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Strong Motion | [Jonathan Franzen]

Strong Motion

Louis Holland arrives in Boston in a spring of ecological upheaval (a rash of earthquakes on the North Shore) and odd luck: the first one kills his grandmother. Louis tries to maintain his independence, but falls in love with a Harvard seismologist whose discoveries about the earthquakes' cause complicate everything.
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Publisher's Summary

Louis Holland arrives in Boston in a spring of ecological upheaval (a rash of earthquakes on the North Shore) and odd luck: the first one kills his grandmother. Louis tries to maintain his independence, but falls in love with a Harvard seismologist whose discoveries about the earthquakes' cause complicate everything.

©1992 Jonathan Franzen (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (34 )
5 star
 (9)
4 star
 (13)
3 star
 (6)
2 star
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1 star
 (4)
Overall
3.5 (31 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.8 (27 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
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  •  
    Stephen Marietta, GA, United States 11-13-13
    Stephen Marietta, GA, United States 11-13-13 Member Since 2012

    I have nothing to offer anyone except my own confusion.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    41
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    Story
    "Easily as good as "The Corrections""
    What made the experience of listening to Strong Motion the most enjoyable?

    It's an outstanding story, with great character development and an ability to at least explain both sides of several social issues dealt with in a rational and well thought out manner (though the author's actual stance on any such issue is never left to the imagination).


    What other book might you compare Strong Motion to and why?

    Any of Franzen's other novels. It's what he does.


    What about Scott Aiello’s performance did you like?

    His ability to show the proper emotion at the proper times.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Well no, but only because it was over 20 hours.


    Any additional comments?

    If you liked "The Corrections" give this one a try.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Venatries Philadelphia, PA USA 11-26-13
    Kim Venatries Philadelphia, PA USA 11-26-13 Member Since 2010

    There are few things better than a good story well told!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    613
    ratings
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    522
    86
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    158
    17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Zzzzzzz… Aggressively Boring."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Less "relationship drama". Some serious editing. Better character development. I love long stories, but this was tedious.


    What does Scott Aiello bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He was the only reason I stuck with the story as long as I did. He's a good narrator.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    There were glimmers and hints of a good story but it was so buried under the emotional minutia I just didn't care any more.


    Any additional comments?

    I really tried to stick with this. Even though three hours in I didn’t really care about the characters, was even sick to death of them after the first hour. Two page descriptions of a characters’ pronouncement of love for another…? It was like watching an artsy foreign film without subtitles and really bad acting. I just wanted it to stop. There may be a story in there somewhere but I couldn’t waste anymore time trying to get to it. The narration was pretty good. The premise of the story seemed interesting enough. But the execution…not so much.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheila Saline, MI, United States 01-24-14
    Sheila Saline, MI, United States 01-24-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    7
    6
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    FOLLOWING
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    2
    Overall
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    Story
    "Prepare to suspend your disbelief."
    What did you like best about Strong Motion? What did you like least?

    I liked the unraveling of the background story with the various members of the family (past and present).


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Louis. I really did not enter the thinking of the others. Franzen's writing has a satirical quality that never really lets you sympathize completely with his characters.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Scott Aiello’s performances?

    I think his performance was the weakest part of the experience of listening to this book. The sister, who is graduating with a Harvard MBA is made to sound like an insecure, dumb teenager. He mispronounces many of the place names, which is unfortunate. Peabody is pronounced "PEA-buddy" not pea-BODY. Somehow he gets "Nahant" right. The first half of the book is read with a snarky, sardonic tone and he calms down later in the book..


    Could you see Strong Motion being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    .Not really. I think it would end up feeling like a remake of "A Civil Action"


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoy JF's books. I expect them to be long and complex. I thought the whole anti-abortion side story did not add anything to this story. I'm not sure what it had to do with the plot. I did learn about earthquakes and seismology, which I did not expect. The best part of the book was the father talking about his political beliefs. I wish the father had been a much more visible and vocal contributor to the plot. He had some really great insights.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Tragos 05-09-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Who wrote this?"
    What disappointed you about Strong Motion?

    I made no connection with any of the characters.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Flash Boys


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    By being lazy - women don't have effeminate voices and it's Cote D'azur not Cote Du Jour!


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    None!


    Any additional comments?

    This is one of the worst books ever - and I just can't believe it's written by the same guy who wrote Freedom and The Corrections. Nothing connects us to these characters and their story is without interest or meaning. Having written this less than mediocre mess, Franzen has no right to ever criticize another writer! Hope he takes some extended time off on the Cote Du Jour and comes back with stories about real people struggling with real life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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