.
I certainly agree that this is true of Diana Gabaldon's books.  For example:  The first time I read ECHO, I was extremely upset (understatement!) at the Claire/Lord John subplot (mentally yelling, "No no no no no, this is just WRONG!!"), and that incident did indeed have a negative impact on my opinion of the whole book, temporarily.  Then I got to the line where Claire says "fuirich agus chi thu" (chapter 98, "Mischianza", p. 794 in the hardcover).  For those of you who don't know, that's "wait and see" in Gaelic, one of Diana's favorite phrases, and an inside joke among those of us who hang out in Diana's section on Compuserve.   I laughed out loud when I saw this in the book, because I was so pleased and surprised to see it in print.  And then, quite suddenly, I found myself enjoying ECHO again.
It can be challenging, and has it's share of head-scratching and cringe-worthy moments, but I just can't seem to turn away.  Somehow, I just know it will be worth it in the end.
Indeed. <g>  I think that's very well put.

5 comments:

Kristin M. said...

I understsand completely about the Claire/LJ pairing. I finished the book only 2 days ago, so it's still very raw to me. It does feel wrong, that's for sure.

Hopefully, I'll come to terms with it as well.. eventually. Lol! I think what bothers me the most is we didn't really get a reaction from Jamie about all this. All we were handed was a couple words, which demonstrated that he wasn't taking what LJ said very seriously.

Kristin

Karen Henry said...

Kristin:

It took me a few months to come to terms with it. Don't be surprised if it takes you a while. We've had upwards of 3500 messages on Compuserve on this topic alone, since the book came out in 2009.

On the contrary, I think Jamie was taking it VERY seriously. And I think we're all going to see detailed reactions to what happened, from Jamie, Claire, and Lord John, in Book 8. I'm looking forward to that very much indeed.

Karen

Kristin M. said...

Well I cannot wait to see Jamie's reaction in the next book. As it is, all we got was him tipping his head to one side, then curiously asking LJ - "Oh? Why?"

Gah!!! Why indeed.

But if a fellow Outlander fan recovered from the shock, I'm sure I can too. Lol! (I mean, over 3500 messages? Wow! At least I'm not alone). I'm surprised I didn't throw the book across the room actually. I think it's because long before reading it, I had heard rumors that a lot of people were angry with Claire. I didn't know what about, but at least I knew something bad was coming.

I'm just glad Ian still has Rollo by his side. For the entire book I was dreading something happening to him. Our devoted pooch/wolf went through a lot in this book.

Sorry for rambling. ;o) Nice blog, by the way.

Kristin

Lisa Roskam said...

I've stumbled upon your blog trying to find out exactly how many Outlander books there are and in which order.... I have 6 on my Kindle and keep hearing she is working on Book 8??? Help!!!

Thanks so much...

lisaroskam@att.net

Karen Henry said...

Lisa:

There are 7 OUTLANDER books published, and Diana is indeed working on #8. The seventh book is AN ECHO IN THE BONE. There is a complete list of all Diana's published books on her web site here.

Hope this helps!

Karen