The Ice Storm
I get it that Rick Moody hates the decade he grew up in. His mocking of the Duraflame Log and his outright disgust at shag carpets (they are serially degraded until their final appearance as simply “fungal”) are all the cultural markers of the ’70s you need. I also get it that he despises suburban WASP culture. But his evocation of that grotesque and mendacious culture seems to me dishonest. I suspect key parties were only an urban legend, and almost certainly unavailable among the circles Moody describes. Also, to argue for the centrality of sex in modern life is not the same as to define life as this obsessed by it. I assume the rhetoric of tragedy in this book is meant to be ironic, given the emptiness of the proceedings, and the writing generally is choppy and unbalanced. And yet, it all has a kind of trash appeal to it, like a dirty soap.