The audiobook standard of excellence in my opinion is undoubtedly the unabridged version of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series as told by narrator Davina Porter. Specifically, I am talking about the first four in the series: Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, and Drums of Autumn. Rarely have I been entertained to this degree for such a sustained period of time and that’s quite a statement given that these four books represent 159 hours of listening enjoyment with barely a boring moment.
Although I own all of these books in print, I have never actually read any one of the four. My immense satisfaction with this series comes solely from listening to the unabridged audiobooks. Now, I can’t imagine just settling for the printed word when I choose to revisit Frasers and company. It’s as though there is another whole dimension beyond the mere reading that totally captures my mind’s eye.
It goes without saying that Diana Gabaldon’s writing is the basis of the love herein. Without her exceptional storytelling, where would we be? However, when it comes to audiobooks, there is a second star in the wings who vividly brings these books to life and that is narrator Davina Porter. Much of today’s column is high praise of one sort or another for Ms. Porter’s ability to so completely engage my emotions while providing easily distinguished characterizations. Seldom did I need a “he said” or a “she said” once a character was introduced. Told in first person, the warmth or occasional smile in Porter’s voice further defined Claire’s character and her objective view of the world.