Review: Finding Fraser by KC Dyer

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Dear Readers,

Before I get to the actual book, let me just tell you how excited I was when I found out there was a book called Finding Fraser (by KC Dyer) based on a woman traveling Scotland to find her own Jamie Fraser.

It sounded awesome.

However, you know what happens when you hype something up in your head. It needs to be perfect and exactly what you want in order to be great even though your own personal emotional state has nothing to do with the actual quality of the book.

That’s where I was when I started this, so to be honest, I was slightly more disappointed than I would have liked. It also meant I ended up walking away from the book for a while before going back to it instead of reading it all in one go. When I was done, I wrote a little snippet for Goodreads (add me!), but I knew I had to come back and write something longer for the blog. So here I am!

There were three things that bothered me about the book, and then I’m going to tell you why I loved it anyway.

So, the first thing I wasn’t super fond of was the portrayal of the Outlander fan. It was often a bit crazy, and definitely made it seem like fans of the show lose all sense of self when someone whispers “James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser.”

On the other hand, I haven’t exactly spent any time at Outlander fan groups to be able to say what’s accurate or not. I also perk up any time I hear someone talking about the books or show, use JAMMF as a method of motivation, listen to the Outlander podcast, and have been recorded talking about Outlander on a boat on a river in the rainforest for twenty minutes, and to top it all off, I straight-up entered a Masters program (and possibly will enter a PhD) because of these books, so who am I to judge?

Also, the idea of a stripper dressing up as Jamie Fraser makes me smile, so why the Outlander fan portrayal bothered me can’t be explained by anything more than my own quirks. I imagine there are others that were bothered, but I know just as well that there were people thinking ‘That’s totally true!’

So I guess that one only half counts.

Anyway, bothersome thing number two was how convenient the plot was. Like, of course he’s there, of course she’s able to stay, of course they caught her…. That’s not to say there aren’t any obstacles and she doesn’t have problems (she does), but I wasn’t surprised when anything happened. Also, her ways around Scotland were certainly for convenience sake, considering it’s a bit clear that adherence to Scottish topography was not a top priority.

Third bothersome thing: Emma, the main character, is so clueless and fixated. It reminded me of Harry Potter, where Harry is so clueless but all the characters around him are lovely. I did like Emma most of the time, but some of the moments of cluelessness and holding on were dragged out and thoughts repeated to the point I had to walk away from the book. This was probably amplified by the amount of medieval Irish literature and modern Gaelic folklore I’ve been reading, which gets right to the point and moves on, but I’m also pretty sure some of it could have been removed and the story would have lost nothing.

So, that’s what bothered me. Now let’s talk about the reasons I loved it anyway, because that’s really important.

  1. It’s a book about going to Scotland to find a modern Jamie Fraser. I mean come on. What’s not to love?
  2. The successful romantic interest (who I was pulling for) is definitely within my realm of dream guy and I found him endlessly entertaining. By the end of the book, I smiled whenever he arrived. Modern Jamie Fraser? Maybe not, but certainly a lovely man.
  3. It’s sweet. I can feel the love in the words.
  4. The addition of the blog posts was delightful. They added humor, gave chances for reflection, and helped the pacing of the book.
  5. The fictional adventures through Scotland were fun to witness, especially with ideas of Highland ghosts floating around.
  6. The characters around Emma were, as a whole, charming.

All this said, I would recommend this to anyone that likes Outlander. I don’t think I would have liked it as much, or maybe even at all, without the starting connection to Outlander, but I also don’t think I would have wanted to read it in the first place without that connection. It’s not the sort of literature I would want to form a uni class to discuss, but it is the type of literature that passes the time and gives a few laughs.

And that, my friends, is just as good.

Your Bonnie Celtophile,

Dani

Outlander VS Poldark: Who Wins?

Remember the debate last fall? No, not those debates. I’m referring to the one where we reconciled our collective guilt for obsessing over Poldark in an Outlander-like fashion by comparing the two shows pecs-to-pecs head-to-head. Well, obsessenachs, that Outlander vs. Poldark scenario just got real—very real— with the announcement that Poldark will be back on U.S. screens starting October 1 at 9 p.m. Why? Because that’s the EXACT day of the week and EXACT time that Outlander will also finally be back on our screens. And the scheduling plot thickens…

via Fall is coming… Outlander vs. Poldark, Literally. – Outlander Cast Blog

Dear Readers,

I’m really interested to see how this plays out. My heart says it’ll be Outlander that wins, but there are so many variables at play.

Who do you think will get the views? Which do you watch/would you watch this fall?

Your Bonnie Celtophile,

Dani

Outlander Animals: A BJR+JAMMF Remix

Dearest Readers,

The last few weeks, I have written my post on the weekend while not immersed in the Land of Classes. This week, however, classes continued into the weekend with their many, many readings, which has caused me to have incomplete posts while still having homework to complete.

With that in mind, I have decided to share a remix I created last spring as part of a class for today. As an Outlander fan I, of course, decided I needed to do at least one remix of the show, and this one was it.

The premise of the video is as follows:

I set clips from the Starz Original TV show Outlander to Maroon 5’s song “Animals” to create “Outlander Animals.” Since the project is a vid, it by nature relies on intertextuality to make its point, which in this case is about sexual assault. The implied sexual violence of the song and its music video combines with Outlander’s overt sexual violence to expand the horror of such acts in both texts, make the viewer uncomfortable, and also highlight some issues related to sexual assault. These issues include rape culture in media and the focus on women as the victims. “Outlander Animals” successfully addresses these issues by juxtaposing the ideas in the two texts—at least for the right audience: “Animals” highlights the primal nature often associated with rape in rape culture and the more traditional circumstance of a man going after a woman while Outlander shows the calculating nature of rape and the less traditional but equally problematic circumstance of a man going after another man.

Based on that description, I should not need to specify to fellow Outlander fans that the remix includes the more explicit, tense, and horrifying scenes from Black Jack Randall in the first season of the TV show. If you are not an Outlander fan, that was your warning.

I also do need to specify that the video is not for the faint of heart. I needed to watch these clips dozens of times to edit the video, and I still cringe.

That being said, the wife of my professor (an Outlander fan) enjoyed it, and my professor thought it was well done, so I would be pleased if you took the time to watch it, and I hope you enjoy it as a fan video at least slightly.

Also, I will be finishing some posts within the next few days to put up next week.

Sláinte, and thanks for your patience,

Your Bonnie Celtophile,

Dani