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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 28 January 2008
"Be careful what you wish for. You might get it".
Wise words that came to acquire a new meaning as the baby-boomers' children were entering the 70's. Bell-bottoms and mutton-chops were the cutting edge of fashion; Nixon's lies (and not his Kissingerian real-politics and crimes against humanity) were what finally cost him his office; polyester was more expensive and desirable than natural fibers; America was fighting another youth-grinding senseless war - and (for the first time) loosing badly. The swinging sixties came and gone and left behind only discontent and drug habits; New Heaven, Connecticut was Suburbia having everything it had wished for; every morning waking to the American Dream - only to find it hollow and wanting. And there was an ice storm brewing in the horizon. Would its whiteness make everything pure again? Would its crystals make things clearer?

I picked the book after of greatly enjoying Ang Lee's MASTERPIECE movie. I agree with most other reviewers: the movie was much more tight and effective - and, in the end, a crisper experience. I can understand how RICK MOODY's writing, with its long-winded phrases, rich likenings and not so subtle metaphors, may seem a bit dated to the 1.3sec zapping generation. However, I think that a slow, joyful reading is needed to do justice to this book.

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"Love was scattered on the winds. It exceeded its targets," writes Rick Moody in this atmospheric but somewhat jaded and pessimistic family story. It involves teenagers fumbling their way towards maturity (can Mikey make it home through the ice storm?), and adults drawn into the `swingers' world in suburbia. It was published in 1994, made into a film in, I believe, the late-1990s, and is set in the 1970s, in Nixon-era America. I vaguely remember seeing the film late one night on TV and enjoying it's sophistication while not caring much about anyone but the younger actors, (in the book, fourteen and thirteen), who seemed badly served by their self-involved parents. Sigourney Weaver, Joan Allen and Kevin Kline starred.

It is a witty, sometimes brilliant book, if occasionally self-conscious in its verbosity, but that's a minor flaw. It is very good with the atmosphere of middle America in an era where some people seem to have learned that there is more to life than marriage with 2.4 children, but not what the cost of attaining that "more" that is somewhere out there could be. It did not quite manage to make me care about the two marriages depicted, both of which seemed doomed. Nevertheless, this is a well written and well-realised novel with some useful and entertaining things to say about life, love, sex and the pursuit of happiness.
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on 27 March 2007
Don't believe this cover - this book certainly isn't a comedy although it has a few humorous moments. In reality it is a gripping read of relationships falling apart and the impact on the families - all coming to a head with the dramatic events on the evening of the ice storm. I saw the film first and loved it. I'd also recommend the book for a slower more in depth exploration of a moving story where you can connect with each of the 8 central characters. I'm looking forward to watching the film again.

Why not 5 stars ? A little slow at times during the first half before really gripping in the second half.
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on 22 February 2016
Rick Moody has written a masterpiece; a brilliant overview of a dysfunctional surburban family during the early 1970's. He does as fine a job as Tom Wolfe did in "Bonfire of the Vanities" in recording a certain moment in American history. His reliance on 1970's trivia, criticized by other customers, is important as the means through which he sets the stage for his fictitious family and their actions during the course of the ice storm. I can't think of another writer who has so aptly captured the domestic horrors of surburbia. In my list of great American novels from the 1980's and 1990's, "The Ice Storm" shares top billing with Tom Wolfe's "Bonfire of the Vanities", Mark Helprin's "A Winter's Tale", E. L. Doctorow's "Ragtime" and William Gibson's "Neuromancer". Without a doubt, Rick Moody is one of the most unique, distinctive voices of my generation; I feel privileged having been a fellow classmate of his in a college writing seminar many years ago.
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on 20 November 2000
It's amazing what the film left out of this tale about the swinging 70's -in depth character descriptions bring the people we love to hate (in the film) to life. This book is fairly fast moving and just as enjoyable (if not moreso) than the film. Sexy, surprising you name it this book has it all!
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on 9 April 2001
in this novel moody depicts a nuclear family being torn apart in 1970's Connecticut. This book is a great read, and moody's eye for detail makes it very enjoyable. the characters are very well defined and the insight into the family is incredible. from mother to son, to father to mistress, moody really connects with each character and the ice storm finale is tremendous. a really great read.
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on 26 May 2012
I love Rick's writing, but I also note his tendency for verbosity. This is his most nostalgic and personal story, with deeply insightful and moving moments flowing like a river. Ang Lee's movie did it amazing justice. Read, see and judge.
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on 5 July 2015
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on 19 December 2014
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on 19 August 1999
This is an excellent screenplay, however, in my mind, only for one reason. One of the actresses is the greatest- Katie Holmes, she is in this and that's why it's great!!!
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