Finished the series, again

This afternoon I finally finished my latest "re-listen" (the audio equivalent of a "re-read" <g>) of ABOSAA. As usual, I'm sort of worn out, overwhelmed, emotionally exhausted by the events of the last part of that book, and by the sheer fact of having come to the end of the series at last. (Again.)

I made a deliberate decision this time around to go as slowly as I could manage, trying hard to pay close attention to the details. Most of my favorite scenes, I listened to twice, sometimes three times, before moving on. And if I happened to be distracted and not paying attention in a particular part (a common occurrence, I'm afraid <wry g>), I backed up the recording and listened to it again.

As a result, it's taken me an amazingly long time to get through the series this time. I started my last "re-listen" of OUTLANDER in March of 2008 -- yes, almost exactly a year ago, believe it or not. Finished DRAGONFLY in April (in fact I listened to the farewell scenes on April 16, the anniversary of the battle of Culloden). Got through VOYAGER in six weeks, then spent most of the summer listening to DRUMS. And I'd made it almost to the hanging scene in FIERY CROSS by mid-September, when I was offered the position of Section Leader in Diana Gabaldon's section of the Compuserve Books and Writers Forum. Since then I've had a lot less time to spend listening to the audiobooks, but I finally got back to it in a systematic way at the beginning of the year, listening for half an hour or an hour a day, usually.

It took a lot longer that way, but I am thoroughly satisfied now that I've read the whole series about as slowly and carefully as I can possibly manage. (This is saying a lot, coming from someone who devoured all six books in only five weeks, the first time!)

I will probably take a break from the audiobooks for a few days, before I start over. Or maybe I'll listen to BOTB again, just for a change of pace. But right now I feel a great desire to step off the emotional roller-coaster of the OUTLANDER series and just let it all sink in.


Anonymous said...

I finished the series (again) this week also. I'm afraid that I have a very bad habit of going too fast. I try to put the books down, but I have a great deal of trouble doing that. I thought it was interesting that you said you, that you feel "emotionally exhausted". I find that I get addicted, and slightly obsessed and I go through a withdrawal after reading the series. Is that crazy or what. (emotionally exhausted) is an accurate description. Although I must admit I can't wait for Echo.

Karen Henry said...


I am also a fast reader, and a "skimmer", and I read the books MUCH too fast the first few times. This is the primary reason that I started listening to the audio versions in the first place, because I literally couldn't slow down enough to catch all the details.

And of course you're right, it IS an addiction! I've done the "finish ABOSAA one day, start over with OUTLANDER the next day" thing a few times, but for me I find it works better to have a bit of a break in between.

So, last night I started a "re-listen" of BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE. That should keep me occupied the rest of the week, at least, and then I'll be ready to dive back in with OUTLANDER. (Addicted? You bet I am! <g>)


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