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The Ice Stormby Rick Moody
Synopses & Reviews
The year is 1973. As a freak winter storm bears down on an exclusive, affluent suburb in Connecticut, cars skid out of control, fathers and mothers swap partners, and their children experiment with sex, drugs, and even suicide. Here two families, the Hoods and the Williamses, come face-to-face with the seething emotions behind the well-clipped lawns of their lives — in a novel widely hailed as a funny, acerbic, and moving hymn to a dazed and confused era of American life.
"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)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"One of the wittiest books about family life ever written." Guardian
"Powerful....Moody's dialogue is sharp, his scenes vivid, and his pacing sure....He is a stylist who can summon strong emotions." Newsday
"A bitter and loving and damning tribute to the American family.... This is a good book, packed with keen observation and sympathy for human failure." Chicago Tribune
"The Ice Storm works on so many levels, and is so smartly written, that it should establish Rick Moody as one of his generation's bellwether voices." Hungry Mind Review
"Moody brings this profusion of metaphor to order with a fierce, subversive intelligence. His characters, drawn with a manic acuity that isn't fully accounted for until the end, stay with us long after we've finished reading." Boston Globe
"Moody masterfully captures suburban angst through lucid detail. But his characters lack substance so that we don't care what happens to them, and in the end, it seems, neither do they." Kirkus Reviews
Reminiscent of Updike and Cheever in its depiction of the familiar suburban landscape, this unsettling yet funny retrospective of the 1970s creates a moving portrait of the Hoods — a dysfunctional "family of four" whose imminent meltdown is put to the test when the worst ice storm in a century hits — and all hell really breaks loose.
On the occasion of the paperback release of Demonology, Back Bay Books takes pleasure in making all four of Rick Moody's acclaimed earlier works of fiction available in handsome new paperback editions.
About the Author
Fick Moody has received the PEN/Martha Albrand Award, the Addison Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Paris Review's Aga Khan Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, NY.
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