Playing Favourites: Fiction genius Diana Gabaldon

If you are a fiction lover that hasn’t yet discovered Diana Gabaldon, you just might die and go to heaven when you do.

A friend of mine introduced me to the Outlander series four or five years ago, and it was one of the kindest and most hazardous things she could have done for me. Thanks, Judy!

Outlander (Book 1)

Genius Gabaldon set out to merely experiment with fiction, and so she combined everything in one novel: romance (yes, and sex), mystery, history, mythology, warfare, medicine, time-travel…! Yes, I said time-travel.

The result is pure genius. Sorry, I’m gushing. I’m a bit of a historic fiction whore. Contemporary stuff tends to depress me, while historic stuff, if well-written, can carry me away: a true escapism that is at once delicious and dangerous.

Gabaldon has a rare gift of imbuing characters with so much life that their story goes on and on and on… for 7 going on 8 fat, juicy books now, with no sense that they are reaching the end of their vitality.

From the Scottish highlands to pre-Civil War America to King Louis of France to the America of the 80s, Gabaldon’s storylines span the globe and over two hundred years of history, bringing to life historical characters, languages, and ideologies in a way few history textbooks could. This lady has done her research, and presents it, intertwined with brilliantly-written fiction, in a fascinating storyline I can’t get enough of.

And I’m not alone: thousands of people (okay, mostly women) around the world have become Gabaldon-philes, and I tend to infect those around me from time to time.

She even has a graphic novel that complements the series! Okay, she didn’t do the drawing, but for me, the fact that she has a whole pile of juicy fat novels, a spin-off series, AND a graphic novel is further icing on the cake that is her mastery.

A page from Exile.
A page from Exile.

Enough already. Just go read the dang books! Raid your library (I can pretty much guarantee they’re there). Ask the women you know. Just don’t miss out.

That is, if you’re a historical fiction lover. If not, sorry: this post is not for you.

(A note for those who aren’t used to reading historical novels, but are intrigued: the first book starts a bit slowly, but hang in there and it will all be worth it. I promise!)

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