My Review on Outlander (book)

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Okay let me start off with how I got to reading this book after watching the first half of Outlander, the TV series. I was hooked and couldn’t wait to read the books. I got this first book and fell in love with the language and plot, and the characters were great but then…

*spoiler alert*

The main character Claire is beaten and raped by Jamie, the main guy and her husband. Punished because she almost gotten herself raped. I understand this book is fiction and fantasising being dominated by your partner and vice versa isn’t a bad thing, but when it comes to victim blaming (and Claire accepts that it’s HER FAULT FOR ALMOST GETTING RAPED), the author just calling the beating up and rape scene “spanking” and encourages readers to romanticise this abusive relationship between Claire and Jamie (yes, it becomes abusive – my love for Jamie died), that’s where you should draw the line.

I stopped reading the book afterwards. I couldn’t even touch it. I read other books to cleanse my mind with characters with more sense and no romanticised abuse or self-loathing. It wasn’t until a couple weeks ago that I returned to finish the book. My hatred for Jamie and readers’ love for him and this whole romanticisation of “kinky” love when it’s actually abusive annoyed me, still are. I hoped that Claire would leave Jamie and return to her time but she didn’t. Instead she lost some of her autonomy and has to obey him because she loves him (gag) – I know this is set in the 18th century but for fuck’s sake, Claire, a modern and FEMINIST woman, forgot herself. She becomes a typical housewife. And even when she and Jamie have sex with her consent, it doesn’t make their relationship healthy. Even his romantic words come out as possessive and rapey throughout the rest of the book.

What is worse is that Jamie uses his sad past to manipulate Claire into having sex with him and whenever he needs to justify his actions. Men who use their sad past to break a woman’s barrier or make them understand them is a red flag. Yes, Jamie is a victim of sexual abuse by Randall, the antagonist, but that doesn’t excuse him from being an abuser himself. Plus we don’t get to know much of Claire but we have to read the other characters’ fucking stories that bored me to death. Like are they all relevant? No and a lot of them don’t contribute to the plot.

At the end, I became even more pissed off that Claire uses his traumatic past to “heal” him or in other words cure him by physically assaulting him and in turn he assaults her. WTF? And yes, they have sex even though Claire clearly says “NO” and these were his words “I mean to hear ye groan…moan and sob even though you dinna wish to…scream with the wanting and at last to cry out in my arms, and I shall know that I’ve served ye well.” Aww how fucking romantic. Not.

This book should’ve come with a trigger warning. Because you know rape victims and domestic abuse victims are real and I can imagine how they would feel if they read an obviously abusive relationship as a romance.

Even though I love the language and the core plot of a woman time traveling back in time and trying to find her way back, I hate Outlander as a whole and I hope that the TV show would alter the nature of Claire and Jamie’s relationship. Otherwise I would no longer be a fan. I don’t plan to read the other books because the first is too triggering.

I hope I would never have to read a relationship (that’s been praised and portrayed as romantic) that’s actually abusive again. And if you think that Outlander is a feminist book, read and think again.

A Convention or Convergence of Fantasy and Reality

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Crowds, body heat, vivid colours.

Vivid sounds.

It’s not Narnia, but it’s the closest to portaling to

another world.

All clustered into one city.

 

There’s no escape.

Why do I want to

escape? I belong here.

 

It’s just physical, not virtual.

I see my friend.

I walk up, my veins burning.

 

“Hi, can I take a picture?” I ask Wolverine.

A Human Lamp

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A magic lamp in human form,

casting your magic on people.

You make them laugh and glow forever.

No need to rub the lamp, he’s Genie and Lamp all in one.

Always at your service, never putting himself first.

Even after leaving this earth, you will always be remembered.

You will always be the magic lamp that summons our inner child.

 

A tribute to Robin Williams, one of my favourite and inspiring actors since childhood.

“The Cage” (Part 7)

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It takes years for those heart strings to regrow, sparking life into them.
Your mind is a pool of emotions.

Regret. Melancholy. Anger. Anxiety.

Deafening pangs collide against the pillars of your head.

While your body suffers the torment.

Mind and body become one decaying space.


You say to yourself, “If no one loves or cares about me, then do I exist?”

It’s pathetic how we humans rely on others to confirm that we do exist.

It takes simple words to tear down the essence of one’s existence.

“The Cage” (Part 6)

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It’s been what 2 years since you surrendered
Yourself to this dead building. With its grey walls, grey floors.

The only colourful item are the windows. Is that why you sit at one and stare through it?

The staff seem generous but you think they’re demons in disguise. It’s their aesthetic voices and caked faces, isn’t it?
They gave up on persuading you to take your pills.

It painfully reminds you of your loved ones, who are now fragments of the past.

The thought of them rejecting you pierces your flesh that you feel your heart strings snap like a slingshot.

“The Cage” (Part 5)

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Sure there are others like Fear. Fear 1. Fear 2. Fear 3. All nameless. But the Fear who targeted you doesn’t want another Fear. Like the fallen angel himself, Fear doesn’t like competition. No, it didn’t cannibalise Fear 1, Fear 2 and Fear 3.
Fear would rather feed on victims than murderers.
Aren’t you listening?
Of course you can’t hear me.
Fear has damaged your ears and sight.

“The Cage” (Part 4)

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You had friends once. Family once. But Fear drove them away.
Your soul was drained by paranoia as one by one, your love ones drop off. You thought you could handle being alone. Like Jane Eyre. The image of a Mr. Rochester was like sunshine to you.
That was what Fear thought too when it was at this stage of crisis…before hope turn into anger. Anger into revenge.
But Fear doesn’t want you to play the murderer.