Franzen, Jonathan. Strong Motion. Picador, 1992. F; 9/11.
I had been so delighted with his Freedom that I expected this to fall way short, and although it did fall short, it wasn’t by much.
The central metaphor is earthquakes, and the central character is a resolutely and successfully neutral kind of guy. True to the time it was written, the narrative involving earthquakes in and around Boston (the non-natural cause of which is suspected by our hero’s PhD seismology girlfriend) is packed with greedy industrialists polluting the world and anti-abortion fanatics trying to take it over.
But still the characters are affecting and the plot credible and quite gripping. It all gets seen through the eyes of the neutral protagonist, and there’s quite a lot of engaging analysis of family relationships, which is a bit of a Franzen trademark I think.
Good if not great stuff. 8.0/8.3