I finished Strong Motion over the weekend and liked it better than The Twenty-Seventh City. Franzen can’t help himself when it comes to graphic sex scenes, can he? Everything unfolds predictably but the joy of his writing is in the observation.
Next up is The Corrections – allegedly his best – as I continue my way through his novels in order.
Random bits of prose I liked:
There was a long silence. Louis felt panic at the thought of Renee, who during these minutes when he hadn’t been thinking about her had doubtless made it all the way back to her apartment. Time was passing in her life even as it was standing still in his. She was getting all this time to think while he was not.
He saw her with a dreamlike clarity that was the same as a dreamlike inability to really see her.
She had one of those cello voices that make you sure the woman’s entire body is capable of tremendous resonances, under the right circumstances.
Cars honked plaintively, as though calling to their young.
Sleep’s tantalizing glyphs, which each morning signified nothing in a different way.
The perfect gift for the man who had everything was a quarter-ounce bottle of feminism.
It was like the kitchen of the kind of man who was careful to wash the dinner dishes and wipe the counters before he went into the bedroom and put a bullet in his brain.
He wished he could have paid attention to all nine innings of the Red Sox game they’d seen from Henry Rudman’s seats, could remember who had won and how, could have knowledge as clean and permanent and inconsequential as a box score.