Strong Motion

  • by Jonathan Franzen
  • Narrated by Scott Aiello
  • 20 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.

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- Kim Venatries "There are few things better than a good story well told!"

Compelling Story, Ridiculous Narrator

What did you like best about Strong Motion? What did you like least?

This one was a little slow starting for me because all the characters are jerks, but once the earthquakes started, I was hooked.


Who was your favorite character and why?

I particularly liked the character of Rene, who humanizes Louis and makes me like him more.


How did the narrator detract from the book?

The audiobook narrator, however, I did not enjoy. First of all, apparently he thinks the best way to convey a female voice is to become grating, nasal, and lispy. Some of the female characters sounded like Beavis and Butthead. Seriously. Bad.What's more, the narrator constantly mispronounces things, from words like "hegemony" to place names. I can almost forgive the place names, as we here in Massachusetts do pronounce things in unlikely ways, but the actual words, those are less forgivable. But back to the place names, why would the publisher hire someone to read a book about metro Boston who clearly has no idea about greater Boston? Among the place names mispronounced here: Worcester, Waltham, Peabody, and Copley Square. How hard is it to pronounce Copley Square? What I'm saying is, this narrator did not do his homework.


Was Strong Motion worth the listening time?

I'm lukewarm on this one. It's a good story, but I often had to cringe and grit my teeth through the narration.


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- D.Mulligan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-22-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios