You see before you evidence of my most recent literary obsession. The Outlander series written by Diana Gabaldon. She started writing this series in 1991 and the books continue to continue at least two more books worth. As I understand it, she is finishing up book number eight and rumour has it that there are no more than two more books before the story is finis. Currently, in the versions that I own, this is 16 inches of tale to be told including the compendium. Mercy! If you are a reader and you haven't yet heard of them, I do recommend them highly.
What sort of books are they? Kind of every sort. It's history, action/adventure, science fiction, romance and mostly what it is, is good writing.
I've been asked many times what sort of books I read. Well, I confess, I am an indiscriminate reader. I will read virtually anything, from the worst sort of harlequin romances, which are, in my mind, bathtub books (meaning that if I accidentally drop one in the bath while reading it and have to throw it away afterwards, I've lost nothing) to the classics, Beowulf anyone? And everything in between. What do I prefer to read? Well given the choice I would usually pick either a memoir, some science fiction or a bit of historic fiction. But my primo choice every single time is something that is written well. These books are written amazingly well.
The reader is drawn in immediately. We, the readers, care about the characters, and after a few chapters we feel as if we know these people and after the first hundred or so pages, we are right there in the story with the characters, side by side, living the tale with them. And the research involved? Nothing short of amazing. It's that research that breathes life into the background of the story, that's what gives these books gloss of authenticity.
Years ago when my parents were still around, my family had a book exchange going on. It wasn't formal of course, but as we are all readers, when we would finish a book, we would pass it on. Eventually a box would come in the mail to me. One lovely day a particular juicyfull box of box arrived. In it, amongst all the normal sized tomes were three huge books by an author I'd never hard of, Diana Gabaldon. Hmmm. How is that even pronounced? These books were weighty, at 800+ pages each. I read the back cover and was mildly interested but so busy that I set the three aside and read all of the others first. Eventually I read through all of the others and only these three were left. I started in on one and in no time at all, I was hooked.
I am a very fast reader normally, but these books made me slow down. I needed to savour, re-read passages, relish and delight in what I was reading. By the time the third one was done, I was online seeking others and learned that the series continued! Oh joy! I ordered the next and then the next until now when I'm anxiously awaiting the 8th.
Four or so years ago Starz TV channel began adapting this series into a television mini-series. Like most fans of the books I had some trepidation. Would they do the books justice? Can they? Will they stay true to the tale? Historically the translation from book to screen is disappointing. I had my doubts about this venture.
Three years ago the first season aired. It was amazing. While it's "my" show, Tim watches it with me. Hurley and Jessie began watching it. Season three is currently showing and never has a week been so long as the week between episodes of Outlander. I am a serious fan.
I had September 10th marked on my calendar for months as the first episode of the third season aired. And of course, Hurricane Irma was knocking on our door that night so, I didn't get to see it. Then the following Sunday we still had no power so I didn't see the 2nd episode either. But by golly, by the time power came back on and we were home on Tuesday..yes, Tuesday night I watched both, back to back and once again, all was right with the world.
I read the books over and again. And now I watch the mini-series over and again. I cannot recommend either the books or the shows highly enough.
The weekend is coming up. I actually won't be home on Sunday so I'll miss this episode but the TV will record it, thankfully so when we return, oh yes, I'll be right there, fully engaged and living the story right beside them.
If you haven't given it a try, do. I do not think you will be disappointed.
And by the way, I'm away all next week so please have a wonderful weekend, watch Outlander for me will you? Enjoy your week. And I'll be back in October!
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.