My TV-show inspired reread of Outlander confirmed few things I thought I remembered about this book. Namely, that I liked it, but also found it almost silly at times. An enjoyable read, but not a great one.
The good: inventive take on time-travel. Great female character in Claire. Historical milieus well realized and intriguing. Jamie. The cheerful abandon with which Gabaldon treats genre conventions. Is it science fiction? Is is romance? Is it supernatural romance? Historical fiction? Who knows? Who cares? It’s all that and more.
The bad: the Finnish translation is not great, and it makes Jamie come off as a bit of a simpleton. Furthermore, Finnish might just not be the language for epic love. My cynical side can’t let it go when the declarations of love are told in the same language I use to talk about cleaning the toilet. I need the distance of hearing them in a (to me) foreign language to be able to take them seriously.
The ugly: over-reliance on shock value and melodrama. Gabaldon just loves cranking things up to eleven, even when just making ten louder would be more effective.
The verdict: for all its faults (pacing issue, the at times redundant and clunky voice-over) the adaptation has so far been better than the book. Blasphemy, I know, but what can you do?