REVIEW: Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon
Spoiler alert: There are
probably spoilers. I’ve tried to keep them mild. Read at your own risk.
CW: discussion of sexual assault (non-graphic), graphic violence
Dear Diana Gabaldon,
The long-awaited book 9 of the Outlander series is a doorstopper (like most of the earlier books). Ordinarily it would be supremely difficult to sum up such a long book in a review. As it happens, the TL;DR is this: It’s very long, not a lot happens but at least no-one is raped. And there are a lot of bees.
At this point the main reason I’m continuing with the series (and this was true for the prior book too) is because I’ve invested too much into it to quit. There will be one more book – I’ll read it, for the same reasons – and then the series will be done. I’m well aware of its flaws – the main one being how in previous books it crossed way over into torture porn territory (arguably it did that in book 1 but my tolerance has changed a lot over the years). This book does not so, hooray. That was my biggest fear to be honest. That it would be full of rape and torture and I’d be unable to manage it.
There are references to prior rapes (Claire’s, Brianna’s, Jamie’s – this is not an exhaustive list by the way) so readers should note it’s not a rape-free book altogether but no-one is actually raped in this book. I mean, that’s progress.
There is some graphic and squishy violence – spoiler alert – one secondary/tertiary character is mauled by a bear and there are some war wounds described but all in all this is probably the least graphic book of the series.
I listened to it and probably the main reason I rated it as highly as I did is because Davina Porter is an excellent narrator and I could probably listen to her recite the dictionary. The other thing was that I was deep into my Christmas baking and had a lot of time to listen and I was grateful that I did not need to concentrate much on the story to follow it. Well, I say story. There’s not really a coherent through line. It’s not a book with a clear beginning, middle and end. It’s more like a very long installment. There are a lot of rabbit trails and some of them really don’t go anywhere much. It’s not that I disliked or resented the side trips really but looking back I was asking myself “why?”. Why was it in the book? What purpose did it serve? How does this add to the overarching Outlander story? Many times when I asked myself that question I didn’t have a good answer. Self-indulgence maybe? (And that’s not really what I’d call a good answer.)
What’s really odd about it is there are a some things which do happen and they needed more detail but did not get them, in favour of things which, overall, didn’t matter much at all (coughthebeescough). One character has a baby but apart from the pregnancy announcement, one mention of a pregnant belly and then the birth scene, it’s …not a thing. There was a whole health issue set up and it kind of fizzled out. (I expect it will come back in the final book but this could be quite heartbreaking for readers and the characters as I expect a “difficult choice” may need to be made and if so, I will be pissed. Frankly I’d rather it fizzled.) On the other hand, Claire is completely magic now so maybe she’ll just fix it?
(Yes, that’s right, Claire has jumped the shark and is fully magic. I’ll leave readers to discover how. It’s been foreshadowed for a while of course.)
Another character located a heretofore unknown child who ends up being brought into the family and this is basically a non-event. The child doesn’t seem to have any trauma about leaving their mother and/or being in a new location with strangers? Really??
Brianna and Roger and the kids go on a journey. And then they come back. Ian and Rachel and Jenny go on a journey and then they come back. William goes on a number of journeys and (mostly) comes back (he’s mid-journey at the end – not dead, don’t worry!). Jamie nearly dies (Claire is magic now so it’s okay.) Fergus and Marsali barely rate a mention. In fact, I was really confused about them for a while because Fergus said he was going to Savannah but then he ended up somewhere completely different and it was only briefly mentioned ages later. I kept expecting Fergus to bob up in Savannah and was wondering why he did not. As it happens, it’s because he wasn’t there.
There were a number of repetitions of events which have happened in other iterations of the series and a heavy (heavy) reliance on bees. So. Many Bees. (This would bother me more probably but I really do love the way Davina Porter says “bees” – she makes it quite onomatopoeic.)
Late in the piece there’s some stuff about other time travellers which I think just makes things messy but okay.
You have promised (and I’m holding you to it) that the series will end happily. Jamie and Claire might be 85 when it does but I do trust they won’t be dead. (I do hope I don’t live to regret that trust.) I’m sure they’ll still be banging often if this book is anything to go by. They’re they only ones who get any kind of explicit intimacy though there’s clearly a fair amount of banging going on elsewhere too.
The book does end on a mild cliffhanger but (and this is ME saying this) I didn’t get bent out of shape about it. I’m not at all worried. It’s more… sequel bait – a signal to readers that this is not the end. (Famously this became necessary after the ending of The Fiery Cross. It was a whole thing. Readers can look it up.)
At this point the only people reading Go Tell the Bees are those who have read all the others. There’s no point otherwise and nobody who hadn’t would understand it anyway so in a way it’s all fan service. I didn’t hate the book. (The non-torture and non-rape went a long way toward my feeling on this.) I didn’t mind spending time with characters I care about (in spite of everything) but the reality is that not much of any significance actually happens. I was entertained however while I did my Christmas baking and I had more than 57 hours of listening for the price of a credit so I cannot say I didn’t get my money’s worth. The ebook is retailing in Australia for $12.99 and the trade paperback can be picked up for $22.99 and again, given the length of it, it’s going to provide hours of fairly gentle (well, relative to the series as a whole) if extremely meandering entertainment. The final verdict is: sure, buy it if you’ve read the others. Why not?
Non-rape, non-torture, and a Magical Claire for the win?
You captured my sentiments about the book exactly. I read it during a difficult family trip and it was a nice distraction for a while, but by the end I was just skimming and waiting for it to be over. I have no idea how many years we will have to wait for the alleged conclusion (I wouldn’t be surprised if Gabaldon decides she needs just ONE more little book to make her fans happy), or what shape the world will be in by then, but I give it even odds that I will just note its release in passing and move on to something more satisfying.
“Another character located a heretofore unknown child who ends up being brought into the family and this is basically a non-event. The child doesn’t seem to have any trauma about leaving their mother and/or being in a new location with strangers? Really??” <– This really bothered me too. I guess living with Claire, Jamie, and the rest of the crew is so amazingly wonderful that it transcends the trauma.
I will note that I have lived in St. Louis, Missouri for 30 yearsm and I remember reading the first Outlander book in our empty apartment waiting for the movers to arrive in 1992. So the series does have a sentimental place in my heart, but COME ON.
I read the first few Outlander books when they came out but fell off the wagon a long time ago. I take consolation that I’m not missing out on something stellar!
I gave up after book 8. Gabaldon has been in dire need of an editor since the series moved to America if not before, and I am just not interested in the minutiae of life in Colonial America, why the entire Grey family has seemingly relocated there, whatever medical procedures Claire is performing, or what people smell like. Nobody’s sense of smell is that good.
The books could have been wrapped up years ago, and at this point I am sure Gabaldon has enough money so I’m not sure why she’s still dragging things along.
The original trilogy was great, though.
I read Outlander when it came out in paperback. I don’t recall rape scenes – rape was appallingly common in books in those years – but Jamie was tortured for pages and pages (& pages) somewhere towards the end of the novel and That Was It for me and the Outlander series.
I don’t even remember if I read Book 8, but I have it. I’m so bored by the minutia of random descriptions. One book had a pages long description of fistulas, but it didn’t really have a point and the whole setup just seemed to be so the author could describe fistulas. I used to LOVE this series, and I’m sad that it’s coming to this. I’ll probably read this book, just for the little that does happen and because I’ve invested too much to give up.
I gave up on the series because of the book where Jamie had Roger kidnapped and tortured because he thought he was the one who raped Brianna. Not a hero move. However, I wasn’t absolutely thrilled by the earlier books, either. Torture and rape aren’t the reason I read fiction. (Unless it’s JD Robb… but I go into those books knowing it’s going to happen.)
@Jayne: It’s about as much as one can hope for Jayne!
@everyone else – The Heaving Bosoms podcast coined the term “herbs herbs herbs” for Outlander. Erin, one of the hosts just skipped over all the boring bits and now “I herbsed it” has entered the vernacular. :)
There’s a lot of torture and pain in the series. I’ve read many graphic and violent books but my sensibilities have changed over the years. I think what makes this series stand out with it is that it’s happening over and over again to the same characters. It’s… a lot. In comparison this book was gentle!
@Kaetrin: So, since I’m never going to read this book (read and liked book one, got 2/3 of the way through book two before totally losing interest) – how is Claire now magical? Inquiring minds and all …
I enjoyed through book 4 and then it started to peter out for me. Glad to have it confirmed I’m not missing much.
This review was a riot. Even my husband laughed when I read him parts of it.
I quit Outlander 700 pages in (about 100 pages from the end). I never got to the part where the villain (Black Jack Randall?) rapes Jamie. My main problem was that I felt the characterization was terrible. Jamie was a Marty Stu and Claire was basically omniscient in that her opinions of people she didn’t know were somehow always accurate.
I also thought she read like a 1980s American, not a 1940s Brit, and that she should have missed Frank at least a little. I understood they grew apart but she felt almost no angst or conflict over being forced to marry another man. That was odd to me, and kind of callous, really. And I’m not a fan of the trope where the heroine makes TSTL choices so that the hero can swoop in and rescue her over and over.
Still, the book did have something, and what it is I can’t say. I later found out from a Scottish reader that Gabaldon’s research wasn’t much and that the book was inauthentic to Scotland and the time period. Nevertheless, at the time I read it those touches that had a sense of the historical about them (whether or not they did) were convincing, so clearly the worldbuilding had something going for it. I also thought Gabaldon did well at portraying the magical element of the standing stones and I loved that little glimpse of the Loch Ness monster.
(I think Jennie has said in a review of one of the later Outlander books that the standing stones are now almost a department store turnstile, though. LOL.)
I am also not a fan of the fact that the author came out against Outlander fanfic–compared it to rape and (as best as I recall) called it plagiarism–despite the fact that Outlander itself began its life as Dr. Who fanfic.
@Jayne: She has magical healing powers. (Spoiler: in this book she LITERALLY brings 2 individuals back from the dead.) It’s… a lot. Phew.
@Janine: I’m not a fan of the author in general to be honest but by the time I realised all the problematic things she’d done (and still does regularly enough when it comes to fans) I was too invested in the series. It’s one where I separate the art from the artist.
The narration of the series is excellent and that really does help. My tolerance for violence has changed over the years also and I could manage more of it when I first read/listened to Outlander. These days? Not so much.
I will persist however because I’m nearly at the end and one of the biggest pet peeves in my entire life is not knowing how a story ends!!
Also – thank you to you and you husband. :D
@Janine: I never finished Outlander either. I borrowed it from the library and took it on vacation. I sat on the side of a mountain for a week with nothing else to do, and read… and read…. and read. By the end of the week, I still hadn’t finished the book. At the time, everyone was raving about how Jamie was the perfect romance hero. OK, maybe? But Claire just annoyed me from the get-go. Nothing I’ve read about the books since then has ever tempted me to try again.
This remains my favorite review of Outlander, though I liked it more than she did:
” There’s never been, nor will there ever be, a man born of a human woman who can ever even hope to approach the pure and glorious manliness of Jamie Fraser.” :D :D
@Janine, I don’t think Outlander was Doctor Who fan fiction, precisely – as Gabaldon tells it, the two things she got from Doctor Who were the time period for what she intended to be a historical novel, and the name Jamie. The time travel aspect was a solution to Clare not sounding historically accurate. Whether this is true, I’ve no idea.
@Kaetrin: Well, that’s a handy skill to have in an age before modern medicine!
@Rose: I believe Jamie McCrimmon was played by an actor named Frazer Hines so the surname came from Dr. Who as well. In addition—the setting, not just the time period. I mean, she could have set it in 1745 London if that hadn’t inspired her. Finally, I’m skeptical on the time travel because that’s such a central element in the series. Authors don’t always have a full grasp on how their psyches work, sometimes the subconscious pulls something from another source and connects it to their project without them thinking of it consciously.
Whatever she says, there are enough Dr. Who elements to qualify it as fanfic, since fanfic can be based on actors as well as on characters, and on minor actors / characters in the same setting etc. Also, I’ve heard that Gabaldon based Claire on herself, and self-insertion is another element of some fanfics.
As for how she sees it and what she says, well, she’s also stated that Outlander is science fiction and not romance. Now, you can argue that it’s romantic fantasy, perhaps, but there’s no element of science fiction in the books as far as I know. And the romance is very prominent, and the book was certainly marketed to romance readers. I worked in a bookstore in the early 1990s and the paperback was shelved in the romance section of the store, not in the section for SFF. This bookstore was part of the biggest chain of bookstores in the US at the time (Waldenbooks) and you can bet that was true for the rest of the chain. Decisions like that were made at the top, since profits depended on them.
My point here is just that authors don’t always have the clearest sense of their own books. Laura Kinsale once said that Shadowheart was her darkest book, whereas to me Seize the Fire, The Prince of Midnight, and The Shadow and the Star are all considerably darker. She said Lessons in French wasn’t melancholy, and I thought it was quite melancholy. In fact, sometimes the very fact that authors are so close to the material and the process of how it came to be can cloud the clarity of their vision when it comes to their works.
Gabaldon probably believes what she says. She seems like the kind of author who is dismissive of readers who disagree with her, so why wouldn’t she think she knows best? Anyhow, I’m not a fan of her behavior.
@Kaetrin: What are the other problematic things Gabaldon has done / continues to do? I haven’t been following that since DA covered the “rape” comment many years ago.
@Sandra: Yeah, my experience was similar. I read and read and read, and then I misplaced the book. I then realized that I couldn’t be arsed (as the British say) to look for it. It really didn’t matter much to me if it turned up.
Claire is an annoying character. My husband watched the first season of the TV show with me (we both tuned in because Ron Moore is the producer and we loved BSG) and he found her really frustrating because of how she made decisions that were so obviously bad she should have known better and landed herself in serious trouble that way more than once.
I remember when she visited Geilis and Geilis was about to be arrested, she had a clear opportunity to escape and didn’t take it, because why? No sensible reason was given. She seems to be one of those people who barges in thinking no harm or danger can befall them despite all evidence to the contrary. Anyway, I had to explain to him that she was written that way because that’s how she was in the book! I have no regrets about not continuing either. And Jamie was *too* perfect (yet at the same time bland and null) if you ask me.
@Sandra: I just remembered something else that bugged me in the book, and that was the way that Jamie not only spanked Claire with his belt, he also got turned on by it (on their wedding night). I saw that as a way of inserting a BDSM element into the sex (other authors did that in the 1980s and the 1990s, heroines were spanked by heroes, see for example Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught). This trope always annoyed the crap out of me. If you want BDSM in your sex scene, portray it fully in that light. That halfway in between was something I always felt was infantilizing to the heroines. The hero was the parent figure disciplining the heroine/child. Ugh. The fact that he was turned on by it did not endear Jamie to me.
@Rose: oh yes – the “everybody wants to fuck Jamie” review. It’s so true!! LOL
@Janine Ballard: mostly just a lot of instances of being pretty dismissive of fans. It’s just that she tends to do it often! She seems like a person who is very confident she is right and not terribly tolerant of the views of others.
Yup. This is how I felt about Jamie too–he is practically the ultimate Marty Stu (I can’t agree with her that Claire is a great heroine, however). I miss AnimeJune’s reviews.
Also from that review:
It is interesting how many readers and reviewers labor under that misconception (I did myself when I first read the book). Maili (she posted a couple of brief lines in the comments on that review) has worked as a professional historical researcher for TV shows and movies, as well as being Scottish herself, and she has said that Outlander is flagrantly anachronistic, very poorly researched, and stereotypes Scotland and Scottish people. She tried to set Romancelandia straight on that many times, but told me she gave up eventually because people were so insistent that Outlander was well-researched and authentic. They believed in Gabaldon’s Scotland more than in the real thing.
I do wonder how the book performs this trick. I think it’s partly in the wealth of detail. Gabaldon’s writing is so finely detailed that it gives her world the texture of the real even though there’s apparently little basis for that in Scotland’s history or culture. My theory is that it’s hard for many readers to believe an author would go into something in such detail if they weren’t knowledgeable about it.
Re: the science fiction aspect- I think this is in reference to the fact that there’s some hand wavy stuff in the books about Clare and her descendants, and Roger and his family line having a gene to explain their time travel abilities. I suspect the author, having gotten some sort of science degree, thinks she has made the logic rigorous enough for it to “science fiction” but Primer (a frat time travel movie) this is not…
Agree with everything that’s been said, the latest book was so meandering and plotless. Things happen but it was not a compelling read. The author writes well but I don’t like her and that has hurt my enjoyment of the books also. The series is full of what I find to be at best cringey racially insensitive stereotypes. She also cannot write children (does she have any of her own? That is not how they talk!). I’m a doctor and any first year med student can probably tell you that the medicine in the book is not well researched which further hinders my enjoyment. All that being said, outlander was my gateway into romance as a genre so it as a special place in my heart, and I did find the first few books compelling. I thought they were good character driven book with the right amount of Sturm und Drang in the mold of Kinsale or Gaffney. Even up to book 8 I was interested enough in the Frasers, maybe because I read it right after the others, but this one I had to slog through. There are so many call backs to stuff I don’t remember (who does after so many years) and that dont seem that important. I’m also kind of over Claire and Jamie at this point. I will probably read the last book but this series has definitely fizzled in my opinion.
My own personal Outlander origin story is that one weekend back in 1992 my teenage self idly picked up this hardcover my mother had on loan from the library. It had a pretty cover and I started to skim, stopping at the interesting parts. I was charmed by Jamie’s sexual inexperience in contrast to his vast competence at everything else (virgin heroes were rare in those days). I think I read the book in the best way: I didn’t miss anything important but got through it pretty quickly. And I never felt the need to try any of the sequels. If all you long-suffering romance readers don’t want to be dished up unedited dross from lazy authors who take you for granted you have to ditch the loyalty and stop buying books like this!
@oceanjasper: You speak sense but I can’t stop – I’m too invested!!! LOL
I’ve read them all – including the latest. Tell the Bees one was basically one reference after another to the other books with some current storytelling to make it look like a new book – like she’s run out of ideas for complete story lines and is just stitching together some patches to cover some ground. I started to wonder if I cut all the back track explanation for the stuff from other books, would there be an actual story in there… ? It was as if she wanted someone who hadn’t read the other books to be able to read this one… It boggles the mind that someone could without pitching it into the trash within the first couple chapters. I don’t mind waiting a few years for books – but this is like someone curated it from the others.
I have been a fan of the Outlander and Lord John Grey books since the 90’s. I honestly can’t remember how many times I’ve re-read them. Each DG story I’ve read is interestingly woven through history, has intricate well developed plots, lots of humor, tears & SEX, lol. Her characters are entertaining surprising & enchanting.
DG promised fans the 7 years waiting for BEES would be worth the plot twists, historical details, character surprises etc. She was invariably annoyed when fans would ask when BEES would be published.
Honestly, I don’t know what happened to BEES but YIKES! There are so many mistakes (I won’t list them all, if you’re a fan of the series you won’t miss them .. they’re blatant errors). The characters’ personalities seem inconsistent to previous books. I really almost stopped reading a third into it …it was so disappointing & meh.
Sorry to say BEEs is frankly boring & repetitive for the first 2/3 of the book. When it finally starts to pick up it becomes difficult to follow, with new story lines, that can’t possibly be addressed (and aren’t), with little attention or detail given to major events (ie Bree’s pregnancy, what the heck?) and lots of time spent on new characters that long time fans hardly know & frankly are so undeveloped I didn’t care to get to know them.
The plot(s) are super disjointed and confusing. Unlike the beautifully written descriptions & underwriting of the previous books. A few scenes I was especially looking forward to (Claire’s healing of Jamie on the battlefield and “coming into her power”) are an utterly confusing & difficult to follow/understand. These should have been the CULMINATING scenes of the entire series! Uh!!
BEES was very disappointing. Completely different from DG’s previous writings. I am surprised her editors and friends, who presumably read all her books prior to editing, let BEES be published with so many errors / inconsistencies. Honestly it seems like it could have been ghost written ♀️
@Cindy: I don’t think Gabaldon gets edited.
What inconsistency bothered you the most?
Yes, these reviews say it all. I’m glad to know it wasn’t just me. I have a hard time respecting an author who brags about writing in such a disjointed fashion and refusing any editing. In contrast, the chapters long scene of the Gathering which so many readers complained of was a masterpiece of writing and editing! The only thing she has going for her right now is the need of so many invested readers to find out what is the big deal about Jamie’s ghost! Give us that and we will go in peace.
@Amy E Angell: LOL – yes!
All you haters need to stifle yourselves. I have enjoyed her books. Son’t buy any of her books if you all are that anal!
Finished listening to it last night. Your review sums it up perfectly (as do many of the sentiments expressed here). I will likely listen to book 10 to see how it wraps. I’m figuring we have a decade or so to decide.
@Kaetrin: I listened to the audio, and I couldn’t believe how many times Jamie or Ian made a “Scottish” noise or sound.
I’m usually pretty tolerant of author quirks (Nora Roberts almost invariably has a character tell someone, “You’re mine”, but I’m here for it.) and usually repetition doesn’t bother me, but I have to admit, the “Scottish” noises drove me crazy.
@Margaret: LOL – there were a lot of them.
I was soooo looking forward to this book, once I got past all the torture and sexual depravity in book 1, I really enjoyed the series. Until this one. I pre-purchased it and read it right away when it came out only to find out a quarter of the way through that it is awful and no where near as good as the previous books. The multiple side stories were uninteresting distractions as were the frequest flashbacks. It reminded me of when 6 or 7 cheap necklaces get tangled together and you spend an hour or so trying to untangle them until you realize you don’t even like most of them and this so isn’t worth your time. I suspect Gabaldon didn’t even write the book, it’s THAT bad and continued to be until it culminates in awful. I wasted 20+ hours listening to it that I can never get back again. This is the first Outlander book that I was eagerly looking forward to the end and it couldn’t come fast enough. @Becca Burrer:
I think this book needs reading more than once, like all old DGs books they have many layers! I read it as soon as it was available, having done a short 7th read through from Voyager in preparation. I did enjoy it as I galloped through on my first read, at the end I thought ‘nooo it can’t end here’ . I read it again immediately, but more slowly and found so much I had missed or forgotten in my haste, love the book, love all the side stories, I expect they will link in book ten, and loved being with my friends in Outlander Land. Call me besotted but I am slowly re reading them all again and taking Bees in that over arching context, interesting watching those characters who will impact on Bees, not got to Callaghan yet ….
I share the common themes of these Comments….couldn’t WAIT for the book, disappointed by the lack of plot, loved listening to Davina Porter (so glad she came out of retirement because she made it tolerable), am a fan of the books but not Diana. There’s no reason to be so snide to fans…especially those who have invested in you for 30 YEARS!!!!!!
Amy E Angell, I agree with you whole heartedly!!! I am in it to find out about Jamie’s ghost (and don’t disappoint D.G!!!) and I will go in peace.
I am glad to know it wasn’t just me that found this B’s book totally boring and without plot. I happen to think like a lot of people I know they have read this the first three books should have done it. Instead I will probably (if I am alive) buy the tenth book just because. Maybe by then I will have finished the night I have owned the book since Christmas and have still only made it a third of the way through so so boring. I think the problem with the author is that she is in love with herself makes for bad writing.
I agree with most of what everyone is saying here. I loved the first three novels despite the protracted torture of Jamie and the violence which was everywhere. (The television series helped because Tobias Menzies is such a terrific actor.) Clare can be annoying but it’s such a terrific story. However, the last five or six or whatever number of novels dealt with the American Revolution in deep deep deep detail which I didn’t find that interesting and the novels and the tv series have become sooo violent, they are hard to read or watch. Maybe I am getting old but I just can’t stomach violence like that anymore.
The author definitely doesn’t have an editor, her books are too damn long. And full disclosure: I stopped reading after A Dragonfly in Amber. I hope the series ends soon or Jamie and Clare are going to be making out in the forest at 90. I think Gabaldon is like a lot of authors–they fall in love with their characters and can’t let them go. Funny how that rarely happened with the Bard, but then he’s in a class of his own. I see that with a lot of mystery series that go south, like the books of Elizabeth George and Peter Robinson. Oh well hopefully the last book or series will end well.
PS I also thought Clare showed too little sympathy for Frank.
UGH!!!! I agree on EVERYTHING! I’ve been reading these books for 20 years and am just invested. It’s the only reason I continue and every book is just worse than the last, with this one being the worst so far. Although Drums of Autumn, I don’t know. All but the first one was terrible and that left a lot when I look back, but 20-something years ago I was different too. I always thought this author NEEDS AN EDITOR! and nothing has changed there, but yeah, I’ll slug along. When the MacKenzie’s returned to the ridge in the last book, THAT should have been the end of it. Sorry to say, but this author is way too indulged. It is nice to spend some time with characters I’ve known and loved for so long, but please, end this. Will say, sooooo glad about the no rapes, but the killing of the bear!?!? for pages and pages and pages!?!? What in the actual (*&^!
Agree totally. I find the TV series more bearable.( no pun intended!!
After waiting years for book 9, and reading it through, the end was left wanting. Same feeling as when you buy a novel you just cannot put down and find out someone ripped out the last chapter. Very very disappointed.
I am amazed by the high score reviews on Amazon and Audible when 90+% seem to say “disappointing.”
I listened to it, thank God, so was able to muck my barn and enjoy Davina Porter at the same time.
I am fond of the original story in the first three books, despite their flaws. However, I too am a historical researcher and I snort when people praise DG’s historical research. Or any kind of research. The natural world: “The leaves of the larch tree” are often referred to… larches are softwoods with needles, often her birds and flowers are wrong, etc., etc. However, some of my favorite giggles come from her smello-vision. In her world, everything smells! I live with many of the same items and there is no smell.
It is quite obvious this last book would never have been published without her legion of fans ready to buy anything. I hope someone at her publishing house is ashamed as they rake in the dollars.
I am (was) a faithful follower of the Outlander series. However, this last installment, “Go Tell the Bees that I am Gone,” really was disappointing. I have read most of the reviews and agree that it is not a book for the new reader to the story.. Like most series, the best are at the beginning. It seems that the more the author gets into the telling, the less imagination and content and just a feeling of wanting to get through writing it. I guess I must have missed something with the title, because at the end of this tome, the heroine hasn’t gone anywhere. Help, anyone?
@Heather Stephanofff: I think the title references the various “conversations” with the bees. There was at least one death that Claire or Jamie told the bees about. It’s not really about the story. Just about the bees. LOL
Kaetrin, I think your review is so apt and reflects my feelings about Go Tell the Bees that I am Gone – except I am more generous than you, and would give it a B grade. I had totally given up on the Outlander series until two years ago. After Drums of Autumn, I slogged though The Fiery Cross, and totally skimmed through A Breath of Snow and Ashes, which I felt I had to at least read some of, as I had paid good money for it at Costco (discounted). I had bought the subsequent books out of loyalty, but didn’t read them until I picked up the Outlander TV series on Netflix over Christmas two years ago. I caught up with all the books to refresh my memory of the plots, and really enjoyed Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, and was looking for resolution to some of the plotlines there. I wondered if our expectations were too high, especially since there’s a lot more publicity and many more people are invested in Outlander because the TV series has really expanded the fanbase. I am back to being a fan, and have even converted my sister, and other friends! However, there were very implausible developments in this installment. There was actually less of Claire and Jamie than I expected and I missed Fergus and Marsali, and Denzell and Dottie. There were characters who came and went, like mosquitoes – a nuisance and were more of a pain than anything. I really disliked Amaranthus, and her machinations. Like you, I am going to stick it to the end. Some of us might be getting a telegram from the King (seeing how the Queen is 96 in a few days) before the next book comes.