“Clanlands” Book Review

Book: “Clanlands: Whisky, Warfare, and a Scottish Adventure Like No Other” by Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish

Genre: Non-Fiction mix of memoir/historical/travel

Format: Audiobook

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Outlander TV Stars turned authors, Heughan and McTavish have published a new book detailing an epic road trip around Scotland discussing the beautiful country, whisky and friendship. The book details moments from the unlikely pair’s trip. Their points of view often clash and are reminiscent of the “odd couple” and as such this book is often humorous and a fun read. Filled with light hearted banter and jabs at one another, these two authors are charismatic and will charm their way into the hearts of readers interested in learning more about the beautiful country of Scotland.

Throughout the book, the authors travel throughout the country and stop at important historical landmarks taking a deep dive into Scottish lore while threading in snippets on the art of whiskey making and textiles which Highlanders are known for. There are plenty of plugs for Sam Heughan’s whiskey brand which is appropriately named “Sassenach” in the book but it is endearing rather than annoying. The authors’ writing comes across as refreshingly honest. The transparency leads the reader on a more enjoyable journey as the writing can be taken at face value and the process of reading is relaxed as there is no pretense.

I have always been interested in Scottish history and historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. As such, this book was right up my alley. I enjoyed the “Outlander” book series by Diana Gabaldon and devoured the TV show, so having both of the actors as narrators in this work was wonderful. Admittedly, I was not as intrigued by the actors’ personal lives or background but rather I wanted to hear more about the country itself and its history. Although it is important to note (and the authors do a great job of pointing this out) the romanticized version of Highlander history is a skewed version of reality.

The hilarious moments had me laughing out loud, the charged historical stories had me feeling melancholic but most of all… the book had me looking back into my own family history and listening intently to see if my Scottish relatives would appear in the tales of old.

Ladies and Gentleman… they did.

Recommendations: Pick up this book immediately if you love the show “Outlander” or have an interest in Scottish History! It is a MUST read!

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