Nixon and 'Nam, pet rocks and shag rugs, wife-swapping and party-hopping. Suburban New England, 1973, and the Hood family are about to wish they'd stayed home. Astutely acerbic, painfully funny, THE ICE STORM is an astonishing novel of the decade that taste forgot. 1973 - 'The last year of the sixties' as the author describes it. Amidst the ...
Nixon and 'Nam, pet rocks and shag rugs, wife-swapping and party-hopping. Suburban New England, 1973, and the Hood family are about to wish they'd stayed home. Astutely acerbic, painfully funny, THE ICE STORM is an astonishing novel of the decade that taste forgot. 1973 - 'The last year of the sixties' as the author describes it. Amidst the worst storm for 30 years the local families gather for a party - the highlight of which is the wife-swapping 'key game' - and for two couples this supposedly harmless piece of liberal-minded entertainment spells permanent disaster. Rick Moody's first novel is a dark satire on the 1970s, the gadgets, the music, the politics and most of all the people.
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I loved this book. The story is very smart the way the characters are developed and come together. I would recommend this highly. Can't wait to read other books by Rick Moody.
Oct 24, 2008
Misery loves family
In the Ice Storm Moody gives us the typical suburban family from the 70's. The father is a lech, mom is unhappy, the daughter has already developed a reputation and the son is unbalanced. In one night the family will fall apart. While mom and dad attend a key party at the neighbor's, the children are left to their own devices. The underlying theme to this story is sexual tension and how its freezing each family member out of the others lives.
Apr 26, 2007
More cultural refs than a Billy Joel song!
This book had more references than that famous Billy Joel song "We didn't start the fire"--Duraflame logs, Family Affair, Jonathan Livingston Seagull--from the beginning to the end. As one who had heard about the movie (and who was a youngster himself in the early 1970s) I tried to keep an open mind.
I think I did, although I wish Moody had paid more attention to the story and the characters than to the cultural references. Do we really have have it shoved through our eyes and into our minds that no one enjoyed the swinging and other pleasures associated with the key parties? I'm not a prude but I didn't to be hammered and reminded that no one who participated in such events was very happy.
As for the rating, I'd give it a three-and-a-half stars. For all of my critical comments, I'll have to admit that many members of my family went through similar anguish in the early 1970s. Moreover, my mother was a BIG Jonathan Livingston Seagull freak.
Publishers Weekly, 1994-03-14 Exhaustive detailing of early 1970s popular/consumer culture in suburban New England provides the context for this archetypal tale of the American nuclear family in decline. The affluent WASP community of New Canaan, Conn., is home to the Hood and Williams families, neighboring two-parent, two-child households built around increasingly dysfunctional marriages. Benjamin Hood, plagued by a loss of importance at work and a growing drinking problem, pursues an ill-fated affair with Janey Williams; his wife, Elena, feels herself losing what little regard she has left for him. Meanwhile, the adolescent children of both families experiment with sex, alcohol and drugs to find identities and to overcome a ponderous sense of alienation. A neighborhood ``key party,'' at which couples exchange mates by drawing keys out of a bowl, brings the action to a chaotic climax as an apocalyptic winter storm culminates in physical tragedy to match the emotional damage in the small community. Pop-cultural references of the time, from Hush Puppies to the film Billy Jack , pervade the text. Unfortunately, Moody, winner of the Pushcart Press Editors' Book Award for his first novel, Garden State , tends to use these details in a more encyclopedic than evocative manner. His depiction of these families, however, is insightful and convincing, penetrating the thoughts and fears of each individual. And the central tragedy of his tale remains resonant, though his decrying of our cultural wasteland seems a bit stale. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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