Thursday, September 3, 2015

Black Jack Randall quotes

Today, September 3, is Jonathan Wolverton Randall's birthday.  What an unforgettable, unspeakably evil character! Tobias Menzies is just mesmerizing as Black Jack Randall in the OUTLANDER TV series.

I thought I'd mark the occasion with a few quotes from Diana Gabaldon's books.  (Warning, there are SPOILERS below if you haven't read all of the OUTLANDER books! Read at your own risk.)

1) Claire, just after leaving Jamie in Wentworth:
By now I had sufficient command of myself to speak, and I did so. I stepped back a pace, so that the torchlight fell full on me, for I wanted him to remember my face.

“You asked me, Captain, if I were a witch,” I said, my voice low and steady. “I’ll answer you now. Witch I am. Witch, and I curse you. You will marry, Captain, and your wife will bear a child, but you shall not live to see your firstborn. I curse you with knowledge, Jack Randall--I give you the hour of your death."

(From OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 35, "Wentworth Prison". Copyright© 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
2) Jamie's memory of Wentworth makes me shudder all over:
The voice did not come at first; for a moment he hoped it would not--perhaps it had been long enough...but then it was there again, whispering in his ear as though it had never left, its insinuations a caress that burned his memory as once they had burned his skin.

"Gently at first," it breathed. "Softly. Tender as though you were my infant son. Gently, but for so long you will forget there was a time I did not own your body."

The night stood still around him, paused as time had paused so long before, poised on the edge of a gulf of dread, waiting. Waiting for the next words, known beforehand and expected, but nonetheless...

"And then," the voice said, loving, "then I'll hurt you very badly. And you will thank me, and ask for more."

(From DRUMS OF AUTUMN by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 48, "Away in a Manger". Copyright© 1997 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
3) Claire and BJR in DRAGONFLY:
"I wonder, you know," he said. "Whether you have had from him as much as I?" He tilted his head to one side, sharp features coming into focus as he moved out of the shadow. The fugitive light caught him momentarily from the side, lighting the pale hazel of his eyes and making them shine, like those of a beast glimpsed hiding in the bushes.

The note of triumph in his voice was faint, but unmistakable.

"I," he said softly, "I have had him as you could never have him. You are a woman; you cannot understand, even witch as you are. I have held the soul of his manhood, have taken from him what he has taken from me. I know him, as he now knows me. We are bound, he and I, by blood."

I give ye my Body, that we Two may be One...

"You choose a very odd way of seeking my help," I said, my voice shaking.

(From DRAGONFLY IN AMBER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 38, "A Bargain With the Devil". Copyright© 1992 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
4) Many of you will remember this bit from Episode 106, "The Garrison Commander".  I thought it was really well done, but I missed Claire's last line.
He drew back his arm and hit me in the pit of the stomach.

I made no noise, because I had no breath. I sat on the floor, doubled over, struggling to draw air into my lungs. I was shocked far beyond the actual pain of the blow, which was beginning to make itself felt, along with a wave of giddy sickness. In a fairly eventful life, no one had ever purposely struck me before.

The Captain squatted down in front of me. His wig was slightly awry, but aside from that and a certain brightness to his eyes, he showed no change from his normal controlled elegance.

“I trust you are not with child, Madam,” he said in a conversational tone, “because if you are, you won’t be for long.”

I was beginning to make a rather odd wheezing noise, as the first wisps of oxygen found their way painfully into my throat. I rolled onto my hands and knees and groped feebly for the edge of the table. The corporal, after a nervous glance at the captain, reached down to help me up.

Waves of blackness seemed to ripple over the room. I sank onto the stool and closed my eyes.

“Look at me.” The voice was as light and calm as though he were about to offer me tea. I opened my eyes and looked up at him through a slight fog. His hands were braced on his exquisitely tailored hips.

“Have you anything to say to me now, Madam?” he demanded.

“Your wig is crooked,” I said, and closed my eyes again.

(From OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 12, "The Garrison Commander". Copyright© 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
5) Who exactly is BJR referring to in this next quote? His brother Alex Randall, or Alex MacGregor?  We don't know, and Diana Gabaldon isn't saying. But it's fun to speculate!
"I canna think why I did it. But I put my arms about him, and we just lay still for a bit. He stopped crying, finally, and kissed me and stroked me. Then he whispered to me, ‘Tell me that you love me.’ ” He paused in the recital, smiling faintly..

“I would not do it. I dinna know why. By then I would ha’ licked his boots and called him the King of Scotland, if he’d wanted it. But I wouldna tell him that. I don’t even remember thinking about it; I just--wouldn’t.” He sighed and his good hand twitched, gripping the coverlet.

“He used me again--hard. And he kept on saying it: ‘Tell me that you love me, Alex. Say that you love me.’ ”

(From OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 40, "Absolution". Copyright© 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
6) I always find this bit from the opening of VOYAGER oddly reassuring:
There was a rustle near [Jamie's] ear, and he turned his head to see the crow. It stood on the grass a foot away, a blotch of wind-ruffled black feathers, regarding him with a bead-bright eye. Deciding that he posed no threat, it swiveled its neck with casual ease and jabbed its thick sharp bill into Jack Randall’s eye.

(From VOYAGER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 1, "The Corbies' Feast". Copyright© 1994 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
Happy Birthday, BJR -- and may you rot in hell where you belong!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Would you go through the stones, if you could?

The topic of this month's poll is "Would you go through the stones, if you could?"

What do you think?  Would you go?  If not, why not?  Please leave a comment here or on my Outlandish Observations Facebook page.

August poll results

Here are the results of the August poll, which asked the question, "How long have you been reading Diana Gabaldon's books?"
  • 15.77% - Since OUTLANDER was first published.
  • 14.49% - 6 months to 1 year
  • 12.53% - 20+ years
  • 11.28% - 15-20 years
  • 9.58% - 1-2 years
  • 9.10% - Less than 6 months
  • 9.07% - 5-10 years
  • 8.69% - 10-15 years
  • 7.50% - 2-5 years
  • 0.61% - I haven't read any of Diana Gabaldon's books, but I've watched the OUTLANDER TV series.
  • 0.32% - I read excerpts of her work on Compuserve before OUTLANDER was published.
  • 1.06% - Other
Here are the responses for "Other":
  • read all after tv series aired
  • I read Outlander mid1990s, and series twice since 2014
  • found Outlander at the library in "new books".. I was hooked!!
  • Since The TV Series
  • I've read all 8 since May. Incredible writing.
  • Discovered Outlander by accident at Costco and haven't looked back!
  • I've read all 8 of her books in the past year
  • I am Claire
  • i have read all 8 books in 3 mo waiting for the 9th
  • I haven't read her books but intend to now. I loved the 1st 8 episoces!!!
  • Just finished rereading all the Outlander titles.
  • Read first book over 20yrs ago, 2-5 in last 3 mos.
  • audio books
  • I read it in galley form
  • Not reading them anymore
  • ive read all of dianas books . she is a wonderful writter
  • Read boyh books and watched the show
  • Not long enough!!!!!
  • Read all 8 during 1st Droughtlander phase ;)
  • I read all 8 of the Outlander series in 2 weeks
  • Outlander 90s, then all read February to April thi
  • advanced readers edition b4 1st released
  • Started in April. Finished in early June. Now 2nd
  • Start reading the books after becom Tv series fan
  • but i haven't stopped since I started...
  • I bought the books and read them after the STARZ s
  • I read part of the first book . Love the series
  • But was called cross ditch then
  • Since seeing the show last April - I'm on #7 now
  • Since Crosstich was first published
  • Started reading when TV series started
  • and now again with re-reads!
  • Since ten years, over and over again, no ending...
There were 3120 responses to this month's poll, which is one of the highest totals for any poll I've ever done. Thanks very much to everyone who participated!

I thought the results of this poll were very interesting. I was rather startled by the number of people (15.77%) who said they've been reading the OUTLANDER books since they were first published in 1991. On the other end of the spectrum, almost 24% of the respondents found the series within the last year, since the premiere of the OUTLANDER TV series.

I didn't vote in the poll myself, but I've been reading (and re-reading, and re-listening to) Diana Gabaldon's books since November 2006, which is more than 8 1/2 years.

Please take a moment to vote in the September poll, which asks, "Would you go through the stones, if you could?" Thanks!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Outlandish Observations is 7 years old!

Seven years ago today, I started Outlandish Observations!

I had two goals in mind when I started this blog. The first was simply to learn about blogging. The second was to create a central repository for news and information for OUTLANDER fans, a place where people could go to find answers to commonly asked questions, links to other OUTLANDER-related sites, and the latest information on Diana Gabaldon's new and upcoming releases.

To say that this blog has succeeded far beyond my wildest imaginings is a severe understatement! In the beginning, I never expected anyone to visit my site except a few dozen of my friends from the Compuserve Books and Writers Community and LOL.  I didn't talk about it on Compuserve for the first couple of years, because I was very reluctant to draw attention to it where Diana Gabaldon could see -- which seems silly in retrospect, but it's true.  Suffice it to say that I did get over that shyness, eventually. <g>

Since the premiere of the OUTLANDER TV series, daily traffic on my site has gone way, way up! The average number of daily visitors over the past year was 1,405, compared to 848 the previous year (an increase of 65.7%!)

Special thanks to all of my followers on the Outlandish Observations Facebook page! Last year at this time I had 5,455 followers on Facebook. Today that number is 7,063, an increase of 29.5%! I'm amazed and delighted that so many new people have found my site in recent months. Welcome, and I hope you take some time to look around and see what else is available here.

Outlandish Observations was one of the first successful OUTLANDER-related blogs. These days there are dozens and dozens of fan-sites, Facebook groups, and so on. The more the merrier, as far as I'm concerned! <g> I'm proud to be a part of such a thriving, creative, and enthusiastic worldwide community of fans, united in our passion for these books and characters and this amazing story Diana Gabaldon has created.

I'm delighted to see so many new people discovering OUTLANDER as a result of the TV series! Here are the links to my Season 1 episode recaps, for those of you who may have missed them:

Episode 101: "Sassenach"
Episode 102: "Castle Leoch"
Episode 103: "The Way Out"
Episode 104: "The Gathering"
Episode 105: "Rent"
Episode 106: "The Garrison Commander"
Episode 107: "The Wedding"
Episode 108: "Both Sides Now"
Episode 109: "The Reckoning"
Episode 110: "By the Pricking of My Thumbs"
Episode 111: "The Devil's Mark"
Episode 112: "Lallybroch"
Episode 113: "The Watch"
Episode 114: "The Search"
Episode 115: "Wentworth Prison"
Episode 116: "To Ransom a Man's Soul"

No question about it, this is a very exciting time for OUTLANDER fans everywhere! It's quite a challenge to keep up with everything that's going on these days, and I hope you're finding this site helpful.

Many, many thanks to all of you who've visited Outlandish Observations over the past seven years. It's been an amazing journey, and I'm so glad you've come along for the ride.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Diana Gabaldon talks about writing her OUTLANDER script!

Diana Gabaldon has posted a very long and detailed explanation on her Facebook page about the process of writing a script for the OUTLANDER TV series.  (She is writing episode 211, the third-to-last episode of Season 2.)

I found it fascinating, and I would really encourage all of you to take the time to read the whole thing!

Sunday, August 23, 2015


Looking for something new to add to your OUTLANDER book collection?

Diana Gabaldon's OUTLANDISH COMPANION Volume 1 (Revised and Updated Edition) was published on March 31, 2015.  If you haven't read it already, I would definitely recommend it!

The OUTLANDISH COMPANION Volume 2 will be published on October 27, 2015.  It's available for pre-order from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

For more information about both of these books, please see my OUTLANDISH COMPANION FAQ page.  I hope you find it useful.  Please pass the link on to any other OUTLANDER fans you may know.  Thanks!

Monday, August 17, 2015

7,000 followers on Facebook!

I'm celebrating a blogging milestone today: My Outlandish Observations Facebook page now has 7,000 followers!!

THANK YOU ALL!! I really appreciate your support!