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The Ice Storm

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  3,543 ratings  ·  239 reviews
The familiar suburban landscape of Updike, Cheever, and Irving gets dazzlingly reinvented in this audacious and funny novel. It's the weekend after Thanksgiving 1973 in the suburbs. American troops are leaving Vietnam. The Beatles are recording solo albums. Pet Rocks are on the drawing board. And the Hoods are skidding out of control. Benjamin Hood is reeling from drink to ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 10th 2002 by Warner Books (first published 1994)
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The American literati bristled last year when one of the Nobel Prize bigwigs said the country’s writers were too entangled with their own mass culture to get close to a new Nobel in Literature. I don’t think that’s entirely true, but after reading "The Ice Storm" I have to say I suspect the Swedish bigwig was reading Rick Moody.

Not that I didn’t like the book. But having been alive and fully conscious in the 1970’s, I knew the dozens of TV shows and pop songs Moody referenced. To be honest, the
Fucking family. Feeble and forlorn and floundering and foolish and frustrating and functional and sad, sad. Fucking family. Fiend or foe.

Likely Ang Lee's film remains superior. The struggle is apparent here. One trying to rationalize one's upbringing is always a fool's errand. Moody appears to halt before the warmth. He's perhaps too keen to be clinical.
David Gillespie
On the outset, Rick Moody’s The Ice Storm appears to be a Generation X era relic about what it was like to grow up in the 1970’s. Any serious reader has probably read at least one of these type of stories before; stories chock full of ironic kitsch and facile observations on how screwed up the Me generation were. At the beginning of the novel, Moody lives up to that description, as he sloshes the kitsch with a ladle, with lists of brand names, pop songs, and other period icons so that you can be ...more
An exuberant and dark novel that makes you both laugh and hold your stomach at the detailed and nauseating portrayals of the shame of youth and family. No one is safe in this book, and no one is good. Everything is tinged with either a rot that is unredeemable or a rot that is still in its seedling state. The children will be as rotten as the parents, and the parents seem beyond hope. The culture of the town is hopeless and the only thing that makes it at all uplifting is the sense that this era ...more
I'm not sure what I think about this book.

On one hand, Moody has a spellbinding quality about his writing. His voice is quite unique, and from a purely linquistic and literary perspective I found the book quite appealing. Also, I'm always attracted to writers who write about real, unattractive, unwholesome, unheroic people, and I usually enjoy works that are trying to expose the dark underbelly of society.

On the other hand the story seems, I don't know, contrived maybe. I appreciate his commen
All in all, I gotta say I'm disappointed. That's why I'm giving this book such a mediocre review- something I rarely do for books. I *loved* this movie. I love how it dealt with these "slice of life" moments in the lives of these four family members, and how they coalesced around their indescretions with a neighbor family. Paul, the son who was least involved in this inter-familial deceit (he lived at boarding school and spent the majority of the book at a friend's apartment far away in New York ...more
A strange beast: it's Rabbit Angstrom fanfiction. but sets the pace for Chabon's and Lethem's usage of comic books (and their creators) as some sort of (misguided) universal cultural touchstone.

Was overly creeped out by the key party scene. Doubly so, since TCM Underground was on (low) in the background, featuring Hatchet for the Honeymoon ( ) and a proto-Goblin score ( ) ...a score that seemed (seems) so much mor
Kali VanBaale
What I love about this book is its unsentimental view of suburban turmoil and discontent--that phrase "all is not what it seems" I love to see played out in literature so much. In some ways, THE ICE STORM feels like it picks up where Richard Yates' classic and brilliant suburban novel REVOLUTIONARY ROAD left off--from the 50's to the early 70's--and in the span of that decade between the two books, adults haven't learned much. One immediate difference with Moody's story though, is that he offers ...more
Michael Hughes
Moody is more interested in waxing poetic (sometimes "poetic") than letting his characters speak and think for themselves. Consequently, we don't care about them very much. They aren't allowed to be real in the reader's mind. Moody is always present as an intermediary. And his contempt - for these characters, for their suburban milieu - is exhausting stuff. There isn't much action in The Ice Storm but there is plenty of unseemly poring over shameful sex and the ruins of sad, failed lives. Abando ...more
C. Gregory Thompson
Loved every word. Had no idea Moody was this good. Will be reading more of him. Very jealous of his talent.
Having already seen the film based on the novel, I suppose I knew what to expect from this book.

Set during one day just before Thanksgiving 1973, the book follows the individual members of the Williams and Hood families, who both live in an affluent suburb of Conneticut and enjoy all the trappings of consumerism of the time, but are far from happy, the adults struggling with fidelity within marriage, the teenage children with their emergent hormones. The dysfunctional nature of both families is

With its pristine, white picket fence image and sometimes hellacious underbelly, the suburban lifestyle easily lends itself to ridicule.

Books (like Jeffrey Eugenides’ “The Virgin Suicides”), films (i.e. “American Beauty”), and television shows (such as “Desperate Housewives” or “Weeds”) have all taken different approaches in dissecting and scrutinizing the inner workings of American middle-to-upper-class neighborhoods. These mediums have followed and even help set a common contention in the Uni
Maybe this book is too long. Maybe the other reviewers are correct that Rick Moody's scrupulous attention to 70s pop culture overwhelms his ability to tell a good story. Maybe I know, and like, Ang Lee's movie adaptation too well. Whatever the case, my mind wandered an awful lot while I was trying to read The Ice Storm, a book I first admired but didn't like and then didn't admire or like all that much.

Three of my wandering thoughts:

1. The Ice Storm tells the story of a typical day in the life o
The Ice Storm by Rick Moody is set in the real town of New Canaan in Fairfield County, Connecticut. A popular home for wealthy commuting New Yorkers since the advent of the railroad in 1868, its population more than doubled between 1950 and 1970 (from 8,001 to 17,451) as a result of its position at the centre of the modern architectural design movement from the late 1940s to the 1960s when a group of Havard students moved to the town and built around 80 to 100 modern homes. Other famous architec ...more
Some years ago, I watched the Ang Lee film of the same name (sorry to compare the book to the movie, I normally hate it when people do that, but it has a purpose, I promise), and was delighted by his use of the visual aesthetic of the 1970s-- shag carpets and plastic furniture and warm colors and middle-aged faces that reek of vice-- to guide his narrative of family collapse.

Rick Moody, unsurprisingly, uses similar techniques, constantly referencing movies and political events, or going into ext
Di Taylor
We were assigned this novel in our themed literature class "Quest & Arrival." It is the story of two families who are neighbors along with their 4 kids. While there is much to learn from the story itself with a time travel back to 1973 with many allusion in the story which were lost on me (most of the time). What makes this story hard to digest is because it's like having a front row seat to a train wreck involving the unity of family. While I'm inclined to think bits of the story may be far ...more
Although I get sort of anxious and moody when I think about the seventies, this book really drew me in from page one and kept me hooked. It's a profoundly sad, yet witty piece of writing. And although the theme of "the seedy underbelly of the suburbs" is sort of over done and we've all seen it before, I think this book does one of the better, more believable jobs at portraying it. The story of Wendy, the hormonal and romantically confused woman to be is heartbreaking at times, adorable at others ...more
Marshall Layne
Much maligned by a film director with a vastly different interpretation of the novel (think Kubrick with The Shining), Moody acquits himself very well here. I consider this novel the anti-Ordinary People. In that novel a young man going through the pains of adolescence must deal with his brother's death, which he mistakenly believes is his fault. His story is tragic because he shoulders the weight of his family's anxieties on top of the normal adolescent angst. Moody's protagonist displays no su ...more
Perrin Pring
A long time ago a friend of mine recommended I watch The Ice Storm. Once I found out that it was a book, I decided I wanted to read The Ice Storm before I watched the movie. Since I pretty much only buy books at used book stores, I looked for it for years in used book stores across the country. I never found it. Finally, I just bought The Ice Storm off of Amazon.

Dark, twisted and beautifully written, The Ice Storm is not an uplifting book. About a wealthy family in New Canaan, CT in 1973, The
Julie Barrett
The Ice Storm by Rick Moody
1973 Thanksgiving weekend, about how the family is falling apart.
Benjamin Hood - His mistress Janie Williams. He's had affairs before, he strives to have things he can't have.
Story also follows Wendy Williams who's in high school and she's waiting to meet up with Mikey who she's watched touch himself and she wants some of it.
Her father finds them in the basement and they walk home and he doesn't care if she wants to have sex, he just wants her to have a better guy.
Justin Tappan
Listened to the audio book.

Rating this one is tough.

First of all, let me say that I love Moody's style. He can sling words, of that there is no doubt. His prose is elegant, every sentence carefully crafted while somehow still seeming spontaneous. His voice is distinct and unique.

But the problem as I see it is the story. Or should I say lack of a story. There's really not much of one here, quite frankly. The book seems to be a collection of snapshots, an examination of suburban America which neve
This is a book about sexual depravity and complete isolation in a crowded room, so to speak. I really wanted to love this book. Perhaps, in another life or at a different time in my life, I might have. I just could not. I choose this book because I felt that being born and raised in Connecticut and growing up in the seventies, I might've been able to relate to it somehow but, nope...I couldn't relate to any of it. Probably because I grew up on the other side of the state. The blue-collar side of ...more
At Easter we went away for the weekend with my 17 year old daughter. My husband and I went to the library to find some DVDs to take with us. 'What about The Ice Storm?' I said pulling it from the shelf. 'I can't remember anything about it, do you think it would be OK?' My husband looked at me with his eyebrows raised. I really couldn't remember a thing about it except that I had loved the film when I'd seen it a few years ago.

So I got the audio book. And now I can see why it wouldn't have been
O suburbie tipic americană din Connecticut, din anii ’70, cu gazoane frumos îngrijite, cu casnice îmbrăcate la patru ace şi asezonate cu un zâmbet fin şi, în acelaşi timp, fals. Pe acest fundal à la The Truman Show, prozatorul american Rick Moody se joacă, în Furtuna de gheaţă (The Ice Storm, 2002), cu destinele a două familii, Hood şi Williams, care devin mai apropiate decât şi-ar fi dorit vreodată, dar legăturile între ele nu au nimic de-a face cu afecţiunea . Este o apropiere dată de moarte, ...more
Ben Lainhart
A witty, observant and well-written novel. Some of Moody's sentences sparkle with life.
Emily Long
Favorite line: She knew that if she ever suffered a real and debilitating mental illness, its onset would not be the result of a failed marriage or because of twentieth-century spiritual impoverishment; it would be caused instead by these details, by a pen mark on the designer pantsuit she'd bought for the holidays, by the slight warp in her Paul Simon album, or by the acrid taste of old ice cubes. These small things led to a bottomless pit of loneliness beside which even Cambodia paled.

The Ice
The Ice Storm
Rick Moody
Little, Brown and Company, 1994

The Ice Storm is Rick Moody’s tragic tale of two families during Thanksgiving holiday and the next couple days following. The two families in the book are the Hoods: father Benjamin, mother Elena, son Paul and daughter Wendy, and the Williams: father Jim, mother Janey, and sons Mikey and Sandy. The book revolves around the actions of these characters, their relationship with each other, and their sexuality.

Moody starts the book by describin
Matthew Pearce
Rick Moody has written a novel about two dysfunctional families growing up and falling apart in 1973, in the small community of New Canaan, Connecticut. Moody’s pacing of the book is incredibly fast, and sometimes hard to follow, but he makes up for it in drawing the reader in by beckoning strong emotions. With vibrant scenes and witty dialogue the reader is left amazed at how well written the novel is.
The story follows the Hood and Williams families. Both are neighbors too each other with chi
Jim Hunnicutt
The Ice Storm
The Ice Storm by Rick Moody. Little, Brown and Company. 1994

Rick Moody’s intensely and beautifully tragic look into the suburban life of an early 1970’s Northeastern town mainly revolves around the Hood family. The members of this family- father Benjamin; his wife Elena; son Paul and daughter Wendy, are introduced by Moody in a very telling and unique way. The novel begins with separate expositions into each individual’s background and personal story. By using this method, Moody no
Bryan Brunati
"The Ice Storm" by Rick Moody
Published April 2002 by Little, Brown, & Company
New York, NY

Rick Moody’s “The Ice Storm,” is actually that, a storm. This is a storm filled with different personalities and different people. Moody dares put family members with secrets and desires and allows them to run free. The Ice Storm is a story that grabs you and refuses to release its tight grip until all is reveal. It’s the magician that sets up his trick with pretty displays and dancers and it’s the reade
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Rick Moody (born Hiram Frederick Moody, III on October 18, 1961, New York City), is an American novelist and short story writer best known for The Ice Storm (1994), a chronicle of the dissolution of two suburban Connecticut families over Thanksgiving weekend in 1973, which brought widespread acclaim, and became a bestseller; it was later made into a feature film.

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“The past was so past it hurt.” 9 likes
“Words are the oldest information storage and retrieval system ever devised. Words are probably older than the cave paintings in France, words have been here for tens of thousands of years longer than film, moving pictures, video, and digital video, and words will likely be here after those media too. When the electromagnetic pulse comes in the wake of the nuclear blast? Those computers and digital video cameras and videotape recorders that are not melted outright will be plastic and metal husks used to prop open doors. Not so with the utterances of tongues. Words will remain, and the highly complicated and idiosyncratic accounts assembled from them will provide us with the dark news about the blast. The written word will remain, scribbled on collapsed highway overpasses, as a testament to love and rage, as evidence of the wanderers in the ruin.” 5 likes
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