This is a must for any fan of the books and the television show The book gives a who s who list of the characters for the first four books This is extremely helpful as each book is MASSIVE and has a ton of characters which often are only in that one novel This way you won t be thinking Who is this again Also, there is a summary of each book so even if you re read them often you can refresh your memory about the basic story line Trust me, you need this companion to keep up with the story as the show is often different then the book A great buy and a great gift for fans of the show books. Number One New York Times Best Selling Author Diana Gabaldon Has Captivated Millions With Her Critically Acclaimed Outlander Novels, The Inspiration For The Starz Original Series From The Moment Claire Randall Stepped Through A Standing Stone Circle And Was Thrown Back In Time To The Year And Into A World That Threatens Life, Limb, Loyalty, Heart, Soul, And Everything Else Claire Has Fans Have Been Hungry To Know Everything About This World And Its Inhabitants, Particularly A Scottish Soldier Named Jamie Fraser In This Beautifully Written Compendium Of All Things Outlandish, Gabaldon Covers The First Four Novels Of The Main Series Including Full Synopses Of Outlander, Dragonfly In Amber, Voyager, And Drums Of Autumn A Complete Listing Of The Characters Fictional And Historical In The First Four Novels In The Series As Well As Family Trees And Genealogical Notes A Comprehensive Glossary And Pronunciation Guide To Gaelic Terms And Usage The Gabaldon Theory Of Time Travel, Explained Frequently Asked Questions To The Author And Her Sometimes Surprising Answers An Annotated Bibliography Essays About Medicine And Magic In The Th Century, Researching Historical Fiction, Creating Characters, And Professionally Cast Horoscopes For Jamie And Claire The Making Of The TV Series How We Got There From Here And What Happened Next Including My Brief Career As A TV Actor Behind The Scenes Stories From The Outlander TV Series Set For Anyone Who Wants To Spend Time With The Outlander Characters And The World They Inhabit, Diana Gabaldon Here Opens A Door Through The Standing Stones And Offers A Guided Tour Of What Lies Within Is this a must have to be able to understand and traverse Books 1 4 No, however, it makes the experience of the books so much fuller and richer than just reading the books alone I personally am fascinated with the Author, Diana Ganaldon She s a fascinating woman that was ahead of her time Data Technology back in the day and a great seeker of all things history Diana explains how she became a writer and makes things I normally would skip over in any other book fun to read and a fascinating journey to help inspire others to embrace their hidden Author, consider writing and never give up. I had the old one,but I donated to local library this summer.I used it all the time for for character lists and had read some parts of it over the years When I broke my wrist in March and was on leave from work, I got to read the whole companion which was very fascinating There were parts that were outdated which why is I got the revised version It still has my favorite things from the older version plus new material I can t wait to read It is a shame that the photos from the show are black and white,not in color. As with all of Diana s books there is a huge amount of information Some times you want a little background to events in stories and this book provides that I have found the books from which she draws information to be interesting as well. I should have bought this companion a little sooner, but I am so glad I did Loads of very interesting information contained within an insight into how she does her research for the books, an insight into herbs now I m growing them all over the place in my garden and tons I am loving this book which I am reading between the Lord John Gray series My nightstand is ready to collapse under the weight of Gabaldon books I have the big books on Kindle for when I travel, but I have to have the big books near by.if you are an Outlander fan, you will understand xx I look forward to the second volume of The Outlandish Companion, to be released within a matter of days, covering the second four of eight books published to date from The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon This Companion book is not a novel, but a tome put together to answer a myriad of questions posed by fans and others, about the author, the books, the series characters, and even some of the history behind the stories In some ways, this is how I d have expected a All you ever wanted to know about Diana Gabaldon and her craft but were afraid or unable to ask book to be It is so much , because you are drawn into an understanding of how this author crafts her books You also appreciate that she does what scarcely any other historical novelist has done, that I m aware, and that is, her companion book contains an entire chapter devoted to all of the errors from the first four books that, to date, either Gabaldon has determined herself or has been made aware of by her readers All sorts of interesting information and stories related to the content of the first four novels comprising The Outlander Series is found in the Companion, not to mention bibliography, pronunciations, and a listing of other authors and books to turn to during the wait for the next volume nine If you have read all eight books as I did between May and September of this year, and are addicted then this methadone list is a blessing Most appreciated in this newly revised version are some stunning photographs from the 2014 15 Outlander TV series, season one, produced for STARZ After having perused this book, I feel as though I have met and enjoyed lively in person discussions with Diana, and I m hoping to be equally happy with the second Outlandish Companion, especially because, in my estimation, Gabaldon s novels have become better and better with each subsequent publication My expections are that the second Companion will be outlandish ha than the first Very interesting to see her frame of mind thought patterns while working on these books While it is a just a companion book, if you want to have a quick guide while reading the books for reference this works well since the author wrote it herself What I mean by this is that I bought other Outlander guides, not worth the money at all So I guess you get what you pay for, so having one based written by Diana Gabaldon is fun to have with all the books I wouldn t suggest reading it instead tho as she fleshes out the stories in her books this is like an outline she used for each book so while it does tell you the stories they aren t exactly the same as the books themselves.