This was one of my gifts this year from Tim. SQUEEEEE!! Clearly it did not fit in my stocking.
Which does not matter in the slightest because I am so happyhappy about it! And for so many reasons!
First of all because it's a book. You know how I feel about books. It's also a book I have not read before. Then too there is the fact that it is a Big Book, a really big book. Around 900 pages big. I love that in a book. Plus it's written by one of my favourite authors. And it is the 9th book in the Outlander series which, according to the author, will ultimately be 10 book in it's entirety. Of course I have already read the first 8 books in the series so I can't wait to walk with these characters a little further down the road.
Wow, that's a lot of good reasons.
If you are unfamiliar (and how could you possibly be?) with these books let me start with this statement, "This is not a "Chick Flick" kind of book". I keep hearing that and it's absolutely not true. There are as many men as women who love this series. It's history and adventure, a little sci-fi and yes, romance too. So as you can see, a little something for everybody.
The first book was published in 1991 and here it is more than 20 years later and the 9th book was just released. 21 years for 9 books? Well, for one thing, look at the size of the thing! The research alone took a few years! And then there is the writing. This is quality writing, not Danielle Steel level drek. If you want quality you have to be patient. Personally, I want the same high level of quality as the rest of the series.
The first book of the series called, appropriately, "Outlander" and it was also the first book that Diana Gabaldon ever wrote. She felt that the best way to learn to write a book was by actually writing a book. Makes sense to me, Learn By Doing. To her surprise it was an immediate triumph hitting the NYT best sellers list like surprise fireworks out of nowhere and it has never let up. By 2014 more than 25 million copies of the books had been sold and the series had been translated into 34 different languages. Here we are now in 2022 and I have no idea how big the numbers are. It. Is. Impressive.
And then came the TV adaptation. According to the author, a lot of different people over the years had approached her with the idea of turning the books into a movie. Each idea that was presented horrified her more than the last until Ron Moore (of Battlestar Galactica fame) came along in 2012. His idea of not one single film but a mini-series, sounded far more appealing. His experience with successfully Big Epic shows certainly worked in his favour as did offering the author involvement in the project.
There is a lot that goes in to turning a book into a movie or a television series. It takes, literally, years. Especially if you do it right. And clearly it was done correctly because the first episode hit the airwaves in 2015 and was met with excitement, acclaim and applause around the world. And it has not let up since.
The primary actors have been playing their roles for nearly 9 years now and Season Six won't be aired until March of this year. Season Seven has already been ordered and it is my understanding that the writing for it has begun.
So here we are, Outlander-wise. The 9th book hit the bookstores in November of 2021. But the TV series is still only on season 6. You may ask, "Isn't it confusing to be starting book 9 while preparing to watch book 6? Isn't that sort of like reading the last page first? Doesn't it get confusing?" Oddly, no it does not. I can keep them separate in my mind. The only hard part is not revealing future things to folks that haven't read the books when we are discussing the TV show. They might say something along the lines of, "I think THIS is what's going to happen and here's why" and I cannot say a word, not a dang thing. I bite my tongue and try to keep my face neutral, hum and little hum and change the subject. Sometimes it's so hard! But I, for one, refuse to be one of those people who spoil the show for someone else!
I have only just barely started reading this most recent book. Usually I am a very fast reader but with this series I find myself reading far more slowly than usual. It's a book filled with detail for one thing and I don't want to miss anything. Then too, it's so beautifully written that I am admiring as I read. And it's a complicated, many layered story with loads of characters and places and story lines and well, you have to pay attention. This is not a book you can read while doing anything else. It 's not a multi-tasking read. So I have to carve out time specifically for reading with this one. I do not read it while I'm fixing dinner or folding towels or waiting for water to come to a boil. When I read these books, I am dong one thing and one thing only, I am reading.
That's not entirely true. I am reading it, but I am also right there in the story with the characters. So that's two things I guess. Sometimes it's exhausting! It's a heavy book too, especially in hardback! Getting my arm exercise as I read this one.
But it's totally worth it all. It was worth the long wait. It seems like forever between book releases but quality takes time! Same thing happens between the TV season releases. And, once again, it is always ALWAYS worth the wait.
I have no idea if the TV series is going to picked up for the last three books which would of course be three more seasons. As I said, the network already okay'd season 7 which would be book 7. And then too, the actors would have to be willing to play those same characters for three more books worth. I have no crystal ball. It will be whatever it will be. I have no control over any of it. So instead I will just, Very Slowly, read book 9 and in March I will watch Season 6 and I will enjoy every single moment of both.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.