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 drink, trying to bed his new mistress - who seems oddly uninterested - and trying not to think about his failures at the office. His wife, Elena, is reading self-help books and losing patience with her husband's clumsy lies. Their son, Paul, home for the holiday, escapes to the city to pursue an alluring rich girl from his prep school. And young Wendy Hood roams the neighborhood, innocently exploring the liquor cabinets and lingerie drawers of her friends' parents, looking for something new. Then an ice storm hits, the worst in a century, and things really get bad. The Ice Storm explores what it was like to be part of a family at a time when all of American culture seemed to be in prolonged adolescence, when the music was bad, the psychology was astral, everybody had shag carpet, and it seemed the best a family could do was to fall apart gracefully. By turns acerbic, hilarious, and lacerating, this is a novel with edge and heart, a chronicle to be savored by everyone who survived the '70s or the suburbs.