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23 June 2015 @ 02:38 pm
I am reading Outlander. It is completely ridiculous and I haven’t even got to the Really Infamous Bits yet. I am relieved that my knowledge of mid-eighteenth century Scottish history is almost nil* because it means that the total fantasy isn’t annoying me. Unlike the opening section, which contains such minor inaccuracies as WW2 ending before April 1945.

I'd heard that this was a novel so packed full of tropes it could give fandom a run for its money, and that certainly seems to be true. The sheer amount of hurt/comfort is hilarious. By little more than a hundred pages in, love interest Jamie has had the following injuries tended by nurse heroine Claire: dislocated shoulder, musket ball in (arm?), stabbed with a bayonet, been repeatedly punched, including in the head, by a professional Disciplinary Puncher, because he nobly took the place of a girl who was to be whipped. Jamie, of course, has also been whipped, but that was in flashback, so Claire only gets to listen in horror and caress the scarred flesh. Claire, on the other hand, seems remarkably unfazed by being stuck two hundred years in the past, and one would have thought that a doorstopper volume could have spared half a paragraph for her to wonder what her husband is thinking about her mysterious disappearance, especially as the first section kept mentioning how in love they were and how much sex they were having.

Having said all that, I can see why this would work as a television series. It has a decent central premise, the time-travelling heroine’s being a nurse is very useful to the narrative, and it has classic Romantic Scotland settings. Oh, and a lot of knitwear and a villain whose portrayal from the pictures I've seen appears to be based on ‘Jason Isaacs in the scene in That Patriot when he kills Heath Ledger’. Apparently the knitting is rather popular.

*Though still sufficient for me to be able to tell that the world portrayed is a total fantasy.

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