At novel2screen, as long-time readers know, we dive into popular books and talk about the process of adaptation from page to screen. Yes, this sometimes means analyzing the books’ flaws as well as their strengths.
So far in my discussion of Drums, I’ve been a bit critical of some of Diana’s choices, especially regarding the rape of Brianna by Stephen Bonnet, which I felt was a bit contrived. (See The Stephen Bonnet Conundrum or The Convoluted MacGuffin for evidence.)
And while many have agreed with me, some readers had some VERY strong ideas about where I could shove my opinions! Yes, we Outlander readers are passionate people, and that’s why I love writing about this series.
But lest anyone think that I don’t have anything nice to say about Drums of Autumn, I want to assure you that I very much do. And so this week, we’re going to put our planned article, “Jamie and the ‘R’ Word,” on the back burner, and instead we’re going to list the TOP FOUR FAVORITE PARTS OF DRUMS OF AUTUMN, which I REALLY hope will make it to the show this fall.
#1. THE KILLING OF THE BEAR
Jamie’s killing of the bear that has threatened to attack Claire on one of their first nights in the woods is an incredible scene. It’s a visceral embodiment of one of the the key themes of this book–man versus nature. And it gives Claire a quintessentially “Claire” thing to do: beating a bear with a dead fish.
It also serves as a fitting introduction to some of the Tuscarora Indian characters who will be significant supporting players in this season of “Outlander.”
Now, that said, I have NO IDEA how the show will pull off filming this one (I guess ask the team from The Revenant for some CGI advice?). But in any event, MAN, I WANT TO SEE THAT BEAR SCENE!
#2. THE RE-CREATION OF NATIVE AMERICAN LIFE
Diana’s strong suit is research. Every detail in her books, from language to costume to diet is so beautifully and carefully researched that the books give the reader a feeling of being hurled, well, “through the stones,” if you will, and into another world.
In this book, we meet members of the Cherokee, Creek, and Tuscarora tribes. I know that many native actors have already auditioned for the show, and I am so excited to see their culture and language faithfully represented on this show, as it is in the book.
#3. BREE AND ROGER’S WEDDING NIGHT
Diana has some fun with this scene in the book, subverting the “ripped corset” expectations by setting it essentially in a pig sty. But it that sense of whimsy and irony that makes it fun, sexy, and oddly romantic.
It’s the only “honeymoon” these two kids are going to get in this sucker, so I know we want it to be as fun and special in the series as it is in the book.
4. CLAIRE OPERATING ON MYERS’ HERNIATED TESTICLE
Honestly, this whole storyline with the herniated testicle doesn’t necessarily do much to move the plot forward, but I don’t care. It’s such a fabulously “Claire” thing to do—operating on a man’s ballsack right on the dining room table, in front of a roomful of guests—that it just has to be there.
We love it when Outlander gives our Claire opportunities to be herself—and herself is a doctor first and foremost.
So those are my top four Drums moments!
Now, I KNOW everybody’s got some strong opinions about this one! So let’s hear it. Leave your favorite Drums of Autumn scene in the comments section below. Can’t wait to read ’em!
Next week, we nosedive into some heavier material: JAMIE AND THE “R” WORD.
Till then, XO,
Keep an eye out for DOWN WORLD, my original sci-fi novel, which will be available on Kindle this summer! More info to come.
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And if you’re looking for Outlander-themed jewelry, here’s the link: Sassenach Jewelry
*Unless otherwise noted, photos courtesy of Sony