logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: diana-gabaldon
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-09-04 19:07
Voyager / Diana Gabaldon
Voyager - Diana Gabaldon

Claire Randall discovers that Jamie Fraser survived the Battle of Culloden and must choose between returning to him or staying in the life she has made for herself in her own time.

 

Well thank goodness that Voyager is now in my rear-view mirror! Not that it’s a terrible book, just it’s not the right book for me, especially right now when I’m looking forward to diving into my fall reading list. But my hold was fulfilled at the public library sooner than I anticipated and then I found there were 25 people waiting patiently behind me in line for it, so there would be no renewal allowed. Le Sigh!

I’m interested in the basic plot of the story, but Gabaldon bludgeons the reader with detail. I persist in thinking that a more ruthless editor would improve these books by orders of magnitude. Apparently this is an argument that the author has heard before, as Jamie & Major John Grey have a discussion about the length of books when Jamie is in the prison which Grey is overseeing. They are discussing Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded, by Samuel Richardson which is another kitten-squisher of a book and they come to the conclusion that some books just need more details to capture a life. Obviously, I don’t agree, but it’s a valid argument in some cases.

And of course I can’t review Gabaldon without my ritual bird-rant. This time around, it’s about a pelican, caught by the Chinese character and used to bring in fish. This method of using a bird to do the fishing is a real thing, done in China, but with cormorants. I’m unaware if pelicans have ever been trained in this way, but I suppose it is possible. There are certainly lots of cormorant species at sea that could have been chosen for the book. I’m not sure which species of pelican is referred to here, but I assume it’s a Brown Pelican (and Gabaldon, with her poor bird track record, thankfully doesn’t specify species). I suspect that she chose the pelican over the cormorant because it is a larger bird, providing some protection for its new master.

Having just recently finished Dr. No, by Ian Fleming, also set in Jamaica, I was struck by the shared details between the two books. Descriptions of mangroves and of the guano industry, for instance. Fleming references the bird guano industry, Gabaldon specifies bat guano. I assume that there are insectivorous bats in the Caribbean and caves large enough to house them and collect guano? I definitely know that Fleming’s bird colonies are dead accurate. ***I just found a reference to Jamaica bat guano on Amazon, of all places.  So Caribbean bat guano is a thing.***

One thing that I did appreciate in this volume was the lovely portrayal of middle-aged lovers. Jamie & Claire have still got it going on. I also thought that their hesitance when they are first reunited was right on the money—a 20 year gap is almost like starting over with a new person, after all.

I’m pleased to report that it looks like at least a year will pass before I will pick up the next book in this series. Hopefully, I’ll be feeling less time pressure at that point and can read at a more leisurely pace, which would dampen my resentment of all the unnecessary padding in these books.

Book number 293 in my Science Fiction & Fantasy Reading Project.

 

This was the cover of the version that I read, and I have to say that I love it!  That lichen covered rock, reminiscent of something in a stone henge, with Claire and Jamie on either side of it.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-08-31 19:15
Reading progress update: I've read 334 out of 870 pages.
Voyager - Diana Gabaldon

 

I am disappointed to report no birds in this volume thus far.

 

The positive:  its a great depiction of middle-aged lovers.

 

Summary of the first third of the book?  Claire, Brianna, and Roger do a lot of research, while pretty much everyone Jaime meets in Scotland wants to sleep with him.  All right, that's a BIT of an exaggeration, but really.  *rolls eyes*

 

And I'm having the same problem that I always do with Gabaldon's work, I read along fine for a while, but when I set the book down, its really hard to pick it back up.

 

I have seven more days until its due.....

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-08-30 18:01
TBR Thursday
Voyager - Diana Gabaldon
Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy - L.A. Meyer
Goldfinger - Ian Fleming
A Royal Pain - Rhys Bowen

 

I'm almost finished In the Month of the Midnight Sun and then I will have to move on to Voyager, as it is due on September 7 and 23 people are waiting for it.  I've waited quite a long time for my turn, so I'm reluctant to return it without reading it.  It is part of my Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Project and be assured that I will be reading with a notebook at my elbow to record any birdy inaccuracies that occur!  Its a kitten-squisher, so I better get busy with it asap.

 

I've also got to read Bloody Jack before September 7, as it is the current selection for my real-life book club.  As the member who made the selections for the year, its my duty to have them read and be able to discuss them!

 

And I still have two hold-overs from the Summer of Spies--Goldfinger and A Royal Pain.  I'm looking forward to getting them cleaned up prior to getting serious about Halloween Bingo.

 

The Labour Day weekend is just about here.  I've booked Friday off work to extend it to a four day weekend.  There's the usual weekend stuff to do, of course--laundry, a bit of house cleaning, some cooking, grocery shopping, you all know the way the list grows.  But I'm also going to make some time to go to my favourite used book store to look for a growing list of books that my libraries don't have.  Also, I hope to reorganize my paperback shelves and get my Science Fiction & Fantasy project books in better order (and perhaps fitting on the shelves more tidily).

 

I wish you all happy reading and a great weekend!

 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-08-23 16:20
TBR Thursday
In the Month of the Midnight Sun - Cecilia Ekbäck
The Spy of Venice: A William Shakespeare Novel - Benet Brandreth
A Royal Pain - Rhys Bowen
Goldfinger - Ian Fleming
Voyager - Diana Gabaldon
Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy - L.A. Meyer

 

Can you believe that summer is almost over?  That means a bit of clean up as the Summer of Spies ends and Halloween Bingo begins.

 

I'm currently working on a non-fiction book Resurrecting the Shark and on Dr. No.  Next up is In the Month of the Midnight Sun, because I've renewed it almost as many times as possible at the library.  The author was originally billed as coming to When Words Collide, but by the time of the conference, she had disappeared from the schedule.  I hope nothing bad happened in her life!

 

I've got 3 more books I hope to read for the Summer of SpiesThe Spy of Venice, A Royal Pain, and Goldfinger.  Then I am proclaiming my summer reading project finished.

 

I recently picked up Voyager at the library--it is part of my Science Fiction & Fantasy reading project and there are 23 people waiting behind me for it.  It seems that Gabaldon only writes huge kitten-squishers, so I will have to concentrate on it soon.  It's due on September 7.

 

And finally, my September book club selection:  Bloody Jack.  We'll be meeting to discuss this book on September 7 also.  In other words, I have my reading cut out for me over the next couple of weeks!

 

I hope that everyone who participated in the Summer of Spies enjoyed it as much as I did!  I crossed a lot of titles off my TBR and feel like I have a better understanding of the spy genre than I did in May. 

 

Happy reading!

 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-06-13 04:06
Drums of Autumn (Outlander #4) (Audiobook)
Drums of Autumn - Geraldine James,Diana Gabaldon

As I mentioned in my review for Outlander, I started this series with the fourth book by accident. I was just out of high school, my mom was having health issues and I was the one who was driving her around to her various appointments and spending a lot of time in waiting rooms. So when I saw this book sitting on the new releases shelf in the bookstore, the only thing I cared about what that it looked interesting and it was thick. It would give me hours and hours and hours of reading time. So I got it, started reading, and got to around a quarter of the way through when I realized this was part of an ongoing series. I kept reading though and enjoyed it. It provided exactly what I needed at the time and even got me to go back and read the first three books.

 

Now, twenty plus years later ... this got annoying. It starts off really slow and rambling. All the books in this series ramble, but it gets worse the longer the series goes on. The first three books at least have obvious plots right off the bat. This one takes over 500 pages to get around to it's main conflict, and up till then it's basically just the four main characters doing stuff. I still really enjoy Claire and Jamie's relationship, but I couldn't give two figs about Briana and Roger's courtship, especially when Roger gets all caveman about it. 

 

I was never a fan of Briana, but wow. For someone so smart, she can be really stupid. Roger's kind of a jerk but he's tolerable. Neither one is prepared for 18th century living, despite both of them being history majors. They not only lie to each other about crucial things, but they make one reckless decision after another. How in the world they survived is beyond me. 

 

Actually, the main conflict isn't exactly what I would call contrived. Considering what Bree's been through and that she just barely met her father, her decisions make sense, even if they're illogical. Given what Lizzy thinks she knows, and what she tells Ian and Jamie, their actions also make sense. What doesn't make sense is

Claire not telling Jamie what Briana told her. She could've done that and kept Bonnet's name out of it.

Also, if you're looking for someone, a physical description usually helps.

Also, both Claire and Briana went by different last names when they went through the stones, so it makes zero sense they wouldn't consider Roger doing the same.

Also, Jamie would've killed Roger based on the info Lizzy told him. But of course he couldn't because the reader - and Bree - wouldn't be able to forgive him if he had.

(spoiler show)

The Big Misunderstanding required these characters who are usually extremely good with communication to be really bad at it.  

 

And it's just a little ridiculous that these characters are all encountering the same villain no matter where they are in the world. 

 

But once I got through all that nonsense and the characters all started to act like their intelligent, rational selves again, it got way better. The last third of the book is definitely the strongest.

 

Not enough Lord John though. 

I hate that he sleeps with one of the slaves. It's not on page, but it's implied. I guess I can have a smidgeon of consolation that John wouldn't have forced himself on anyone unwilling, and he's a pretty perceptive fellow, so he could probably tell if someone was just pretending to be willing. But still. Don't sleep with slaves, John.

(spoiler show)

 

Edit: Oh, and I forgot to mention the narration. Davina Porter does her usual stellar job, but she doesn't even attempt an American accent for Briana. I guess she's the UK's answer to Kevin Costner. ;) But since I'd rather listen to a pleasant British accent than a terrible American (much less Bostonian) one, I wasn't bothered by it too much.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?