I can’t be the only person who tends to think of an actor as though he is actually the character he portrays. Although in my head I know he is his own person, not a fictional character, sometimes it’s really, really easy to sort of not really believe it. So when you get a book like Clanlands by Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish, it’s a chance to get to know the actors behind the characters, while also seeing how their personalities enhance who they play on screen.

Clanlands is part travel book, mostly history, and a little bit comical autobiography. Heughan and McTavish, co-stars in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, decide to take a bit of a road trip through Scotland to get more in touch with their roots. They explore several historic sites, sample lots of whiskey, and harass each other a lot.

While this book was fun and definitely gets one interested in a trip to Scotland, I found that I really wanted it to be a podcast more than a book (though, it serves as a great teaser to the show they were filming at the same time!). I’ll be curious to see if the show is a more detailed repetition of the book, or if it is significantly different. And while I would read more written work by either author, I’d like something a little different. In some ways, it really did feel like the transcript of a podcast or show script, which while fun, wasn’t quite what I wanted. If either of them writes a full autobiography or any kind of history book, I’ll definitely pick it up, though!

All in all, it’s a fun book and a pretty quick read. But we’ll have to see what their Men in Kilts show is like before a full judgment of the book makes sense.

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