Addicted To Love

The Dramatic Confessions of an Outlanderholic upon the Loss of her Outlander Virginity


Hi, I‘m Beta, and I‘m outlandishly addicted to Diana Gabaldon‘s amazing series, Outlander.

There, I‘ve said it, and I have to blame... thank our Wenches Kathi and Merit for that, because after reading their very intriguing and inspiring post about the books, I just could not put them on hold for very much longer.

I had heard of them often, of course, and sure enough I‘d heard plenty about Jamie Fraser whenever the Wenches who had read the books were gushing over him, saying how amazing and perfect he is, when talking about their book boyfriends. Er, not that we talk about our book boyfriends that much. *shifty eyes*

Yup, that's exactly what I did
when I saw all those page numbers.
But I‘m going to be frank... eeehh, let me rephrase that... I‘m going to be honest and admit that the page numbers were/are verra overwhelming, and one of the reasons why I hadn‘t picked up these books a long time ago.

I mean, OMG, these books are HUGE! And considering I'm not a fast reader, I knew this would take me forever to read, plus I've got so many other books to read. And I have a life, you know!

But at last, one fine day in late November, after debating with myself which book to pick up next, I caved in. I had no choice really, Outlander was calling to me, and so loudly that I just couldn't ignore it. And once I started, there was no turning back. Twas as if I, myself, had traveled 200 years back in time and met the man who would change my life forever...


I'll give you a little peek at my initiation into the Outlander world after the jump, and I should mention that it might have been a wee bit emotional and dramatic. According to others, of course. Who happened to witness a few teensy little reactions. BUT...


... be warned, I pulled a Gabaldon with this post. It's not 1000 pages, but it's longish. I'll be focusing on my non-dramatic journey through the first three books, the ones that really tested my strength, faith, and endurance. There will be spoilers, so if you are an Outlander virgin who plans to read it some day... You. Do. Not. Want. To. Be. Spoiled. Believe me. Just stop reading right now and go pick up the books!!



The Journey Begins


It had been a while since I read Kathi's and Merit's post so I didn't remember a lot of it, but I did recall them warning us to be sure to have time to savor the books properly. I wish they had warned me not to pick them up just before all the Christmas holiday preparation was about to start. Why? Well, let's just put it like this: I had no problem savoring the books. I did, however, have a big problem with savoring my second-favorite time of year, December, and the many preparations for my all-time favorite holiday of the year, Christmas. My kids were lucky I didn't turn into Mr. Scrooge, although for a whole different reason than him.


Aw, thank you.
For the record, I haven't finished all 6000+ pages of the series that have been published so far. Or the Lord John Grey books. Or the novellas and short stories. But I've started The Fiery Cross, so I'm well on my way, right? Maybe even deserve a *thumbs up*?



Anywho, I started reading Outlander, hoping I could take it slowly, chapters here, chapters there. Knowing that if I liked the book(s), it would take me months to read them anyway. But no, I got hooked in chapter one, reading about Frank's encounter with the ghost, and after that I just could not put the book down.... How easy am I? Apparently, I'm a bookslut. *shakes head* And "chapters here, chapters there"?? HA! What was I thinking? Some of these chapters are like short stories, yikes!



What To Expect


I was going to say that I didn't know what to expect from these books, but then I remembered seeing this book cover:


And after having read the first four books and starting The Fiery Cross, I'd say that that was spot on and then some.

Personally, I could add a few things to that list, as I'm sure you could.

And speaking of that list, it got me thinking. What if there were a list from the reader's POV? How would that look? Well, my list would look something like this:



















Might As Well Face It...


Do you remember the song Addicted to Love, performed by Robert Palmer? Here's a part that could easily have been written to describe me while I was reading the books, especially the first three.

Your lights are on, but you're not home
Your mind is not your own
Your heart sweats, your body shakes
Another kiss is what it takes

You can't sleep, you can't eat
There's no doubt, you're in deep
Your throat is tight, you can't breathe
Another kiss is all you need

Just swap the word 'kiss' for 'page' and you've got yourself a nice, little picture of how...cool...I was, getting through the first three books.

When I started reading the books, I knew Claire was married and would be involved with another man. To be honest, I wasn't thrilled with the idea. I was worried I wouldn't enjoy the books as much because of that.

Well, all I'll say about that is that my morality flew right out the window as soon as I got to know my Jamie, and I ended up shouting: "Frank fuckin' who?!? Forget about him and start ravishing that gorgeous and swoon-worthy man Jamie, like you know you want to, woman!" So yeah, me and my vitally important virtue...


Shock To The Heart


The first several hundreds pages in Outlander were full of awesome stuff: brilliant humor, unexpected excitement, adorable moments, swoon-worthy conversations, hot chemistry, tense action, etc. I found myself laughing out loud, sighing, and swooning so many times, just loving the start of the story about Jamie and Claire. Yeah, Ms. Gabaldon definitely got me hooked with this wonderful, delightful story, always keeping the humor close no matter how difficult the times and situations were. And after ensnaring me so securely, getting me completely invested in the story, she dropped the big bomb of horridness on me ... starring that rat bastard, Black Jack friggin' Randall.

Yes, Ms. Gabaldon, why, why would you?!?
I can't even... I mean... how could she... why??! How could this happen to my Jamie?! When he made this awful, awful, although understandable, but still awful, deal with Randall, after all he'd been through already... I was just heartbroken. And when Claire walked out of the room, with Randall telling Jamie he'd be back shortly and then showing her the way out, I was a mess. Thinking how extremely painful it must have been for Jamie to hear her walking away, yet how thankful he was that she'd be safe, without him. Then the thought of him literally pinned down, waiting, knowing what was going to happen when that bloody pervert returned. Utterly heartbroken, I tell ya!

Tears were running down my face, and all I could do was keep reading. I wanted to stop SO badly, just to close the book and indulge in denial until I felt a wee bit better. But I couldn't. Surely, you know what would've happened then, right? If I'd stopped reading, everything would've gone on hold. My poor, strong, brave Jamie would've been stuck sitting in that room where he expected to be tortured, dreading Randall's return, and wondering why it was taking him so long, until I could bring myself to start reading again. I couldn't do that to him. I needed to continue, at least until he was rescued and healed. I just had to pull up my diaper, suck it up, and keep going....

I love and adore Claire. She's a kick-ass heroine, and what makes her even more so is the fact that she's human. Randall was right about one thing, she's no coward, and she's a perfect match for Jamie. She even killed a wolf with her bare hands, for crying out loud! She's compassionate, dedicated, funny, clever, resourceful, honest, strong, stubborn, and I could go on, but you know all this. Yup, she's one of my favorite heroines. She saves Jamie time and time again, his life and his soul; she is the one who keeps him whole.

And that brings me back to Jamie and the 'twig' in my eye. From the time he was rescued from Wentworth, through the painful aftermath of rape and torture, and as Claire literally gave him back his life, his manhood, and his hand, I was completely devastated. I had this huge, heavy heart, and I cried so hard while reading some of the scenes that I had to hide from my kids so they wouldn't think someone had died. I'm not even kidding. And I'm talking about ugly crying. Yeah, you heard me. Ugly. Crying. I had to take a break while getting it together. It's hard to read when you can't make out the letters through the tears.

Please don't judge me!


I might not have handled myself very well, I admit. Maybe even got a wee bit dramatic, some might say. But seriously, how long could I endure this? I read and read and read (remember, it's a verra long book!), hoping for any sign of things getting better... Jamie starting to heal, finding the will to fight, to live, something, anything! But it Just. Kept. Getting. Worse. Such agony I suffered when I actually had to put away the book and pay attention to real life, every now and again. Which only meant that Jamie was stuck in his pain for even longer, and Claire wasn't yet able to help him, while their time was "stopped" waiting for me. Yeah, I suffered with them every step of the way.

But, finally, FINALLY, the time came for things to get better, and boy, did I have goosebumps when Claire worked her wondrous magic and brought my Jamie back. What a glorious moment when Jamie woke up; he was "back" again and even smiling. There's Jamie for ya!! And that also meant the weight was lifted off my own heart at long last, and I could start to smile myself. What. A. Relief!!!



Dragon-sized Tears


So, after finishing Outlander really late one night, times were looking brighter again for us. I had my Jamie back, we were going to have a baby, and most importantly, we were together. Of course, I knew things wouldn't be easy, and I knew more sad stuff would come my their way, but I sure did not expect it to happen from the VERY FIRST PAGE of the next book!! But that's exactly how it was. Ugh!

Lulled into a false sense of security by momentary hopefulness, I made the gigantic mistake of reading the teaser description at the beginning of Dragonfly in Amber, thinking I might then reward myself with a little peek at the first couple of pages, just before going to sleep. To put it mildly, I was NOT happy. In fact, my first reaction was something like this:

"WTF! Brianna Randall!?!? 20 years later!?!?!? Are you telling me he didn't get to raise his daughter??????!!!!!! That is just awful. And pisses me off. And at the same time makes me soooo sad!"

The thought of Jamie and Claire being apart for 20 years... 20 goddamn years! And Bree carrying the name Randall! Was I in the Twilight Zone?? Ugh!



Needless to say, I did not read further that night. But when I did, yep, things were not as I'd hoped. I have to say that I was having a hard time being pulled away from Jamie just like that! Come on!!

But I also have to give Ms. Gabaldon a lot of credit. She's a great storyteller. The way she switched her POVs was brilliantly done, and she actually made the abrupt transition surprisingly easy.

The fact that her presentation was brilliant does not mean it was any easier for me to read. No, I continued to be a complete mess while reading all the hard parts, and dreading what I knew had to happen. Some parts were easier than others — I'm not a total drama queen! — but a lot were simply heart-wrenching and gut-ripping. Like Claire and Jamie losing their daughter, and, really, everything they went through until they got back together again. I mean...


That is just so unfair!!
And I knew the inevitable would happen: Claire would go back through the stones. I knew it and dreaded it with all my heart, and Oh. My. God. The agony when that time came, it was just too damn much! I can't even think about that scene and all the pain and heartache I... they felt saying goodbye to each other, without shedding a tear or two... hundred. And 20 years apart?!?!? Inconceivable. And imagining how they must have suffered during that long, lonely separation, it was just so, so, so, unbelievably sad. Man, did I cry and sob. I had to take a break from reading so I could pull my act together, 'cause everything was blurry and I couldn't see a damn thing. Again. Just like with the last book.
Please, just make the pain go away!

Emotional Roller Coaster Ride


After getting through all the ups and downs of DIA, I eagerly started Voyager. I couldn't wait to have them reunited, although I was a bit worried about how that would turn out. After all, 20 years is a verra long time. Plus, since I was starting to catch on to the she-devil devious Ms. Gabaldon's tactics, I figured she'd come up with more horrible, angsty moments for me. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me, and all that. But I would deal with that later; I needed Jamie and Claire together, and I needed it to happen ASAP. So like I said, I eagerly started book 3, but I was not prepared to be thrown back into Jamie's life, not like that, and certainly not into his head. Well, wasn't that just fan-fucking-tastic?!?! Now I got to experience all of Jamie's angst too, vividly, first hand!!! Great. Juuust great. And yeah I know, shame on me.

I can't even...I mean... yeah, no, I'm not even going to go there. I think you guys are starting to get the picture of yours truly reading the bountiful supply of sad, agonizing scenes. Spending so many hours with my brave Jamie, a wanted man, seriously hurt, all alone, having lost his wife and unborn baby ... hiding for seven years in a cave! ... And then being in a prison... and... nope, I am NOT going to go there. *takes a deep breath* But don't get too carried away imagining my suffering... like let's say, by picturing me all in tears while in public or something like that. I mean, I wasn't THAT bad, I stayed cool... So I might have occasionally been in tears in the car on my way to work and back home again, but that's normal... right?


It sounds like I was having the worst time of my life reading these books, but it wasn't like that, I promise. Sure, I sobbed my eyes out and felt like I was carrying my heart outside my chest. And yeah, I lost my ugly cry virginity to Diana Gabaldon, the tormentor, but the multitude of good, fun, endearing, sweet, amazing, intense, hot, humorous, and awesome moments that she also gave me were SO worth every minute of the angst. Besides, I love good angst — I've just never had so much of it in one story. Hell, I've never even read such a long story before! But it was and still is so worth it.

When Claire walked into A. MALCOLM PRINTER AND BOOKSELLER, I had butterflies in my stomach and was holding my breath from excitement.

"It isn’t Geordie," I said. My voice was higher than usual. "It’s me," I said. "Claire."

He straightened up very slowly. He wore his hair long; a thick tail of a deep, rich auburn sparked with copper. I had time to see that the neat ribbon that tied it back was green, and then he turned around.

He stared at me without speaking. A tremor ran down the muscular throat as he swallowed, but still he didn’t say anything.


*****

"I want—" He stopped and swallowed, still holding my hand. His fingers found and touched the silver ring once more. "I want verra much to kiss you," he said softly. "May I do that?"
I could quote that WHOLE scene from memory, it's so mind-blowingly, goosebump-worthily, amazingly perfect! It's just made of WIN!!

And The Story Continues


By this time, the relief I had felt after getting my Jamie back in Outlander seemed like such a long time ago. And let's face it, that feeling didn't last long, thanks to the she-devil devilishly clever author. But when Claire and Jamie were at verra long last reunited in Voyager, I believed I could finally start to feel like a normal person again. And no matter what trials and tribulations befell them, as long as we they were together, we would all be just fine!

By the time I finished Voyager, I'd survived some of the most emotional scenes I'd ever read. After all that, I decided I could face whatever she had planned for my Jamie and Claire and their family, and so far I have! And without any ugly crying — tears, sure, but no ugly crying.

However, I wouldn't have made it through this time without my fellow Wenches, who were with me every step of the way. Head Wench Barb was reading the first three books at the same time as me, and thank goodness for that. I needed someone to swoon, sigh, and cry with, and we were quite the pair at times. And thank gawd for the Wenches who had been through all this before us (probably without people thinking they were being so dramatic about it, though), who held my hand through it all. And especially Wench Kathi, who was a devoted supporter and pep talker, always making me keep my eyes on the prize, repeatedly saying that things would get better.

THANK YOU, WENCHES!
I can't even imagine how agonizing it must have been for fans who were reading each book as it was published, having to wait years for the next one.

I know there's more to come, but so far Ms. Gabaldon gets a big standing ovation from me. Diana Gabaldon, the she-devil, the tormentor (and I say this with much love), is a brilliant writer. Aside from all the great stories, and fascinating historical details drawn so vividly that you feel like you have gone back in time... She brings you many, many great characters whom you absolutely love... and some you just really, REALLY don't. But most of all, she gives you one of the most amazing love stories I've ever read... a long one, yes, but amazing. I can only hope that I will feel the same way as I continue to read. Heck, I can only hope I live long enough to finish reading all the books and see how the story ends!!

But here ends my confession. Yes, I'm finished spilling my guts. I hope you don't feel like you need to advise me to see a therapist. I'm quite fine now, I assure you. And Ms. Gabaldon should be extremely thankful for that, because I would so send her the bill for it. I bet therapy sessions are quite expensive...

Dramatic much? Nahhh. But even if I were, I loved every second of it. And that is Diana Gabaldon's truly brilliant accomplishment.


Oh, but wait, before you go, tell me how you feel about the books. Do you love them? Did you get a wee bit emotional while reading them? Have you finished reading all the ones that have been published? And most importantly, is it safe for me to continue reading???

Comments

  1. I just discovered these books last year, and I read them all in about 6 weeks (what can I say, I am currently unemployed). When I finished, I started back at the beginning and read them again. I loved them! Waiting for the next book is painful - I can't imagine having to wait years between the books.

    A little spoilery here, so if you haven't read them yet, fair warning:
    I love these characters, and I have to keep reminding myself it would be boring if nothing bad happened to anyone, but good gracious, sometimes I wonder about Ms. Gabaldon. I love Jamie, I love Roger, I love Ian. What she did to Roger I cannot forgive. And, if she does not give Ian a happy ending with his nice Quaker girl, I will be very angry. I think one of the most erotic scenes in any of the books is with Ian, Rachael, and some goose grease, and it only has a very short kiss. Man, I want those two to be happy together forever.

    So, yes, I have it bad for these books. And as soon as the next one comes out, I will be reading, and re-reading.

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    1. Wow, all books in about 6 weeks, impressive. Being unemployed sucks but meanwhile, what a wonderful way to spend your time, these books are amazing! :)
      Waiting years between books would have been agonizing.

      Yeah, it would be awfully dull if nothing bad would happen to anyone and pretty unbelievable but ha ha I know! One does wonder about Ms. Gabaldon :)
      And I completely agree, I love Jamie, Roger and Ian, so hard.
      I haven't read as far as you're referring to but I have a feeling that I'll agree with you 100%.
      Oh dear, what on earth did she do to Roger... sigh.

      Ok, Ian, Rachel, goose grease = one of the most erotic scenes... I am intrigued!

      Thank you for your input, I'm so happy to meet another fellow Outlander fan!!

      Delete
  2. I loved your take on the Outlander series and laughed out loud reading it.

    I have read all the books, all the Lord John books and all but one short story. I devour the preview excerpts DG posts of the eight book, Written in My Own Hearts Blood.

    My favorite characters are Jamie, Claire, Lord John and Ian Jr. Jenny, Jamie's sister, is growing on me and I think we are going to see much more of her in the next book. I also think I will like William much better in the next book, at least I hope so.

    Keep reading, you won't be disappointed. They are very long, detailed books, but they are worth it. Just a warning, you will be in for a shock at the end of Echo in the Bone.

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    1. Thank you so much! And I'm really glad you had fun reading it :)

      *whispers* Don't tell anyone but I read one... ok, one and a half... ok fine, two excerpts from the WIMOHB and even though I'm pretty much clueless about them (luckily they weren't too spoilery) I can't wait to get there!

      There are so many characters I love so much and Lord John and Ian Jr. are definitely among them. And when I found out about the Lord John's books I was so excited. There's just something about that man that I've loved almost straight from the beginning. And Ian Jr. *sigh* he's so kind and amazing and knowing he's your favorite after reading all the books so far I can just imagine how much more awesome he'll get. Jenny is great, so strong, loyal, stubborn and just great. I got a bit disappointed at her for getting that biatch - the name I never know if I can pronounce or spell correctly - Laoghaire, or whatever, after Claire came back (20 goddamn years later ;))
      I understood her worries for her brother but I was not happy about it. Maybe it was because I really, really don't like that brat and Jenny shouldn't have forced her on my Jamie. :)
      I am curious to find more about William as he grows older, although I do suspect things won't get easy when ('cause I assume that is waiting he finds out who his real dad is.

      Thank you for your input and encouragement! And warning! :) Ms. Gabaldon sure does keep her readers on their toes.
      ... But woah, that means you're still waiting to move past that shock from EITB, right?! I should make sure I'll drag my reading along for as long as I can so I won't have to wait for too long until WIMOHB :)

      Delete
  3. Great post! What can I say? I LOVE these books, I reread them all the time, in between, before, after and together with other books. I smiled happily reading your post, remembering I had the same reactions you had while reading some emotional scenes. Prepare for more tears, both happy and sad.

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    1. Thank you Merit, so glad you liked it! Ms. Gabaldon sure does know how to bring out the tears in us :) Thanks, I'll prepare myself ;)

      Delete
  4. Oh thank you for expressing me so clearly - how could you know?!?! Your post dragged me through something of an emotional rollercoaster of its own! I was given the first book in November and am now almost through with my third read of the series - including all the Lord John books - which are every bit as addicitve as the big books. I had no one to share them with though (sniff) and so suffered alone for the first read, but have through the months encountered so many lovely co-addicts like yourself. Truly - you have spoken for so many of us - thank you! Can't wait to read of your experiences with the rest of the books, including the Lord John books!

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    1. Thank you Barb!! I'm so glad you liked it and I'm so glad I'm not the only one experiencing the ride like that! :)

      I can't imagine how hard it must've been not having anyone to share your first Outlander journey with. You are a brave and a strong woman. I'm really glad you've since found co-addicts to share the love and experience :)

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  5. What a great depiction of the emotional roller coaster we all ride when reading these books. I encountered the first book in 1994, and didn't even know that there were two more books (at that time). I must admit to starting the fourth book, but never finishing it. I felt for years that I wanted Herself to use her considerable skills to invent a new story and couple for me to feel that strongly about. I no longer think that. I'm currently re-reading the series and am in the middle of DIA. Long books do not intimidate me in the least. In fact, I used to never try to read anything less than 500 pages because it would be over too quickly and I would be left with having to search out another worthy book. But as I'm reading this time around, I'm also writing a novel myself, so I have to force myself to look away!

    Your post reminded me just what it was that I (and EVERYONE else) love about the books. And it makes me feel that my complete and utter fangirl obsession with the upcoming TV show is perfectly normal. So asking my husband to make sure we have a big screen HD projection TV installed prior to the premier is also within the bounds of normal, right?

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    1. Thank you Marley!

      Yeah, I can take on 500 pages or so books without feeling intimidated :) Although I don't remember reading many of those, the one I remember off the top of my head is the Millenium trilogy by Stieg Larsson. I think my problem is that I'm impatient when it comes finishing things I've started, whether it is something I'm knitting/crocheting, reading, etc. Plus, I'm not a fast reader and I usually don't have much reading time. If I'm loving the book I don't want it to be over too quickly but I don't like it when it takes too long either. Split her books in 2 (without having to wait in between) and I'd be good. I know, I'm weird :D

      Ooh, you're writing a novel? How wonderful! What genre? Best of luck with that and if it's my kind of genre I hope I come across it!
      ... Wait, how many pages will it be? Just kidding!!

      Your complete and utter fangirl obsession with the TV show is completely normal and your request is totally within the bounds of normal :)
      If only I could convince my husband of that myself...

      Delete

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