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Clawdette

Opinions Wanted: Top 10 Favorite Scenes from the Books

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What are the passages you most enjoyed reading from the eight main novels in the Outlander series? We can do a top 10 list or fewer.  They may or not have been depicted in the show or may may be from books that haven’t yet been filmed.

[Edited to remove the spoiler tags I initially used until I tested the response.]

One of my favorites:  From “Written in My Own Heart’s Blood” when Jamie resigns his commission as a general in the Colonial Army by writing his resignation with a mixture of blood and mud on a soldier’s bare back.  Nothing is going to stop him from getting to Claire.

Because we are sharing favorite book passages, I think spoiler tags are unnecessary since the thread is aimed at book readers and others enter at their own risk. Thoughts?

Edited by Clawdette
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This is a great idea and a wonderful distraction.  

P.S. - LOVE the scene you selected.  One of my favorites, too.  That whole section of MOBY is riveting.  

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The reunion scene in the third book . . . hands down.  I've been known to pick up that book when I need a lift and just read straight through from when Claire starts up the stairs to the print shop all the way to when Jamie suddenly recalls that he has a meeting and they dash out the door together.   Ah, the moment Jamie sees Claire.  The fainting.  The spilt ale pot.  Geordi spying Jamie with his trousers off and quitting on the spot, declaring "it's not even noon!"  The pair of them retreating upstairs where Claire shows him the photos of their daughter and Jamie "goes quietly to pieces" (which is SO much better in the book, grumble grumble.)  Yep, best scene in the book!

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I have only read the first 4 books once, so this is too hard for me. But I will say that the part where Jamie takes Claire to the stones & she has to choose, is much better written than onscreen! 

WatchrTina-come over to the thread with the top 10 episodes, please!

Edited by Cdh20
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I’m not good at remembering which book is which after Book 4, but:

When Jamie holds it together long enough for Claire to treat his snakebite wound (pure alcohol right into the tissue) with her makeshift syringe, and only cries when everyone leaves. 

Claire tells Jamie that she named the baby Brianna, after his father, and he responds that it’s a terrible name—because she’s mispronouncing it. 

Jamie receives Extreme Unction and  Last Rites in Book 1. So beautifully written. Also, Claire keeps watch over the Host in the chapel, and confesses her secret to Bro. Anselm. I love the whole Abbey section of the book.

Unpopular opinion, but I think the spanking scene and its aftermath are quite hilarious. 

Jemmy ready to attack the bear with his wee knife. 
 

Turtle soup. 

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On 3/29/2020 at 1:56 AM, Archery said:

I’m not good at remembering which book is which after Book 4, but:

When Jamie holds it together long enough for Claire to treat his snakebite wound (pure alcohol right into the tissue) with her makeshift syringe, and only cries when everyone leaves. 

Claire tells Jamie that she named the baby Brianna, after his father, and he responds that it’s a terrible name—because she’s mispronouncing it. 

Jamie receives Extreme Unction and  Last Rites in Book 1. So beautifully written. Also, Claire keeps watch over the Host in the chapel, and confesses her secret to Bro. Anselm. I love the whole Abbey section of the book.

Unpopular opinion, but I think the spanking scene and its aftermath are quite hilarious. 

Jemmy ready to attack the bear with his wee knife. 
 

Turtle soup. 

I love the snakebite aftermath. I’m not a weeper, but I broke down with Jamie. I also love the entire Abbey section, as well. Claire’s confession was so beautifully done, and I felt relieved with her. Their time in the hot spring felt cleansing to my soul, too.

So, I’m doing a thing. We’re a month into Stay-At Home orders here, and like everyone else, we’ve been anxious, scared, bored, stressed, yet feeling blessed and thankful to be together and healthy. I have been in the midst of another book, but with all of these emotions flying around, I just can’t do it. I picked up Book 1 yesterday, cracked it open and immediately felt a sense of solace. I’m going to read through the whole series again and really embrace and immerse myself with the sections I love. I’ll share as I come across them.

Last night, I hit my first fave and perhaps the biggest mystery of the series, Frank seeing the ghost of the Highlander staring at Claire. With the benefit of knowing more of the story now, I love that section even more. I actually squealed last night, and said “There’s Jamie!!” 

Edited by SassAndSnacks
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I am just about to start The Fiery Cross as I always start them when I am just about done the season. Perhaps I will have some input then. 

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Most of mine are the usual, the wedding, the reunion, etc. 

What else.....

- The Quaker wedding in book 8

- Claire's time as John's wife in book 8

- The bit where they kidnap Hal and he's having an asthma attack

I'm sure there are more but for some reason my brain is stuck on book 8, which is my favorite of the later books.  

 

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On 4/14/2020 at 9:46 PM, toolazy said:

Most of mine are the usual, the wedding, the reunion, etc. 

What else.....

- The Quaker wedding in book 8

- Claire's time as John's wife in book 8

- The bit where they kidnap Hal and he's having an asthma attack

I'm sure there are more but for some reason my brain is stuck on book 8, which is my favorite of the later books.  

 

Book 8 is great.  Fast-paced, yet hits those emotional moments so well.  I actually enjoyed Claire's time as John's wife, as well, mostly because we as readers know our guy is coming back, so I was able to just sit back and be entertained by it.  

For anyone following along with my journey back through the stones (er...I mean the books), I hit the mother-load of amazing scenes yesterday/last night.  I had forgotten what a page-turner the first book is.  I started last night with The Garrison Commander chapter and couldn't put it down until Claire was taken to Fort William.  Holy smokes, there are some serious gem moments in those chapters.  

- The Wedding - I mean, what can I say?  The show portrays it beautifully, but the book adds a softness and sweetness to it that wasn't captured on the screen.  What I forgotten from my first two reads through was that Claire was very much into Jamie at that point and was emotionally invested in the wedding night.  She mentions several times how she admires him, desires him, wants to be with him. I found myself actually preferring this version of it, which seemed a bit less romantic and sexualized (though there was plenty o' that) to the show version, which seems almost blasphemous to say!

- The "Honeymoon" - These are the chapters immediately following the wedding night, and I absolutely love them.  Jamie and Claire basically idling about the immediate Scottish countryside, making out and more for 3 days warms my frosty heart. Some snippets - Jamie tickling fish, the "What is it between us?" conversation, which I think comes off much more heart-felt from Claire here than in the show, dancing at the inn where they were staying, Jamie's comments on the merits of brown hair (as a brunette here...swoon), and this classic- 

Then let amorous kisses dwell, On our lips begin and tell, A thousand and a hundred score, a hundred and a thousand more.  

Most importantly, these chapters convey the moments of Jamie and Claire just getting to know each other, and we are lucky enough to witness them truly falling in love.  

I've always thought Book 6 was my favorite, but damn, the moments so far in this one are so embracing and lovely.  The Wentworth chapters may change my mind again.  Stay tuned!

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On 4/16/2020 at 8:54 AM, SassAndSnacks said:

I've always thought Book 6 was my favorite, but damn, the moments so far in this one are so embracing and lovely.  The Wentworth chapters may change my mind again.  Stay tuned!

The Wentworth chapters (recounted in flashback) are, imo, really well done.  I've read them several times, pretty much each time in a different mood.  Ultimately, it's the weightiness of Jamie's account that gets me:  the way he tries every which way to get BJR to kill him or to die in the aftermath; what it takes to confess all the details to Claire; and the care with which Claire receives all of that information.  Those chapters, more than any of the sex scenes, demonstrates to me how close and unbreakable their connection is.  

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On 4/18/2020 at 3:44 PM, Archery said:

The Wentworth chapters (recounted in flashback) are, imo, really well done.  I've read them several times, pretty much each time in a different mood.  Ultimately, it's the weightiness of Jamie's account that gets me:  the way he tries every which way to get BJR to kill him or to die in the aftermath; what it takes to confess all the details to Claire; and the care with which Claire receives all of that information.  Those chapters, more than any of the sex scenes, demonstrates to me how close and unbreakable their connection is. 

I just finished Book 1 last night, and your assessment of those chapters and the aftermath is spot on and so well said.  The entire Abbey section of the book so is beautiful, emotional, and haunting.  When Jamie was receiving Last Rites, I was openly sobbing.  This is my third time through the series, and I don't recall being upset there before.  I feel like every time I read through a section, I uncover something new.  

I started Book 2 right away, and admittedly, this one has always been tougher for me.  I'm sick over the way it opens, with the reader knowing immediately that something went down.  20 FREAKING YEARS!!!!  I know, I know...it's critical to the story, but Herself almost lost me there during the first go 'round.  I'm one of those people that absolutely hates it when Jamie and Claire are apart, so I find myself rifling through any sections/chapters where they are separated.  As a whole, this book is most difficult for me (and Season 2 of the show was, as well) because I feel like we are racing toward an impending doom.  It makes me anxious and sad. We start right off knowing that something happened and they aren't together anymore, and I always feel that lurking over me as I read through it. 

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For those following along, I'm 63% of the way through Book 2, and it's really not my favorite.  I'm enjoying it less than the previous two times through.  I'm a Claire fangirl, and she annoyed me all through Paris.  But, this thread is about things we like in the books, so I'll focus on the positive.  I'll take my chief complaints to the Book 2 thread and try to rejuvenate some conversation over there.  Feel free to follow!  

Positives:

- Claire's red dress and Jamie's reaction.

- The small (albeit too few) moments of Claire and Jamie bonding over her pregnancy.

- Their time back at Lollybroch.  Those chapters are beautiful.  I would read 5,000 drama-free pages of Jamie and Claire doing mundane things on their Highlands estate. The chapter where they harvest the potatoes, and Claire is rocking wee Jamie is so great.  This part of the book heals my soul, as it did theirs.  Jamie talking in the moonlight to baby Katherine gave me the feels all over again.

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So, I'm into Book 3 now.  I made it to A. Malcolm and please excuse my squeals of delight.  The reunion is eh-ver-ree-thing.  All of the things.  DG kills me when she tears these two apart...repeatedly...but she completely restores my faith when she brings them back together.  

The dialogue in these three reunion chapters is so strong and so powerful.  I hadn't remembered as much of it when it aired on the show, but the show did pull and use a lot of it.  The writing was so beautiful, I read it twice last night.  Seeing the line, "There's two of us now" was especially meaningful given Sunday's finale episode. Sigh...

I'll take the remainder of my comments thus far to the Book 3 thread.  

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