The Outlander Series: To Watch or Not to Watch?

I was recently working at a coffee shop when I noticed the gal at the neighboring table reading The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon, which is the fifth book in her Outlander series. I instantly wanted to be her friend.

Because I would never, ever interrupt a fellow reader unless it was a dire emergency, I waited until my potential new friend got up to get her coffee to strike up a conversation.

“I’m on the third book,” I told her, pointing to her paperback.

“For the first time?” she asked. “I’m re-reading them.”

“Yep, I’m only on the third book.”

“I’m jealous you’re experiencing them for the first time,” she sighed.

“One of my best friends is re-reading them right now and she told me the same thing, ” I laughed.

We chatted a little bit about the books, then my coffee was ready and she returned to her reading when I left my table. So we didn’t exactly become friends, but we did a little stranger bonding over books and that’s always a cool thing!

This week I finished Voyager, the third book in the series. It was my favorite by far. I’ve heard the same thing from so many people that I’m a little nervous to continue the series, fearing it’s all downhill from here!

As soon as I read the final page of Voyager, I was tempted to run downstairs and grab the next installment from my shelf to continue with Claire and Jamie’s adventures. I convinced myself to put at least one book in between, and was able to fall asleep without reading anything else that night. I usually move immediately from one book to the next, but I wanted to savor this one.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been smitten with a book series. And so here’s my dilemma: do I continue with the series and risk losing this feeling or quit while I’m potentially ahead?

I recently wrote a post contemplating a friend’s philosophy of deliberately choosing to not continue with a series when it ends on a high point for her. I’m confident I’ll employ her strategy in the future, but I don’t know if Outlander is a series to quit.



The other question I’m debating right now is whether to start watching the Outlander series on Starz. I could relive the books I’ve read so far, which is appealing since I loved them so much. On the other hand, if I do continue reading the books, I’m afraid the series might spoil something for me. Plus, there’s the age old bookworm crisis of seeing a movie adaptation of characters you’ve been imagining and being disappointed.

Unfortunately I’ve already seen a few promo items for the series so I know what the two main characters look like. One is spot on for me, the other not so much. But I’ve so far been able to keep the character in the books as he’s been in my mind.

I’m actually a bit late to the Outlander party because I didn’t think I’d like it. In fact, I was 90 pages into the first novel and about to bail when a friend convinced me to keep going and I’m so glad I did! 15 more pages and I was totally hooked!

I’m generally not a big fan of romance novels, and Outlander certainly is one, and it’s also much more. It’s a historical fiction love story (with more than a few steamy sex scenes) and it’s an adventure, with time travel. it sounds weird and I suppose it is, yet it works. There’s romance, mystery, medicine, crime, world travel, and just the right amount of humor.

I appreciate that I haven’t encountered anything quite like it before. 

So what do you think? Have you read the books? Watched the series? Both?

What is your general opinion on the book versus the movie, and what do you advise in this case?



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