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73 of 75 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS THE WEAKEST LINK...
This is the fourth in a series of what has been, until now, exceptionally well written time travel, adventure/romance books by the author. There are five such books published to date in what is anticipated to be a series of six books. Those of us who are hopelessly addicted to this series are awaiting the publication and release of book six.
I urge the reader to...
Published on 17 Nov 2002 by Lawyeraau

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing follow on
Whilst I love Diana's talent for having you understand the characters and their feelings I thinks at times she dwells to long on this. The story moved a little to slowly for me this time and I am having difficulty finishing the last 20% of the book.
Published 6 months ago by elizabeth forbes


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73 of 75 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS THE WEAKEST LINK..., 17 Nov 2002
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Drums Of Autumn: (Outlander 4) (Paperback)
This is the fourth in a series of what has been, until now, exceptionally well written time travel, adventure/romance books by the author. There are five such books published to date in what is anticipated to be a series of six books. Those of us who are hopelessly addicted to this series are awaiting the publication and release of book six.
I urge the reader to start at the beginning and read each and every one in the order in which it was written. Be not afraid of the length of each book. Trust me when I say that you will end up wishing that they were each longer, so riveting is the story that the author unfolds. Ms. Gabaldon is a master storyteller without compare, employing the superlative use of actual historical events with authentic period detail to weave a three dimensional tapestry of timeless love and adventure. While the core of the story is about a love that transcends time, it is an adventure story that holds the reader in its thrall.
The love that spans time is that which twentieth century Englishwoman, Claire Randall, has for eighteenth century Scottish highlands warrior, James Fraser. Those readers who have read the first book in the series, "Outlander", know that in 1945, Claire, a combat nurse during World War II, is reunited with her husband, Frank, after the war. While on a second honeymoon in Scotland, she visits a strange, flat topped hill, where a forbidding stone circle draws her. Touching one of the stones, she is hurled through a vortex in time and finds herself in eighteenth century Scotland, where she meets the brave and brawny, red headed Scot, James Fraser, with whom she falls head over heels in love. Finding herself thrust into the midst of clan warfare and intrigue, she and her beloved 'Jamie' have enough adventures to last a lifetime.
The second book, "Dragonfly in Amber", is a continuation of that story, told from the perspective of the twentieth century where Claire, now a doctor, has lived for the past twenty years. Upon the death of her twentieth century husband, Frank, Claire returns to Scotland with her grown, red headed daughter, Brianna. There she discloses to Brianna the events of her secret past, as well as the truth as to who Brianna's biological father truly is and of the love that Claire bore him.
While in Scotland, however, Claire discovers something that will change her future, as well as her past. You see, for the past twenty years Claire has mistakenly believed that her beloved 'Jamie' died in the historic battle of Culloden. It was there that the Scottish highlanders bravely fought the English in a misguided attempt to restore Charles Stuart, their bonnie Prince Charlie, to the English throne, only to be decimated on the battlefield. Those few who survived were branded as Jacobite traitors and imprisoned, and their families disenfranchised. It was this very event that Claire and 'Jamie' had conspired to change, only to fail.
Their story transports the reader from the turmoil of the Scottish highlands to the intrigue of the French Court and regales the reader with the adventures of the two lovers, as they conspire to change the very course of history. It was this valiant attempt that ultimately brought Claire and 'Jamie' to the crossroad that would compel these star crossed lovers to part and have Brianna become a denizen of the twentieth century.
In "Voyager", Claire, now realizing that the love of her life and soulmate survived the battle of Culloden, makes the decision to go back in time and find James Fraser, as she has not stopped loving or wanting him every waking moment for the past twenty years. Leaving her daughter, Brianna, she once more hurls herself into the vortex of time to eighteenth century Scotland to begin her search for James Fraser, inhopes of being reunited with her 'Jamie'.
"Voyager" tells the story of what happened to Claire Randall and James Fraser in those intervening years. It tells of their ultimate reunion and rediscovery. Against a backdrop of historical events and period detail and with a cast of unforgettable characters, it regales the reader with their new adventures, as Claire returns to a still divided, turmoil ridden Scotland. Reunited with Jamie, none the worse for wear, they seek to make a life for themselves. As their love comes full circle, they take to the high seas, and their adventures continue, captivating the reader once more.
In "Drums of Autumn", the story takes somewhat of a detour, as it begins to focus more on Brianna. Back in the twentieth century, Brianna and her boyfriend, Roger, a Scot and college history professor, as well as descendant of one of James Fraser's cousins from clan MacKenzie, each independently make a discovery that stuns them. Roger keeps it to himself, while Brianna acts upon it. The discovery involves an old news clipping which tells of Claire's and James' premature deaths in a house fire in pre-revolutionary, frontier America. Brianna makes the decision to go to the stone circle to try and go back in time to change the course of history and save her parents. She does not, however, tell Roger of her plans. Roger, discovering Brianna's deception, follows on her heels and, on that strange, flat topped hill in Scotland he, too, enters the stone circle and is himself hurled into the vortex of time.
Brianna and Roger catch up with each other in the eighteenth century only to be parted for a time, each having their own adventures. Claire and James by now are established homesteaders in North Carolina and are enjoying, what is for them, a relatively staid life. By the time Brianna catches up with them, an event has occurred in her life which may have the impact of forcing her to stay mired in the past.
This fourth book in the series is a bit of a disappointment, as it could have used some serious editing due to the author's self indulgence. Moreover, the characters are not so well drawn, as they are in the first three books in the series. Unfortunately, a pivotal character, that of Brianna, is uncharismatic and comes across as somewhat vapid and stupid. Brianna definitely needs work, if she is to capture the readers' imagination, as have Claire and 'Jamie'. At the stage of development in which she is, Brianna would be unable to sustain another book. The same goes for Roger, who comes across as somewhat one dimensional, though he does have potential, as he seems to have a latent smoldering and sensual quality to his personality.
Still, notwithstanding some of these issues, this remains a compelling time travel saga, one which the many fans of this series will, undoubtedly, enjoy.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jamie and Claire's adventures continue in the New World!, 2 Feb 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Drums Of Autumn: (Outlander 4) (Paperback)
Jamie and Claire decide to build a future for themselves in the New World. Only this time, they are joined by other Time-Travelers, and woven into the story are a few characters from past books of whom one may have thought one had seen the last. Filled with the delicious romance and adventure that one has come to expect from Diana Gabaldon, this book, like those previous, occasionally wanders off on tangents that can leave one wondering, "Where's this going?" Be patient, and go with the flow. Allow yourself to get lost in the spaciousness of the New World before it was tamed -- when it was raw, and wild, and daily life was a heck of a lot less predictable, less crowded, and less comfortable than it is today.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Frasers Build A New Life In America - Outstanding Drama!, 28 Feb 2005
This review is from: Drums Of Autumn: (Outlander 4) (Paperback)
"Drums Of Autumn" is the fourth book in Diana Gabaldon's extraordinary "Outlander" series. It amazes me that Ms. Gabaldon has been able to continue to delight readers with her consistently good writing, excellent plots, superb characters and meticulous historic research for thousands of pages and four novels. "Drums Of Autumn" most certainly will not disappoint fans of the series. If you have not read the three preceding novels, I strongly urge you to do so before beginning this book. "Drums of Autumn" may be able to stand as a novel in its own right, but I think it would be too confusing to enjoy it thoroughly without having read the historic and personal drama that Ms. Gabaldon details so well in her previous books.
To label the "Outlander" series as merely historical romance fiction would be to do it a terrible injustice. This is an epic historical romance, yes...and so much more. The relationship between Claire and Jamie is one of the most caring and intimate I have ever encountered - in fiction or real life. This is a couple who are solidly committed to a life together for better or worse. Theirs is a love that truly transcends the boundaries of time.
More than twenty years before this novel begins, Claire Beauchamps Randall, vacationing in post WWII Scotland, stepped through the ancient stone circle known as Craigh na Dun - and was suddenly sucked back in time to 1743 and war-torn Scotland. It was here that she met and married her own true love, highlander James Fraser. Before the tragic battle of Culloden Moor she was forced to return to the 20th century to protect herself and her unborn daughter, abandoning Jamie in the process. Two decades later Claire made the journey back through the stones to reunite with James in the 18th century, leaving their grown daughter, Brianna, behind.
James and Claire both agreed that there was no possibility to build a life for themselves in Scotland. The clans had been forced to disband, the people were starving and living in abject poverty, most of the men were dead, crippled, imprisoned and or jobless as a result of the doomed Jacobite uprising. The Frasers along with a few friends and James' nephew, Ian, cross the Atlantic and make their way to North Carolina where Jamie's aunt has a plantation. At the same parallel time, 20th century Brianna and her beloved Scottish boyfriend Roger discover some terrifying information about Claire's and Jamie's fate. Brianna is determined to reach her parents somehow and warn them of coming events, hoping to change the future. The inevitability of these events and the frustration and inability to change the future continue to be strong themes.
This is a phenomenal novel! Ms. Gabaldon details frontier life in beautiful 18th century North Carolina so clearly and accurately that one literally feels swept back in time. Claire and James have grown tremendously as characters, as have the love and intimacy between them. New characters are introduced, as well as a marvelously vile villain. This is also Brianna's story. She becomes a woman with a woman's responsibilities in "Drums Of Autumn." I cannot recommend this book and series highly enough.
JANA
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm Totally Hooked, 12 Jan 2014
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Well written, well researched and very immersive. I bought the first book in the series simply out of curiosity as a friend has a 'bit part' in the forthcoming TV serial, but I have to know how it all pans out and have now read 4 books. Characters are well rounded, believe able and compelling. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Un-put-down-able!, 22 Aug 2011
This review is from: Drums Of Autumn: (Outlander 4) (Paperback)
Yet another fab read from Ms Gabaldon! While I preferred the earlier books set in Scotland, it's great to find out what happens to Jamie & Claire in the New World, along with other members of their family. My only criticism is that I wish the author would stop telling us the same information over again (Duncan Innes only has one arm; Jamie has two stiff fingers on his right hand, etc). I do miss the Scottish setting, though and I did find it disconcerting to have more than one voice tell the story, but you soon get used to it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 8 Oct 2003
i have enjoyed every book in this series and this one did not change my mind .as usual i could not put it down Diana Gabaldon makes you feel you are right there in the story with the characters,cant wait for the next one
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5.0 out of 5 stars I have read all the books in the Claire and Jamie series ..., 23 Feb 2000
This review is from: Drums Of Autumn: (Outlander 4) (Paperback)
thoroughly enjoyed them all. Even though it has been some time since I finished the last book in the series, I find I am still carrying the characters around in my head. Looking forward to The Fiery Cross, due out in the UK in May 2000. Diana is an excellent writer and really gets into the characters heads (particularly the male ones) and leaves you feeling with a sense of waiting for long lost friends that you want to meet again. Particularly like the Magic/Time Travel scenes, Action and Socttish dialogue, and Paris in the 18th Century. Diana are you sure your not a time traveller ? Great read, more please
Janet Harman, London, England
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I started the series with DRUMS OF AUTUMN, not realising...., 31 Mar 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Drums Of Autumn: (Outlander 4) (Paperback)
Not realising I was starting the last of the series, so far. Packing my suitcase the night before leaving the US to return to Wales a few months ago, I grimaced when my mother tossed DRUMS OF AUTUMN in my overstuffed case. She said that someone had given the book to her and she couldn't really get into it. I had been overloaded with sappy romance novels during my month-long holiday and really did not want to read yet one more. Two months later, I was desperate for reading material, so decided to give this book a go. Anyone who has read this book can well imagine how I felt--coming in on the last book (so far) of this series. I was completely engrossed and thoroughly entranced by the compelling plot, thoughtful detail, and ligitimate historical theme. I was delighted to find myself absorbed into a story with believable characters, who, by the grace and skill of excellent storytelling, touched my heart and left me wanting more. This is an intelligent read, and one that I am happy to have 'stumbled' across. Needless to say, I am now a Gabaldon addict!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still fascinating - but the weakest book so far, 20 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Drums Of Autumn: (Outlander 4) (Paperback)
Maybe I'm just getting cynical, but I wonder just how many more life threatening ordeals Jamie and Claire can survive. I must admit that moving their story to America has introduced a much needed new angle to their history, but even so. At times Ms Gabaldon seems to forget that they are in their mid to late forties, as they still manage to have sex any place anytime, whether it's trapped in a snowdrift or in their shed. I have a feeling that the next two books may begin to shift focus to Roger and Brianna.
It was nice to see Lord John Grey back, and in an even more decent light than before. He has acted as a nice counterbalance to Jack Randall ever since his appearence, and hopefully he will once again be involved with the family in the future.
However despite the quibbels, I must once again commend Ms Gabaldon on the strength of her research - even I a mere Sassanach was able to understand the ebbs and flows of the American political scene at that time, for which I give her thanks.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Addictive, 1 Feb 2001
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Drums Of Autumn: (Outlander 4) (Paperback)
It took me a long time to start this book, partly because I was unsure how I would warm to Jamie and Claire moving to the states, mostly because I knew I had a long wait for the next one when I finished this. I didn't have to worry about Jamie and Claire, they are just as interesting in the US as they are in Scotland. I enjoyed the way the strands of the story are constantly interweaving and the way that certain expectations are confounded neatly. My only real problem now is waiting for the next one.
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Drums Of Autumn: (Outlander 4)
Drums Of Autumn: (Outlander 4) by Diana Gabaldon (Paperback - 3 July 1997)
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