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The Diviners

3.04  ·  Rating details ·  581 ratings  ·  88 reviews
During one month in the autumn of election year 2000, scores of movie-business strivers are focused on one goal: getting a piece of an elusive, but surely huge, television saga, the one that opens with Huns sweeping through Mongolia and closes with a Mormon diviner in the Las Vegas desert; the sure-to-please-everyone multigenerational TV miniseries about diviners, those mi ...more
Paperback, 592 pages
Published January 2nd 2007 by Back Bay Books (first published 2005)
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3.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  581 ratings  ·  88 reviews

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Susan Seaman
Oct 29, 2009 rated it did not like it
Just because you can describe a sunrise in 14 pages doesn't mean you have to.
Aug 16, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people who like to be bored
I should have loved everything about this book. Lots of quirky characters, strange happenings, reality with heightened senses and observations…if that makes sense. So why did I dislike it so so much and it take me nearly 3 months to finish? Couldn't say. Stay away from this one…Sorry Rick Moody, you're boring.
Aug 08, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Nope. Nothing to see here. Move along. Move along.

Outside of some amazingly crafted passages of prose (Moody is a good writer) interspersed between pages and pages of overbloated grandiose literary diarrhea (his eidtor was obviously asleep on the job) this is a loosely plotted novel about loosely connected individuals all driven by thirst of some kind whether it be sexual, artistic, or success driven.

Upon my first attempt at reading it I couldn't get past that long winded god awful first chapte
Oct 29, 2010 rated it it was ok
A glorious disaster of a book, Moody pulls together all the paranoia, phoniness and absurdity of early-21st century culture and society and detonates it across 600 pages of sprawling, non-linear prose. Set in late 2000 (and ending on the day before 9/11, I think), Moody levels his sights on the film industry and all the inane bullshit it represents. Every character is majorly flawed, unlikable and seemingly on the brink of a nervous breakdown, making it difficult to care whether or not they succ ...more
Jan 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, fiction
Nearly seventy years ago, another Brunonian, Nathanael West, wrote "Day of the Locust", a classic satire about Hollywood culture. Now Rick Moody has wrought a bold, ambitious novel about Hollywood which deserves favorable comparison to West's novel. But "The Diviners" is a bold, ambitious novel which may not find favor with those who prefer linear fictional narratives, but rather, with those, like myself, who prize elegant, stylistic prose, even if it tends to be frequently overwrought; more in ...more
Bookmarks Magazine

The "almost freakishly gifted stylist" Rick Moody concocts his latest as if it were The Bonfire of the Vanities as written by James Joyce (or so says The Washington Post). Most critics (at least those on the coasts) agree that the author's writerly gifts give new life to the age-old practice of Hollywood satire. As always, he does go way over the top (for example, the overlong prologue waxes poetic about the sun rising across the globe, and don't we already know that the god of pop culture is a

Oct 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rick Moody's character's are connected by the idea of 'thirst,' whether it be a social, political, artistic, or entirely superficial struggle. oh, and occasinally by plot as well. They are sad and beautiful, specific yet mysterious. often funny. I've never read him before and I am impressed...he is able to capture the essense of an entire douglas coupland novel in a chapter. not that D.C. isn't incredibly pleasurable to read. Moody uses the platform of the arts to portray contemporary society an ...more
Dec 23, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Frat Boys and Hipsters
This guy sucks, and this book sucks worse. Classic Example of how money can buy you a publisher, agent, and good reviews, but unfortunately it can't buy you the ability to write. The opening sentence is quite possibly the worst sentence ever composed in the entire history of the English Language. I could only read a quarter of the book before vomiting and laying in bed for a week.
Jul 31, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Anyone who doesn't feel like finishing a book.
I really wanted to like this book. I even got past the first 20 pages of that lady shitting. But there just weren't enough victories after that, so I gave up.
Mar 14, 2008 rated it did not like it
I used to like Moody, but wow, this one was really terrible. Got about 3/4 of the way through and finally gave up on it.
Jun 10, 2008 rated it did not like it
Unbearably pretentious. And just plain bad. I couldn't finish it.
Jun 23, 2007 rated it did not like it
While I think Rick Moody is technically a good writer, I hated this book! It had no focus and nothing was resolved regarding the very vague and rambling story. Do not waste your time.
Jan 19, 2008 rated it it was ok
I was really disappointed with this one.
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What makes a great book? And by what measure? And who's opinion? A books greatness lies solely in the eyes and heart of the reader. Every experience with every book should be different. The reason I say this is because I read a lot of negativity towards this book.....yet I loved it.
The Diviners is a master class in writing with remarkable characters that I want more of. The plot is merely secondary to the character sketches that are woven throughout. 4.5 stars....maybe 5.
Greg Magnuson
Apr 14, 2018 rated it liked it
I'm glad I read this book but I don't think I'd read it again.
Christina Zanakos
Feb 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Christina Zanakos

The Diviners
Ricky Moody
New York
September 2005
Word Count 579

Rick Moody’s novel The Diviners is strategically composed of several people’s lives and the point of their complicated intersections. At 567 pages, Moody takes his time developing each character’s story, though many extraneous details could have been left out and in my opinion, probably would’ve added to the excitement of the tale, as these excessive descriptions and backgrounds drag on and make for a slow start.

The s
Jan 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
In his first novel in seven years , Rick Moody delivers a sprawling romp that goes for contemporary North America’s jugular with cringe-inducing accuracy. Set in the aftermath of the hotly contested 2000 presidential election, the book’s 500-plus pages skewer independent film, television, the cult of celebrity, yoga, contemporary art, food and sex addiction.

Its plus sized anti-heroine, Vanessa Meandro (nicknamed Mini-van), is the head of independent New York film studio Means of Production and a
Nov 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
So is this a good book? Tough to say. I think it's fair to say that in spite of its frequently remarkable badness at all levels of execution –– from the maddening pretension of individual word choices and the needless circumlocutions that are unfortunately what I suspect most people think of as Rick Moody's prose style all the way up to the relentlessly unfunny jokes (despite the tendency of every other blurb quoted pre–title page to laud its satiric humor, this is not an especially funny novel) ...more
Dec 14, 2008 rated it liked it
I knew very little about Moody going in, except that he was responsible for The Ice Storm, the basis for the movie by Ang Lee. The Diviners reminds me very strongly of Don Delillo's books. Both Delillo and Moody tackle the somewhat difficult task of talking about "non-literary" things like modern pop culture, in a literary way. The Diviners centers around an independent production company whose breakout project might just be a miniseries about divining throughout history. The book switches rapid ...more
Nelson Maddaloni
May 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Although I ultimately enjoyed this book, it kind of pales in comparison to earlier, and better, Rick Moody. It's certainly better than his short fiction. This maximalist novel is difficult to swallow, indeed the first chapter I nearly gave up on the book. However, as you proceed gems start popping up here and there and ultimately the book feels satisfying as a Hollywood satire. He seems to be trying to be Pynchonian here too, what with conspiracies, weird names, setting in during a particular pe ...more
Larry Scarzfava
May 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I can't believe so many readers hated this book; I thought it was wonderful--a mad rollercoaster ride through contemporary man's pursuit of anything that will fill that internal emptiness that plagues most of us. Yes, Moody seems to lack focus, and yes, he skips around from one seemingly random subject to the next, but isn't that an accurate picture of the world we live in, with its ADHD, its frenetic activity, and its pointless search for the ultimate in satisfaction? We've all been sold a bill ...more
Jul 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
I don't tend to add a dissenting voice to the Goodreads vox populi (I'm not clever enough and I'm a shameless populist at heart), but what is with all the acidic one and two-star reviews here? I can only deduce that most people didn't make it past the 'Opening Credits' section, a terribly dull and repetitive 14-page ode to the rising sun. I went on a hunch that it neither represented, nor added anything to, what went after, and skipped it entirely. Once I was committed to the book (after around ...more
Sep 03, 2008 rated it it was ok
I was excited to read this book as the author wrote the novels that become two highly-acclaimed films, "The Ice Storm" and "Garden State". The novel is a series of vignettes that eventually weave together ... sort of. I felt that they were often too detailed and, as a result, the novel is altogether too long and taxing to read. Some memorable moments include the days just before the internet, binging at Kristy Kreme, the "Werewolves of Fairfield County" television series, the lonely perversion a ...more
Dec 20, 2009 rated it liked it
Man, I was eating out of this book's five-star HAND until the last 35 pages or so. Why do so many smart novelists do this? It's like they suddenly get tired or wander off or something. I'm probably just too boneheaded to understand what was in reality a super-sophisticated Ending. Anyway the twenty-something chapters leading up to the last one and its "epilogue" are marvelously written--interlocking, witty, moving in certain paragraphs, and compulsively entertaining. Then something happens, or n ...more
Robert Corbett
Oct 24, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers of contemporary fiction
I love Rick Moody's work. I think I would read his version of the phonebook. He mixes the uses of constrained forms and raw emotion better than any writer I know of. I think The Black Veil should be required reading for anyone even thinking of a memoir. But his novels do not always conclude with the same energy they begin with. Perhaps it is his use of lists and retrospective narratives--they give the sense that his stories could go on forever or that they have already occurred. Yet I can think ...more
Dec 29, 2014 rated it liked it
I had a hard time getting into this book, mainly because parts of it were just gross. I can handle gruesomeness most of the time, but reading about an elderly alcoholic's colitis was a bridge too far. It was also hard to care about the generally unsympathetic characters or get overly drawn into their world. By the end of the book, though, I did care about at least a few people (Tyrone, for example) and I was pleasantly surprised by the relatively optimistic ending (assuming you skip the epilogue ...more
Aug 04, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2009, tossers
An overweight woman takes a taxi around to every Krispy Kreme donut store in Manhattan. She orders a dozen donuts at each one and eats the whole dozen in the taxi ride to the next store. It was a fascinating look at over eaters and addiction. I thought this was going to be a really interesting book....then around page 50 it got incredibly disgusting and the writing was horrible. It switched from eating addictions to sexual and sadistic addictions and I was like, "What is this book???" No wonder ...more
Jun 23, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Film, unconventional naratives
Shelves: fiction
The Diviners is a difficult book to love. But some people love making brickfilms, so there must be a segment of the generally literate population that would be appreciative Rich Moody readers, if this title would only fall into their hands. Some of them may even have heard of it, but are unwilling to make the purchase after reading the mixed reviews on Amazon.

Anyone who has acquired the Diviners and has not already been unduly influenced by lovers and haters might enjoy the book more if he or sh
Feb 04, 2012 rated it liked it
I love literary fiction, and Rick Moody is undoubtedly well regarded in the genre. I relished every carefully wrought detail Moody crafted in the early stages of the book, but by the end, it was overwhelming. What was an exercise in highlighting a microcosm of humanity in a time of turbulent recent events became a knotted mess of detail. It's an elegant and well written piece of prose, but the amount of detail (think too many close ups and not enough wide angled shots) made it too top-heavy for ...more
I can't remember the last time I was this happy to just be done with a book. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't because it was that bad; just simply that it was so damn disheartening. Even if you were to dismiss the ever-shifting POV, an abundance of words/phrases saturated in pretension and the absence of indents, it's Moody himself that makes me look forward to 2012. We get it, Mr. Moody, the world is shit, humans are nothing but base sinners and the light at the end of the tunnel is nothing but a ...more
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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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