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Diana Gabaldon – The Exile

January 5, 2011

158. The Exile by Diana Gabaldon and Hoang Nguyen (2010)
Outlander, Graphic Novel

Length: 224 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance

Started / Finished: 19 December 2010

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? It’s been over a year since An Echo in the Bone, and I was jonesing for an Outlander fix.

Sassenachs, Scots, time-
traveling, politics, and
lots and lots of boobs.

This can’t possibly live up to Literate Housewife’s brilliant graphic review of this book, but here goes nothing:

Summary: The Exile is a graphic adaptation of the first third of Outlander, plus some extra bits of story from Murtaugh’s point of view. It starts with Jamie returning to Scotland right before Claire time-travels through the standing stones, follows them to the oath-swearing at Leoch, and hits the highlights of the wedding, Claire running off and being captured by Jack Randall, the witch trial at Cranesmuir, and ends with Jamie deciding to return to Lallybroch.

Review: The story: It’s been almost three years since I read Outlander, and while I’ve still got the broad outlines of what happened, most of the details have slipped my mind in the intervening years (and six subsequent books). Unfortunately, The Exile didn’t do a fantastic job bringing it back to life. It was really disjointed – a scene here, then the next chapter somewhere else, with no transition except for a few strangely worded “Elsewhere…” narration boxes. I can’t imagine that anyone who was picking this book up without having read the actual novel would have any idea what the heck was going on. The parts of the story that were added on for this adaptation also seemed pretty slight, and didn’t really catch my attention, especially since I knew from the actual books that nothing ever came of them.

The art: OMG BOOBS! I’m sorry, what I meant to say was: the art was somewhat of a mixed bag. Most of the backgrounds and larger paintings were just gorgeous. The faces, however, were a different story. Each individual panel was fine, but people didn’t always look the same from one panel to the next, and a LOT of the Highland men looked much the same, making it difficult to tell who was whom or what was going on. Claire and Jamie looked more or less like I pictured them – not exact, but not horribly far off either – with the exception of the aforementioned boobage. I never really paid that much attention to Claire’s chestal dimensions (especially since Jamie is more Sir-Mix-a-Lot-ian in his preferences), but oh my goodness, in Nguyen’s version, her cups runneth way over. Cleavage, ahoy! And according to the author’s note at the end, the finished product actually has less extravagant decolletage than the original, to which all I can say is: yikes.

Overall, the best thing about this book was probably that it reminded me how much I loved Outlander, and how much I really want to go back and re-read it. And for a quick little graphic novel, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: For Outlander fans only, and I’d get it from the library before you plunk down $20 for your own copy.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: Beth Fish Reads, Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review, Grasping for the Wind, Life in the Thumb, Literate Housewife, S. Krishna’s Books, Stacy’s Books
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: “Well, ye’ve taken long enough about it, lad.”

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. January 5, 2011 12:19 pm

    I’m always perturbed by the tendency of comic book illustrators to lean towards impossibility in female physiques—Gulliem March is the worst offender, drawing Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and Catwoman as if they’re all the same woman in different costumes. (Despite the fact they all have quite different body types.) Hurk.

    • January 6, 2011 11:10 am

      Omni – The good news here is that the female characters aren’t impossible – they’re busty for sure, but they’re not stick-thin. Female superheroes (or villains) that have a giant chest on a tiny little body always look to me like they’re seconds away from crippling back pain.

  2. January 5, 2011 3:26 pm

    I’m somewhat intimidated by Gabaldon’s work, and was hoping this would be a good introduction to it. It sounds like I should skip it.

    • January 6, 2011 11:11 am

      bermudaonion – Yeah, you’d be much better served just diving into Outlander. It’s big, yes, but don’t let that scare you off – it’s really absorbing!

  3. stacybuckeye permalink
    January 5, 2011 8:08 pm

    Looks like we felt the exact same way about this one!

    • January 6, 2011 11:11 am

      Stacy – From what I’ve seen, our reaction isn’t that uncommon, either.

  4. January 6, 2011 7:53 am

    Oh, flat-chested girls are so very very underrepresented in comics. Another reason I love the Sandman. (Not that boobs are inadequately represented in it – THEY ARE NOT – but I can think of several characters off the top of my head who are slim and flat-chested. And awesome.)

    • January 6, 2011 11:13 am

      Jenny – That’s true in general, but it would have been equally bad if Nguyen had drawn Clare as flat-chested… she’s supposed to be curvy, but in my head she keeps the girls under control a little better than she does here. :)

  5. January 6, 2011 11:24 am

    As much as I’m loving OUTLANDER, I think I’m going to skip this. Although, you win the award for best (only?) use of “Sir-Mix-a-Lot-ian” in a review.

    • January 6, 2011 11:38 am

      Jen – According to Google, it’s the only. Although, really, it’s relevant to so many things, I can’t believe it’s not in wider use as an adjective. Maybe the proper form is “Sir-Mix-a-Lot-esque”?

      Also, you’re totally safe skipping this one, although if you run across it at the library, it’s super fast, so it might be worth skimming through, just for the “…really?” factor.


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