REVIEW REDUX: THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION

When I first began blogging, I did not always have a TBR list. So I would look at books I had already read. This happened with THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION by Diana Gabaldon. It was the first volume of what will be a multi-volume resource for the fan of Gabaldon’s popular paranormal time travel series.
Recently a TV show  based in the series began on STARZ, and since True Blood ended I have taken up recapping the show each week after it airs on Saturdays.  I occasionally find myself looking things up in this companion to the book series so that is why it is relevant. I believe there are only two more episodes in the first half of  this first season. I think it resumes in January. I am working on that fact as I write this.
Here’s a bit about the book and more about a musical that was written from the book series.  This originally appeared on my Blogger site on March 14, 2011 athttp://fangswandsandfairydust.blogspot.com/2011/03/outlandish-companion-and-outlander.html under the title:  Outlandish Companion and Outlander: The Musical???
THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION
by Diana Gabaldon Hardcover: 608 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press/random House; 1St Edition edition (June 29, 1999)
Language: English
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 8793 KBPurchased Book.

Cover of
Cover of Outlander

Many, many years ago, in a land far, far away, before Amazon.com and a few other companies took over the sale of books, I asked what was interesting at the bookstore. They took me to Romance, section “G” right in front of Outlander. According to Diana Gabaldon’s website, this year marks the twentieth anniversary of Outlander. After that completely engrossing book introducing us to one of the most popular, honorable, hot, brave, smart, sexy heroes ever written, Seriously, the man could make pig-sticking sexy. I believe I went to the bookstore the next day or so to buy Dragonfly in Amber which I read on our road trip to Quebec.

You get it, I have a Jamie and Clare addiction. And after the first three books came out I would be as excited as a 12 year old getting a new Harry Potter book and actually splurge on the hardcover.

I read quickly, especially sexy romance, and, over time lent copies of the first three books did not return to me. It became harder and harder to remember what happened in which book, and how do you pronounce that weird word anyway?

Enter the Outlandish Companion. Originally, a guide was published in 1999, and this edition was published in 2005.  The Outlandish Companion is a  is a compendium of Outlander Series information up to book four, Drums of Autumn. The name, Outlandish Companion reminds me of Edward Gorey. The OC contains

Picture of the author Diana Gabaldon during a ...
Picture of the author Diana Gabaldon during a book signing held in Fergus, Ontario (during the Scottish Festival) on August 11, 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Image via Wikipedia

Picture of the author Diana Gabaldon
during a book signing held in Fergus,
Ontario
  • Synopses of each of the first four books.
  • The Characters and
  • Family trees. P
  • Comprehensive Glossary and Pronunciation Guide with a brief guide to Gaelic grammar
  • Information on websites by now probably quite out of date,
  • An excellent guide to doing research for historical novels,
  • Titling books,
  • Lallybroch (Jamies’s ancestral home)
  • FAQs
  • Controversy
  • WIPs with excerpts of now published books
  • A great bibliography
  • and Apeendices with errata, Galeic Resources, and other interesting information.

I bring this up, even though parts of it a somewhat dated, because I keep hearing stuff about a movie.  If LORD OF THE RINGS can be turned into a movie, then something at this level of complexity can also work.

In sitting down to write this up, I went to Diana’s site. And was surprised to read of a musical being written by Lyricist Mike Gibb and composer Kevin Walsh. There is currently no stage show, Allan Scott Douglas sings Jamie and Sue Robertson sings Clare. What I have heard of the music is lovely, and the voices are nice, but the person singing Jamie is over acting Jamie and sounds totally unnatural. A CD is available and one song is available as a free download at http://www.outlanderthemusical.com/the_musical.htm.

Shorter version with a pronunciation guide to the lyrics.

Samples from the musical (14 samples)

Amazon.com Review
For nine years, four books, and nearly 4,000 pages, Diana Gabaldon has entranced readers with her talent for historical authenticity, dramatic plot lines, and strong characters in the Outlander series. Her superb writing has earned a loyal audience, but after a million and a half words, even the most fervent of fans may have a difficult time trying to recall the exact details of the secondary characters, let alone the obscure ones. Thankfully, Gabaldon’s The Outlandish Companion is here to help. Part crib notes and part trivia guide, this essential handbook includes synopses of the first four novels, a character guide, notes on plot development and research, answers to frequently asked questions, and teasers for the upcoming novels–there’re even horoscope charts of the central characters, a list of fan Web sites, and choice recipes for the truly devoted.
Readers looking for a fix of Gabaldon’s humorous voice or insight into her writing processes and characters will certainly be more than satisfied, but those looking for the next installment of Jamie and Claire’s adventures will have to wait for The Fiery Cross, the fifth book in this bestselling series, expected sometime in late 1999 to early 2000. –Nancy R.E. O’Brien


Since the above was written three four additional books in this series have been published. 

 

 

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