Thursday, June 16, 2016

Ode to Jamie Frasier...or why I love Outlander

Okay, maybe not an "Ode"...more like a smattering of lines on why I will read anything Outlander related. 

I just finished the novella Virgins by Diana Gabaldon and was reminded of why I love these characters so much.  In Virgins we see a young Jamie and Ian Murray working as mercenaries in France, in the time just following Jamie's whippings by Black Jack Randall.  This is really a buddy novella...lot's of dialogue between two young best friends.  Musings on virginity, prostitutes, and whether a good Catholic boy will go to hell for a hand job.  There is some set up for the pivotal relationship between Ian and Jamie's sister Jenny, but this is definitely more focused on the lads.  It is just a cute short story. Most fans probably read Virgins within hours of it being released.  If you aren't familiar with the books, you're lost right now...and probably wondering what the hell I'm rambling about.

I am in fact rambling about what is probably my absolute favorite book series out I recommend to people anytime I can.  The first book, Outlander, came out in 1991...and the series is still going strong.  It centers on two main characters, Claire Randall, a combat nurse from 1945 and James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Frasier, an absolutely scrumptious Scottish Highlander she marries when she finds herself in 1743 Scotland (due to strange happenings when she went for a walk to some standing stones).  My description really fails.
The series absolutely defies genre.  It is so rich and complex...I am not worthy.  Did I mention I love Jamie Frasier??  I am kind-of happy that I read most of the series on my Kindle, as they are monstrous beasts in size.  If you are intimidated by large books, this probably isn't a series for you.  But if you don't mind a big ole book, you will be greatly rewarded for your effort.

There are 8 "big books" in the Outlander Universe, and a 9th is being worked on as we speak.   Diana Gabaldon occasionally shares little tidbits from the new book on her Facebook page.  These teasers slay me.  There is also another series of books focusing on an important character from the big books, Lord John Grey.   He has to be my favorite gay gentleman in literature.  I know his story isn't some folks cup of tea, but I really enjoy him.  PLUS there are some novellas involving OTHER characters.  This is a very large literary universe folks.  And have I already told you how hot Jamie Frasier strong, so loyal??

But now that there is a television series based on the books airing on STARZ, there is a world of merchandise and books for fans to fawn over.  My Jamie and Claire Funko Pop Dolls have already made an appearance on the Tomes and Tequila Instagram page.
I also have a beloved calendar on my desk, courtesy of a friend and previous co-worker.  If you search for Outlander even on Etsy you will find Jamie dolls, scarves inspired by Claire's wardrobe on the t.v. show, and jewelry galore.  And then there are T-Shirts...egads!!  I even feel compelled to purchase the new book Outlander Kitchen: The Official Outlander Companion Cookbook...and if you know me, you know how dangerous that could be (I burn things badly, and should probably just stick with drinking Scotch).
Okay, I feel like I may have gone off on a bit of a tangent.

If you haven't stumbled across one of these books in the past couple decades, maybe it's time to give one a try.  In my opinion the books get better and better as they go along.  (My friend Kathy would disagree, but this isn't her blog now is it?)  Take a peek at the show, it is absolutely beautiful.  And spend a few minutes reading Diana Gabaldon's Facebook page, or Twitter feed...endless sassy entertainment.  There's a reason this fandom is so large.

So, are you an Outlander fan also??  Books better than the show?  Lord John Grey, or not a fan?  Let me know...I love talking Outlander with people (not sure if you can tell).

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