The year is 1973. As a freak winter storm bears down on an exclusive, affluent suburb in Connecticut, cark skid out of control, men and women swap partners, and their children experiment with sex, drugs, and even suicide. Here two families, the Hoods and the Williamses, com 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.
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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. His first novel Garden State (1992) won the Pushcart Editor's Choice Award. His memoir The Black Veil (2002) won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir. He has also received the Addison Metcalf Award, the Paris Review Aga Khan Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, the Paris Review, Harper's, Details, the New York Times, and Grand Street. He grew up in several of the Connecticut suburbs where he later set stories and novels, including Darien and New Canaan. He graduated from St. Paul's School in New Hampshire, Brown University, received a master's degree in fine art from Columbia University and has taught at the State University of New York at Purchase and Bennington College. According to The Writer's Almanac, Moody dropped out of graduate school at Columbia after a year because he spent most of his time drinking and had a hard time paying his rent or holding a job. Moody stated, "I was a clerk at [a bookstore] and I got fired after one month. They said, 'We really like you and we respect you as a writer, but this cash register thing is just not working out.'" Moody finally checked himself into a mental hospital, got sober, and then he wrote his first novel, Garden State, about young people growing up in the industrial wasteland of New Jersey. He lives in Brooklyn and Fishers Island.From Kirkus Reviews:
In 1973, a decaying suburban Connecticut family has a bad day. Father Benjamin Hood is a middle-aged alcoholic, tormented by canker sores, in danger of losing his job as a media and entertainment expert for a high-end brokerage house, and having an affair with a neighbor named Janey. His wife, Elena, is cold and distant, even though she gets a kick reading about impotence in Masters and Johnson and believes herself ``capable of abandon.'' Fourteen-year-old Wendy Hood's raging hormones and desire to break out lead to dry humping in basements and graveyards and a daring public display with a girlfriend at a slumber party. Older brother Paul, relegated to boarding school, gets stoned and compulsively follows the comic book capers of the Fantastic Four. On this fateful day, Janey disappears in the middle of her afternoon rendezvous with Benjamin to do some shopping; Benjamin catches Wendy and Janey's son Mike going at it; Elena confronts Benjamin about his infidelity; Benjamin and Elena find themselves at a neighborhood key party (a '60s tradition that migrated belatedly to suburbia whereby men toss their keys in a bowl at the beginning of the night and at the end of the night the women randomly select a set and go off with its owner); Janey purposely shies away from the Hood key ring; Benjamin passes out on the bathroom floor; Elena goes off with Janey's husband; Wendy wanders over to Mike's house and seduces his younger brother Sandy because Mike isn't around; Paul makes an unsuccessful play for the woman of his dreams with alcohol and drugs; and matters only get worse because a vicious northeaster rages outside. Moody (Garden State, 1992) 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. Too cold. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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