Synopses & Reviews
The city of Boston is being rattled by earthquakes and rocked by anti-abortion protests when Louis Holland meets Renee Seitchek. Louis is an angry member of the Nowhere Generation; Renee is a passionate and embittered seismologist seven years his senior. Their love-hate love affair has scarcely begun when Renee begins to wonder: Could the earthquakes have a human cause? Jonathan Franzen, author of the acclaimed Twenty-Seventh City and The Corrections, has created an intoxicating, provocative vision of a society divided against itself and catastrophically at odds with nature.
"Unfortunately, the dichotomies between romance and science, abortion and the environment are unresolved, and the self-pity in Louis's nihilism as he rails against mother, father, sister, the world, and himself makes him a cold and distant protagonist. A brooding tale of personal responsibility and dangerous legacies that's ambitious and impressive but finally overreaches itself." Kirkus Reviews
"No doubt about it: Jonathan Franzen is one of the most extraordinary writers around." Laura Shapiro, Newsweek
"Ingeniously put together....His ear for American vernacular is flawless....His gift for description has a kinetic immediacy....One of the best writers under forty at work in this country." Michael Upchurch, The Seattle Times
"By sheer force of his imaginative writing and his unsheathed views of American life, Mr. Franzen succeeds in joining together a love story, a family story, and a corporate-cum-environmental story....Distinctly original." Herbert Mitgang, The New York Times
"Populous, ambitious, expansive...Franzen has courage...[and] is a writer of abundant energies." Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post
"[Franzen] tries for, and achieves, more than all but two or three in the successor generation to Pynchon and DeLillo. He may well be one of the successors." Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Franzen may push an occasional metaphor too far, but distractions fade in the face of fine characterizations in a context of science grounded in history with well-integrated social messages and a subtext of the Boston Red Sox breaking fans' hearts. Impressive." Library Journal
"Bold, layered . . . Mr. Franzen lavishes vigorous, expansive prose not only on the big moments of sexual and emotional upheaval, but also on various sideshows and subthemes . . . An affirmation of Franzen's fierce imagination and distinctive seriocomic voice . . . his will be a career to watch."—Josh Rubins, The New York Times Book Review
"Ingenious . . . Strong Motion is more than a novel with a compelling plot and a genuine romance (complete with hghly charged love scenes); Franzen also writes a fluid prose that registers the observations of his wickedly sharp eye."—Douglas Seibold, The Chicago Tribune
"Complicated and absorbing with a fair mix of intrigue, social commentary and humor laced with a tinge of malice."—Anne Gowen, The Washington Times
"Strong Motion is a roller coaster thriller . . . Franzen captures with unnerving exactness what it feels like to be young, disaffected and outside mainstream America. There is an uncannily perceptive emotional truth to this book, and it strikes with the flinty anger of an early-sixties protest song."—Will Dana, Mirabella
"Franzen is one of the most extraordinary writers around . . . Strong Motion shows all the brilliance of The Twenty-Seventh City."—Laura Shapiro, Newsweek
"Lyrical, dramatic and, above all, fearless . . . Reading Strong Motion, one is not in the hands of a writer as a fine jeweler or a simple storyteller. Rather, we're in the presence of a great American moralist in the tradition of Dreiser, Twain or Sinclair Lewis."—Ephraim Paul, Philadelphia Inquirer
"With this work, Franzen confidently assumes a position as one of the brightest lights of American letters . . . Part thriller, part comedy of manners, Strong Motion is full of suspense."—Alicia Metcalf Miller, Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Wry, meticulously realistic, and good."—Entertainment Weekly
"Franzen's dark vision of an ailing society has the same power as Don DeLillo's, but less of the numbing pessimism."—Details
"Base and startling as a right to the jaw . . . [Franzen] is a writer of almost frightening talent and promise."—Margaria Fichtner, Miami Herald
A suspenseful, complex novel dealing with the issues of our day environmental pollution, religious fundamentalism, abortion, and the threat of apocalypse. It is also a tender and fresh love story a story of betrayal and redemption from the author of The Twenty-Seventh City.
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.
About the Author
Jonathan Franzen is also the author of the novels The Twenty-Seventh City and The Corrections. His fiction and nonfiction appear frequently in The New Yorker and Harper's, and he was named one of the best American novelists under forty by Granta and The New Yorker. He lives in New York City.