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I have not been able to finish this book. The characters making no impact on me at all let alone the story line whatever it is. I will no doubt pick it up again the months ahead and maybe feel differently about it,
This was a very good read, mixing humour and real current concerns including feminism and the environment, not forgetting sex and violence. The typesetting in the Kindle edition is appalling which is why it only gets three stars. Easily a 4 otherwise. Kindle customers deserve better than this production
I liked the style of this novel, it's beautifully written. I liked the story too: there's romance, there's mistery and a great plot. The characters are original, real, very humane. Only shame is the way this unique book was typed: full of spelling, typing, punctuation mistakes of all types. It deserved much, much more!!
The earth is much more fragile than we think. Convulsion of the earth crust beneath New England USA and also quakes in human dramas in Strong Motion: A Novel was author Franzen's dire warning of human capitalistic greed and irresponsible exploitation of mother earth and hence accelerating its destruction? Yet another greenie's exasperated scream at the hopeless human race? Sure it was, but besides that we have the human interests of Franzen's brilliant dramatic tale (soap operaish but I love it) on the Hollands, an upper middle class well educated Bostonian family. A hippie professor father and a newly rich Brahmin breed mother (thanks to grandpa), both parents under-appreciated by their two young adult children. Intriguing web of lives revolving the family members stretching three generations from grandfather to the spoilt brat son culminating in also quakes shaking up their lives. My second Franzen tale and it was a huge leap from being impressed with the first to great admiration with the second. Many new and exciting discoveries of Franzen treasures for me. Franzen revealed his animal loving side by including long and short observations of behaviours of wild animals as well as the domestic kind. What grabbed my heart chiefly was because Franzen wrote a big pro-life chapter where he treated us to phenomenal dialogue between the pastor leading the pro-life movements and a 30 year old Rene carrying a 5 week old foetus she didn't want it or courage or nature's normal mother instincts to see the pregnancy through and raise her child like all mammals do. An engaging repartee with the Pastor coming up on top (because he won me over convincingly which was easy because he was preaching to the converted) even though he failed to dissuade Rene. Mostly because the father had taken off and her heart was broken. Like all emotional unstable people, stupid errors are committed. The cruel irony of life was brilliantly depicted when Rene would have her life involuntarily endangered and nearly expired on the day when her foetus had its life terminated against its will. Depicting yet the drama of American lives, Franzen moved us to Boston after engaging us with life in St Louis with The Twenty-Seventh City: A Novel (Picador Modern Classics). I definitely enjoyed this second novel more because the plot and the characters were more engaging. A delectable Franzen writing style solidified for me. Love the deadpan humor of Franzen. He dropped gems along the way using his unique linguistic style to describe a common situations or actions. But one has to pay attention to spot them. A conspiracy theory on the gunman who shot Rene had fueled the excitement during the latter half of the book. Jealous lover? Corporate evil trying to silence the whistle blower? I had guessed wrong but they were indeed juicy endings to ponder as I approached the finale.