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

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

Clearly Franzen, but with plot

This was a great novel, which certainly follows the Franzen formula evident in his other books, with a few notable differences.

1. Most of the story is told from one point of view where most of his works switch fairly often.
2. The story has a pretty linear AND chronological plot - which is another clear departure.

If you liked The Corrections or Freedom you are sure to like this one as well, but I have to admit I enjoyed Freedom far more than this book just due to the subject matter.. Seismology and highly intelligent academics ( a big part of this book) are not in my realm of concern where music and politics are (which are a big part of freedom)..

The narrator does a great job with the material, and can hear a small chuckle in his voice during some of the funniest parts of this book (although dark)

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- Michael A. Cudmore

Book Details

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