Read The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin Online


The women of Stepford are not all that they seem...All the beautiful people live in idyllic Stepford, Connecticut, an affluent, suburban Eden populated with successful, satisfied hubbies and beautiful, dutiful wives. For Joanna Eberhart, newly arrived with her husband and two children, it all seems too good to be true – from the sweet Welcome Wagon lady to all those cheerfThe women of Stepford are not all that they seem...All the beautiful people live in idyllic Stepford, Connecticut, an affluent, suburban Eden populated with successful, satisfied hubbies and beautiful, dutiful wives. For Joanna Eberhart, newly arrived with her husband and two children, it all seems too good to be true – from the sweet Welcome Wagon lady to all those cheerful, friendly faces in the supermarket checkout lines.But just beneath the town’s flawless surface, something is sordid and wrong – something abominable with roots in the local Men’s Association. And it may already be too late for Joanna to save herself from being devoured by Stepford’s hideous perfection....

Title : The Stepford Wives
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 12245215
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 139 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Stepford Wives Reviews

  • Jeffrey Keeten
    2019-05-10 23:35

    “That’s what she was, Joanna felt suddenly. That’s what they all were, all the Stepford wives: actresses in commercials, pleased with detergents and floor wax, with cleansers, shampoos, and deodorants. Pretty actresses, big in the bosom but small in the talent, playing housewives unconvincingly, too nicey-nice to be real.” Katharine Ross stars in the 1975 movie versionJoanna Eberhart is an accomplished photographer. A woman comfortable with herself, in love with her husband, and raising two charming/rambunctious children. They decide to move to Stepford, Connecticut an idyllic community full of successful people and beautiful scenery. In an attempt to get to know her neighbors she soon discovers that the women are too busy waxing floors and ironing clothes to really spend time with her. They are friendly and will offer her a cup of coffee, but they are driven to keep working as they chat. These women have singular ideas and no ambition outside of pleasing their husbands and maintaining their households. WEIRD even in 1972.The men have a club that is truly a men’s only affair. This is irritating to Joanna, but after some discussion they decide that her husband Walter should join the club to initiate change from the inside. Joanna does start to talk to the local women about picketing the club and forcing the organization to allow women to participate, but she is met with stoic indifference. She does meet one woman named Bobbie who is different from the robotic devotion of the other women in the community even to the point of having a *gasp* dirty house. With the aid of her new friend Joanna tries to get support to resurrect a women’s club that went away many years ago that failed, not surprisingly, due to poor membership numbers. Her husband Walter meanwhile is spending more and more time down at the club.Nicole Kidman stars in the 2004 movie versionWalter brings home Dale Coba, president of the men’s club and a famous artist named Ike Mazzard whose sketches of woman set an impossibly high ideal of what a woman should look like in all the women’s magazines. The group does allow Joanna to participate in the conversation and while they are talking Ike Mazzard sketches her. He gives her one of the sketches and Joanna is disconcerted at this idealized portrait of herself. It turns out all the women have one. Blueprint?Dale Coba gives Joanna the heebie jeebies. He used to work for Disney and as events unfold it becomes more and more clear what a large part he has played in making Stepford an “ideal community”. Poodle SkirtThis book is considered a thriller satire. It certainly makes fun of the idealized female portrait of the 1950s when women supposedly did housework in poodle skirts and kept their hair, nails, and figure in immaculate condition. I’m sure there are still men who would like their women to meet that criteria. They might even pine for a woman to fetch them a beer when they hear him crushing an empty can from his recliner, but most of us enjoy the equality of women with jobs, with careers, with interests, with hobbies, and able to discuss with us more than just what’s for dinner. This book made such an impact that now “Stepford” is a part of our popular culture language used to describe a submissive housewife. I impulsively decided to read this book when I discovered that my local library did not have a copy of Ira Levin’s even more famous book Rosemary’s Baby. Sometimes detours are as fun or more fun than the originally intended destination.If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.comI also have a Facebook blogger page at:

  • Petra X
    2019-04-29 16:50

    The Stepford Wives, a story of women who have no means of self-expression, might have been the story of real women in Jordan, Syria or Yemen. Women who are utterly controlled by their husbands but look quite normal, fashionable even as they no longer (have to) wear hijab. But it's the story instead of American women whose husbands would like to control them in the same way and, like Arab men, have no controls on themselves whatsoever. Unable to fulfil this desire in the usual ways of living, they result to extremism. So the women are dehumanised in life and in the book. Although this is a good, light read from one point of view, what it says about the nature of the majority of men is not light at all. In Arab society there are men, a few, who do not like the strictures their women have to live under, but most do not object at all. Some seek to deepen it even unto the utter keeping of women as private pleasures and public invisibility as in Saudi Arabia, and some, with some success, seek to spread their control of women into our own societies. Ira Levin's book is as much a parable as it is entertainment.Edit. For those who think that this desire for control of women is not in the nature of the majority of men, I'm talking globally, not just of people living in a couple of rich, secular, emancipated countries in the world, although that said, that is where the book is set.

  • Lyn
    2019-04-28 16:33

    Ira Levin’s 1972 novel The Stepford Wives is a darkly comedic and satirical modern horror story with cautionary but subtle overtones.Originally and commonly misunderstood to remark upon the growing feminist movement in the late sixties it is instead a scathing indictment on conservative attacks on women’s liberation. Levin describes a family that has recently moved into the quiet suburban township of Stepford, where a caste of upwardly mobile male professionals have barricaded themselves into an affluent and influential Men’s Association. Joanna Eberhart, a smart and talented married mother of two realizes quickly that she does not fit into the picture perfect stylized stereotype of the wives of Stepford who toil about the house in crisp Donna Reed dresses and makeup while their husband’s while away the nights at the Men’s club. More disconcerting, Joanna realizes that there is a more sinister explanation for this odd discontinuity. Reader's will notice a similarity with Jack Finney's brilliant 1955 allegory Invasion of the Body Snatchers and with Robert A. Heinlein's The Puppet Masters, though Levin eschews sci-fi fun for a mainstream horror genre delivery.Levin’s prose is elegant and direct, his storyline tight and focused on his understated message. A very good read.

  • Dan Schwent
    2019-04-30 22:36

    When Johanna, Walter, and their children move to Stepford, everything seems perfect. A little too perfect, in fact. Why do all the Stepford wives live to do housework and please their husbands? Is their a conspiracy afoot or are Johanna and her friend Bobbie imagining things?The Stepford Wives is a paranoid thriller by Ira Levin. There is also quite a bit of social satire as well. What would a community be like if all the women behaved like the stereotypical 1950's style housewife? It's a pretty creepy book, though Levin eases you into the waters little by little so you don't notice all the dead animals around the pond until you're up to your neck in it. The feel reminded me of Jack Finney's Body Snatchers a bit. When will it be Johanna's turn to join the ranks of the sexually charged housewife drones?On the negative side of the scale, the book is very much a product of its time. All of the male characters seem like they'd be right at home working with Don Draper. Also, the 1972 publishing date wasn't all that far removed from the book's 1950's portrayal of male and female cultural ideals. Now, over 40 years after the book was written, everything seems quaint and a little ridiculous.3.5 out of 5 stars. I'm throwing in an extra .5 for the level of creepiness.

  • Kristen
    2019-05-19 17:00

    I can handle watching or reading just about any level of horror... so what was it about this tiny little novella that I read in an hour that truly chilled me? First, I have never seen the movies... so I had no real preconceived notions other than having seen the commercials. Something about being a girl, who was raised in a society where everything tells you that you have to be beautiful, you have to be talented, and above all you have to be perfect or you are nothing... this book really taps into that mantra. The feeling that every little girl has that "I'm not good enough" most of us (hopefully) follow that up with "but at least I'm ME" and that is where the terror of this book lies.What if the ultimate deceiver, the true villain is the one person who should love you the most, your protector, your partner, your husband. What if he would change you... take away your identity for his own pleasure... and what if everyone was on his side. How would you hold on, how could you escape?As you can tell this book really hit a nerve with me... true I was born in 1978, so this was a little before my time, but it hasn't changed all that much even though we want to think so. The book is really about men's desires, or Levin's interpretation of them. That they would be willing to sacrifice their wife's very identity, her being, to make her a mindless barbie that did what they pleased. The men in this book are truly horrifying beings... but even more frightening is that this is a doubt shared by all women, across the globe. From a young age we are taught to doubt ourselves, our physical appearance, our mind, our talent, the love of others. I know women with genius IQ's who act like idiots because that is what men want from them. Though there is overnight drug that can do this to a woman... there is the lifelong barrage of the media and society which does a pretty good job in and of itself.Off my soapbox now. This book freaked me out... it was very well written, very tight and compact, and rediculously short for the price. I would advise getting it from a library, a used book store, or a friend rather than spending the cover amount on it. Mainly because it is so short. Still, I think this book has a lot of meaning, this book should be read and discussed with others... and to the ladies out there... odds are you will end up a bit unsettled and a bit angry at the end of it all.

  • Carol
    2019-05-13 22:46

    I REALLY do like Ira Levin's style of writing!There's a frightening secret in the town of Stepford, and Joanna & Bobbie hope to get out of Dodge before it's too late, but the Men's Association is powerful and time is running out.THE STEPFORD WIVES is a creepy little satirical novella that proves (some) men are pretty shallow or really were afraid of the Women's Liberation Movement!Suspenseful and deadly read!

  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    2019-05-06 19:36

    Find all of my reviews at:“I want to wish you a sincere and hearty ‘Welcome to Stepford.’”A quaint little hamlet nestled somewhere in Connecticut, Stepford is a place where you can buy your dream home for a mere $52,500 (obviously this book is kinda an oldie but a goodie), your children will attend Grade-A schools and have plenty of friends to play with, and your husband can unwind after a rough day at the office at the local Men’s Club . . . . .And how will you occupy your free time? Well, if you are even a halfway decent wife you won’t have much of it with all of the housekeeping you need to focus on. But on the off chance you do have a minute or two, it’s nice to find new products to test out while your husband is watching the big game . . . . . Walter and Joanna have just recently moved to Stepford. It should only take a few months for them to discover all of the amenities their new town has to offer, but hopefully sooner than that because poor Joanna . . . . . File this under “I can’t believe I never read this before now.” At less than 150 pages this is a tiny little nugget you can easily devour in one sitting. Aside from the aforementioned real estate prices and a couple of outdated pop culture references this 40+ year old novel withstands the test of time remarkably well. My husband should probably read this in order to figure out how to get me to be a little more like this . . . . . And not quite so much like this . . . . . Book #4 in my quest to obtain a new coffee mug from the Winter Reading Challenge!

  • Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell
    2019-05-06 18:52

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestIs this a feminist book?I just read this book called YOU PLAY THE GIRL, a book of essays about pop culture written through a feminist lens, and one of the essays was about Stepford Wives - I seem to recall the author juxtaposed it against the Desperate Housewives and writing a good deal about what it means to be a "housewife," whether you're a good one or a dysfunctional one. I really liked what the author had to say, and it actually motivated me to go dig out my old copy of STEPFORD WIVES for a belated reread.***WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD***Disclaimer: I'm a feminist, so obviously I'm a little biased, but in my opinion, STEPFORD WIVES is a feminist book in the same vein as THE HANDMAID'S TALES. STEPFORD is set in the middle of the civil rights era, where Betty Friedan is giving her talks and NOW chapters are rallying for equal rights for women. Men, for the first time, are suddenly expected to share in the housework, and women are being empowered to seek out their own jobs and goals independent of marriage and children, becoming sexually and fiscally autonomous.One of the biggest issues that women continue to face is objectification. You see this a lot when sexist dudes talk about women, reducing them to their parts ("grab some p*ssy," "Tits or GTFO"), or talking about them as if they are trophies to be won for their accomplishments ("I'm such a nice guy, so why don't I have a girlfriend?"). It's gotten better, but not nearly as much as it should have, and one of the more chilling aspects for me is how modern STEPFORD WIVES feels, despite being published in 1972. I don't know about you, but it doesn't speak very highly towards our society that we're still being plagued by the same exact issues almost fifty years later. Especially since the chilling climax of this book is objectification in the ultimate sense: taking living, breathing women and replacing them with actual objects: in this case, robots.I've read this book several times over the course of my life, and with every reread I take something new from the text. I feel like I was able to appreciate it more this time because I've been reading more books about history and feminism, so I have a better appreciation for the zeitgeist of the time of this book's publication, and what the broader historical context behind it was. In fact, I would say STEPFORD WIVES actually improves with subsequent reads, because there are all these sinister hints that you pick up on while reading between the lines that make it even more terrifying.Examples:When Joanna first finds out about the Men's Association, she is against it. She expects her husband, who claims to be a feminist, will be, too, but he joins because "the only way to change it is from the inside" (6). The irony here is that the only changes being made on "the inside" are occurring within the context of her marriage: Walter sabotages Joanna so slowly that by the time she finally feels the noose tightening, it's already too late.After one of his Men's Association meetings, Walter comes home late and masturbates furiously in their bed, but acts ashamed when she catches him: His eye-whites looked at her and turned instantly away; all of him turned from her, and the tenting of the blanket at his groin was gone as she saw it, replaced by the shape of his hip (15). They have sex at her insistence, which ends up being "one of their best times ever - for her, at least" and she says, "What did they you dirty movies or something?" (16). This is one of those moments where, in subsequent rereads, the reader wonders: did the members of the Men's Association indoctrinate Walter by showing him what they do to their wives, and did the possibilities of that excite him instead of horrifying him?Towards the end, after Bobbie, a friend to Walter and Joanna, "changes", Walter hesitates when it's time to say goodbye: Bobbie moved to Walter at the door and offered her cheek. He hesitated - Joanna wondered why - and pecked it (77). I took this to mean that Walter is thinking of his own wife's pending transformation and feeling guilt and uncertainty. Should he go through with it? When Joanna is worried about her friend, Walter has this to say: "There's nothing in the water, there's nothing in the air....They changed for exactly the reasons they told you: because they realized they'd been lazy and negligent. If Bobbie's taking an interest in her appearance, it's about time. It wouldn't hurt YOU to look in a mirror once in a while" (86). He goes on to say: "You're a very pretty woman and you don't do a damn thing with yourself any more unless there's a party or something" (86). That's when I felt like it became too late for Joanna. In the midst of her mental breakdown, she let herself - and the house - go, and Walter decided he didn't want to deal with that, any of it, anymore. Why settle for a flawed woman when you could have a perfect one?When Joanna tries to run away from the women and the men from the Men's Association corner her, they hunt her down like an animal and mock her fear. I took this to mean that the objectification was complete: they no longer saw her as human - they knew she was about to become a robot, and so to them, she was just a thing. What makes this even more ironic is when they say, "[W]e don't want ROBOTS for wives. We want real women" (114). Because I've heard so many men say similar things - that they want smart, clever, beautiful women...but there's always a qualifier. As long as they don't try too hard, as long as they aren't more successful than me, as long as they aren't shrill or know-it-all.The Men of Stepford want "real" women...but they also don't want flawed, forgetful women who sometimes let themselves go and don't want to do all the housework. They want the women of their fantasies made real: they want Pygmalion."Suppose one of these women you think is a robot - suppose she was to cut herself on the finger, and bleed. Would THAT convince you she was a real person? Or would you say we made robots with blood under the skin?" (114)The ending of this book is depressing AF. I'm not sure what the message is, exactly, either - is it saying that men are inherently sexist and unwilling to move towards equality? Or is it a warning of the reductio ad absurdum variety of what objectification can lead to if left unchecked? And what of the children: are they going to groom their daughters to become robots when they come of age as well, marrying themselves off to the highest bidder? The story becomes even bleaker if you consider the possibilities. I took it as a warning, and a criticism of the patriarchy, but STEPFORD is open to so many possible interpretations, and I think that's what makes it such an interesting and lasting book.3.5 stars

  • Becky
    2019-05-09 18:36

    When it all boils down you gonna find in the endA bitch is a bitch, but a dog is a man's best friendSo what you found you a hoe that you likeBut you can't make a hoe a housewifeClearly Dr. Dre has never been to Stepford. You can make ANYONE a housewife there. In October 2011, I read Rosemary's Baby, and it was amazing. I'm glad that I read it before this one, though, because I feel like if I had read Stepford on its own, I might not have gotten as much out of it as I did, even though that's still probably less than I should have. I feel like there was a pattern of behavior in the way that the two main character husbands behaved in these two books. Both move their wives/family into a seemingly perfect new home, with just the nicest neighbors. The Hubs fit in like a fish to water, but Wifey is... a little on the outside. Things just don't feel right, but Hubs is there to encourage her to keep on keepin' on, that everything's fine... And when that doesn't reassure Wifey, he starts with the manipulation: Maybe YOU'RE the problem. Everyone here is so nice, and you're the one making things difficult. Don't you want to fit in? Won't you even TRY?He plays on these wives' desires to compromise, to trust in their husband, to stand by that "love, honor, and obey" crap. They want to give it a chance, and not be unreasonable. And in the end, the wives are the ones who suffer.And it's this that makes Levin a genius. He writes from the perspective of the victims, the ones who lose in the battle they didn't know they were fighting, against the men they swore to stay with through thick and thin... and in doing so, he shows us how ordinary men can become almost evil in their aspirations and greed, and their deluded ideas of picture-perfect marriages. The very women they should be fighting to protect against outside threats are the ones they betray from the inside... and in such mundane fashion that it's THIS that makes these stories so terrifying. I mean, yes, there's the supernatural aspect - and the overall fate of these wives was awful... but the loss of trust, that's the scary thing. Levin's writing here was great, and just as straightforward as in Rosemary's Baby... but there were times when I felt that sections ended in an awkwardly abrupt way. As though there was another sentence to follow, but it was just forgotten. In fact, there were a few times when I had to check the page numbers in my copy (which is an old, well-read ex-library edition) to make sure that none of the pages were missing. It's for this that I can't give this one 5 stars. In every other aspect, it's completely deserving of it. The little details in this book are great, the things that only have significance after things come to a head and you are able to see the whole picture. (This is one of the things that I loved about Rosemary's Baby, as well.) I really enjoyed the repetitiveness in the newly Stepfordized ladies' explanations of their recent, err... attitude adjustments. It's creepily nearly verbatim, something that I noticed, but Joanna likely wouldn't have. I love the vagueness of the story, how we have Joanna's suspicions and theories, but nothing concrete... and we never really find out for sure, but we do know that she was right about the end result. I do wonder, though... How would this little community carry on like this? I mean, sure, it's a blast for a few years. Picture it: You get to hang with the dudes, play poker and watch porn all you like, no nagging wife at home to cramp your style, and even better, when you waltz in at 3:45 in the morning, smelling like a brewery and a cigar factory, Robo-Wife is there to do her nightly duty while you lay back and think of how perfect your life is. But they are very short-sighted. What happens in 5 or 6 years? Or 10? Or 15 and all the daughters are learning that their one role in life is to be a man's slave... Do these fathers want their daughters to end up married to guys like they've been? Do these fathers care that they are teaching their daughters to be nothing more than a cooking, cleaning, penis receptacle for some guy who can't be bothered to actually think of them as a person? Probably not. And considering that there are people in the world who really do think this way is terrifying. The moral here, ladies? Just buy a "personal massage device". They always satisfy, and can be disposed of when they go bad, unlike men. Well... legally, anyway. ;)

  • Ana Mardoll
    2019-05-21 00:36

    The Stepford Wives / 9780062037602"The Stepford Wives" is one of those rare horror novels that reads even more creepily when you already know the twist at the end. I read it when I was younger and merely liked it; now that I'm older and re-reading it, I find it absolutely terrifying. The most terrifying thing about the Stepford men isn't that they objectify their wives into sex-slaves and cleaning-bots; no, the most terrifying thing about the Stepford men is that they don't *seem* like the kind of men who would do that sort of thing. They don't seem overly boorish or loutish or medieval in their thinking; the men help with the housework and give lip service to equality with their protestations that they intend to "change from the inside" the men-only Men's Association. Terrifying, too, is the fact that these men weren't somehow brought up believing that turning their wives into automatons is the right way to live; the Men's Association has been around for a mere six or seven years, and in that short time *every* man in Stepford has signed on to the barbaric replacement of their human wives with mindless servants. Not a single man in Stepford has refrained from turning his wife into an unthinking sex-bot, and based on Joanna's newspaper findings we cannot soothe ourselves with the thought that perhaps the more principled men moved away with their families. The men of Stepford are men who are sexist, but seem on the surface not to be. Joanna sits in on a meeting and at first enjoys the flow of the conversation, feeling she has struck a blow for women's equality; it is only when the men start treating her like an object (expecting her to wait on them, and drawing her as an object in the midst of their deliberations) that she starts to feel genuinely uncomfortable in their presence. When Joanna starts objecting to living in Stepford and fearing for her safety, her husband responds kindly and sensibly -- they will move, if that is what she wants, just as soon as the school year ends. This kind response lulls Joanna into dangerous complacency; because she believes her husband does care about her as an equal, she is willing to let precious time slip away, not realizing that her husband's reassurances are completely false. "The Stepford Wives" is a true horror story as it counts down inexorably to the end; it's impossible not to feel Joanna's heart-pounding terror as she tries to flee the town (an attempt that resonates all too well after having read Jessop's "Escape" earlier in the year). If there is a moral here, then perhaps it is that prejudices can be easily hidden and can arise from the most unlikely among us -- and that even the most liberated can be tempted to hurt and objectify another, when given the chance. ~ Ana Mardoll

  • Susanne
    2019-05-03 17:34

    Creepy, unsettling, horrific, made me want to sit and fume and hate men for a bit. This book is even scarier than the original movie, although the movie provides more background and explanation as to how the murderous bits would actually work.While some of the organizations and details in the story may be "dated," the core horror of this book is still -- and will always be -- with us: How well do you really know your significant other? If your husband could have the woman of his dreams, would he betray you?It's those very real insecurities that power the fear in this tale.NOTE: If you get the edition with the introduction by Peter Straub do not read that intro first! Not only does he assume you've already read the story, he's pretty tone deaf when it comes to the issue of male/female relations. (view spoiler)[ He considered Walter masturbating at the thought of killing and replacing his wife "the funniest revelation" of the book.(hide spoiler)]

  • Michael
    2019-04-26 23:56

    As Peter Straub points out in the introduction to this book, a lot of people miss the point. It is not "the easy satire on the banality of suburban housewives that it is commonly taken to be - a misconception that has installed its title in our language as shorthand for those homemakers who affect an uncanny perfection." This resulted in the fact that, after Ann Romney's recent speech at the RNC, I was asked whether I thought she was "like a Stepford Wife." No, she's not. For one thing, her vocabulary is too large. But, more than that, referring to politically-active conservative women as Stepford wives undermines the feminist argument of this novella.The critical point here is that this novella is not a parody of the WOMEN of Stepford, it is a parody of their HUSBANDS. As with Rosemary's Baby, which is actually about Guy Wodehouse, not Rosemary or her baby, the title here is a deliberate distraction. This book is a humorous critique of the anti-feminist backlash that takes the anti-feminist slogan "War of the Sexes" at its word and suggests that men are so frightened by women's liberation that they will start executing them to prevent it. The fact that our narrator’s husband is “a good guy,” who – at first – treats his wife as an almost-equal only heightens the irony that, when offered a pleasure-android with bigger breasts who will keep the house meticulously clean, he is just as willing as all of the others to kill his own wife to get it. It was interesting to me to see how the book differs from the movie. Unlike most film-adaptations, several scenes have been added to the novella, and fairly little was cut, resulting in a rather long movie (for 1975 sci fi, anyway). There is even the addition of a surprising new character with the unlikely name of Raymond Chandler who isn't in the book. It also seems to me that the truth of the “Men’s Association” is lost in the film: that it isn’t a long-standing organization with an archaic membership policy, but it was a recent innovation founded to combat a growing feminist presence in Stepford after Betty Friedan gave a well-received speech. Also unusual for a film-adaptation, the movie has more explicit sexual references than the book does, and plays up that side of what the men are “up to” while the book leaves this largely to the reader’s imagination. At any rate, the premise of this book is disturbing, and it is intended to be. The prose is efficient and the pacing effective. At its short length, it is a quick read and may actually comment more deeply on American society than it is generally given credit for doing.

  • Kim
    2019-04-28 23:48

    The Stepford Wives is a 1972 novel by Ira Levin, according to what I've read it's a satirical thriller whatever that is. I know I'm going to have to go look that up, but in the meantime I'll say what little I have to say about the book. First, I didn't know it was a book. That rarely happens, usually I knew it as a book first then sometime later a movie comes out, which I never watch because the book was better. I just know it is, books are always better. But this one I saw as a movie way back in 1970 something or other, and didn't link a book to it until recently. I don't know how it happened, but it did. From what I can remember, which isn't much, the movie stayed pretty close to the book, and I liked the book. It was fun. I was surprised early in the book that any man would want a wife who is always dressed like every other lady in the town, and who's conversations would have something to do with waxing floors, baking bread, and the best buys they got that day at the supermarket. You would have to get extremely bored in a very short time I would think, but I'm not a man living in Stepford. And I'm not big on housekeeping conversations. A few years ago while waiting for choir practice to begin some of the other women around me were talking about ironing and the best iron to use to do the ironing in the first place. This managed to turn into quite the conversation with everyone having an opinion on heat settings, to steam or not to steam, cooling, heating, all kinds of other iron topics and I sat there calmly looking through the music rather astonished these ladies could keep this conversation going. Finally, one lady decided it was time to draw me into the iron debate and asked what type of iron I use to which I replied, "white". That's all I knew about it and that's still all I know about it. Or want to. So, no, I wouldn't make a very good Stepford wife. A few days ago I came across something that seems to fit the Stepford wife, sort of an instruction manual. It's from the 1950's and if you want to try it out, here you go:The 1955 Good House Wife's GuideRule 1 – Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time, for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him, and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home,and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.Rule 2 – Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair, and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.Rule 3 — Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip though the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.Rule 4 — Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper etc. and then run a dust cloth over the tables.Rule 5 — Over the cooler months of the year, you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.Rule 6 — Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and, if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures, and he would like to see them playing the part. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer, and vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.Rule 7 — Be happy to see him.Rule 8 — Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.Rule 9 — Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.Rule 10 — Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late, or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.Rule 11 — Your goal: Try to make your home is a place of peace, order, and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.Rule 12 — Don’t complain if he comes home late to dinner, or even if he stays out all night. Compare this as minor compared to what he may have gone through that day.Rule 13 — Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.Rule 14 — Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.Rule 15 — Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house, and as such, will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.Rule 16 — A good wife always knows her place.I am almost tempted to try one or two of these things just to see the look on my husband's face when he comes home. Oh well, I guess I'll never be a Stepford wife. And that's all I have to say, back to reading. Oh, but first I have to go look up what a satirical thriller is.

  • Cheryl
    2019-05-08 20:52

    It's so hard to rate this book. I've seen the 1975 film version. I knew what to expect from the plot, so it didn't have any real surprises for me. However, I do think the book is worth reading. It really needs to be read as a historical novel set in 1972, as I don't think it's as pertinent to how society is today - at least in the U.S. . I think it played on the concerns of women at that time, as their role in the family was starting to change.I think the book is alot more ambiguous than the film. We're shown so little of the men of the town, and when we do see them, they really aren't doing anything menacing or threatening. Everything is based on observing the women of Stepford and how they change. Although there is a change in Joanna at the end, we're not told conclusively how it came about, like we are shown in the film. But whether this change is due to madness or to a secret agenda by the men in the town, either explanation is frightening. Joanna is no longer who she was. A short but interesting read.

  • Jessica-Robyn
    2019-04-27 22:35

    It first hit me on page 81, I was bored. So very, very bored. My main problem and probably the reason I'm so disappointed can be summed up this way, on the back of the book there is this a praise by Stephen King:"Every novel [Ira Levin] has ever written has been a marvel of plotting. He is the Swiss watchmaker of the suspense novel." - Stephen King I absolutely agree that Ira Levin is an amazing writer and to have come up with and popularized this story I give him full credit and praise. However, even the best of Swiss watches can't compare to an iPhone. ...I think it is safe to assume that I am part of the generation that has felt the trickle down of this novel and such social commentary on women's issues throughout my popular culture. This made the major draw of the book, the chilling implications of a woman's struggle in society, more of a mute point for me. For the first 50 or so pages I enjoyed reading the narrative of a stay-at-home mother who had just moved to a suburb town called Stepford. The story takes place as she tries to balance the responsibilities of self, husband, and home while looking dubiously upon her neighbours who behave as 1950's housewives and lack all facets of personality. That right there was interesting, the plot was interesting! And having seen the 2004 movie I had the unspoken promise that I already had a general idea of where the plot would go (only general because the movie was remake.) But then it hit me, by page 81 I was ready to be done with Stepford.Suspense as a genre is all about the build up, creating tension and interest where there may or may not be something afoot and although The Stepford Wives has this excellent concept and is well written, gradually the book transformed from a novel to what felt like a very, very long short story. (Perhaps it is more of a novella?) I expected more, maybe too much but I at least expected to not feel like a book that is less then 130 pages to drag on.I found that the ending although smart and suspenseful just wasn't worth it. A definite disappointment.

  • Joe Valdez
    2019-05-04 20:41

    "Satire" may be one of those words everyone has their own definition of. In terms of film, by two favorite satires are Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb and Network. In addition to being hysterically funny, I liked how credible they were, using a Life Magazine approach to document the world as it was at that time and then pushing it one step further. Ira Levin's The Stepford Wives is neither hysterically funny or plausible. Billed as a "satirical thriller", it was published in 1972 and has been adapted to feature film twice, by William Goldman in 1975 and Paul Rudnick in 2004. The plot involves Joanna Eberhardt, a semi-professional photographer who relocates to the hamlet of Stepford with her husband Walter and two children. Joanna balances married life with independence and social equality, as women's liberation sweeps the nation. She observes that almost all of the women of Stepford seem stuck in a TV commercial, cleaning floors, cooking meals, looking sexy, and putting their husbands first.Joanna sees red over the Men's Association, a male only club in Stepford that meet each evening at a clubhouse off limits to women. She finds it strange that Stepford doesn't have a female equivalent and agrees to let Walter join when he promises he'll change things from the inside. Meanwhile, she befriends the only women of Stepford who seem to have a brain; a spitfire named Bobbie Markowe and a tennis bunny named Charmaine Wimperis. Katharine Ross, Paula Prentiss and Tina Louise (Ginger from Gilligan's Island) took these roles in the film.If ever there was a novella that could've been scribbled on cocktail napkins, The Stepford Wives is it. There are airplane novels, but this is the first taxi cab novel I've read. The book could be finished on the way to the airport in time to discuss it with your fellow passengers. It's a conversation starter, with no two readers likely to agree on what was going on in Stepford, what happened to the characters or whether the women's movement might provoke some sort of retaliation from men.To grab me by the throat, a good thriller needs credibility on a basic level. Comic thrillers I've read or seen take their plots deadly seriously and spike the punchbowl with wit as needed to sort of have it both ways. Satire, a far more difficult brew, absolutely requires credibility to work, otherwise, it turns to farce or science fiction at best, cartoon at worst. Whatever The Stepford Wives is, Levin never grabbed me by the throat. There's no atmosphere, no dread or tension (so much for the book being a "thriller"). It isn't funny (that eliminates "satire"). The characters aren't endowed with the basic quirks or intelligences to make them interesting or real. What dialogue there is sort of lies there flatly, while Levin skips through a lot of dialogue or plot with quick summaries.I really can't stand joke based books. Here is something I might dislike even more, a one-joke based book. Here is Levin's joke: "What if men were so threatened by the women's movement that they murdered their wives and replaced them with, wait for it, robots! You know, like the audio-animatronic figures at Disneyland?" Levin devotes some copy to Joanna & Walter's sex life that offered a peek at who these characters were and where they were going to end up, and he raised my pulse a bit in the climax, which is creepy for a few sentences. I can honestly say that I was rooting for the robots at that point. As opposed to satire, I found the novel to be more in the category of "so bad it's good", except, it wasn't very good. It's superficial, lazy and boring.There are some amusing questions in the scenario Levin concocted, but the author doesn't have the imagination to explore any of them. Were husbands put in charge of murdering their own wives, or did Stepford hire a professional? Would the cops or family members or pets suspect something was amiss? How do the robots assimilate into society? What happens when one of them requires maintenance? Do HOA dues cover that, or is it extra? These questions and any possible answer is more amusing than anything offered in the book, which I found over-rated and under-developed.

  • Andrew
    2019-04-29 23:56

    This is a fascinating book which I have had for a while now (along with a number of other Ira Levin titles) which I have been meaning to read.I think along with such titles as The Day of the Triffids, The shining, (the list can go on and on) Stepford Wives is one of those books that is instantly recognised but is not so easily recounted. I have know of the film from my early days of following science fiction (it was often listed along side Westworld as classic in robots are replacing us lists) but it has taken till now for me to finally get round to reading the book.And I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed it - rather than focusing on the idea of being replaced by technology, which was heavily played upon in the film- and in the process stoking the male fantasy of dominance and servitude - the book for me focused more on paranoia and loss of personal identity - and for me the book is all the more chilling for what it implies - rather than the films and what it depicts.The introduction by Chuck Palahniuk is also worth reading - explaining the environment the book was written and the issues that were playing in the mind of Ira Levin at the time of his writing it (being written in 1972). I agree with the sentiments of the introduction. The book is a warning that, while one group in society may be gaining their freedom - there are other groups working to undermine them and reimpose their "subjugation" what ever it may be. In the book it is never clearly stated how this is achieved and I think this is where the real concern is - it is apparently all to easy to create, administer and impose.One final point to make is more about the works of Ira Levin, it is not till I looked through his bibliography did I realise how many of his titles I recognise and which I made their way in to film. I think I will be working through more of his publication list.

  • Lauren Kennedy
    2019-05-13 16:51

    I wasn't sure what to expect from this. It's my first Ira Levin book. I was definitely not disappointed. The beginning was quite slow. It was basically just introducing characters and setting the scene of Stepford. But once Joanna started noticing things with the women of Stepford, I couldn't put it down. I read it in about 1-2 hours.I love how it's not a typical horror that we'd see now. Everything is just very ominous, building up the suspense and nothing is very clear. I found the changes in the women to be quite disturbing to read about. Horrors don't have to be all blood and gore. The last chapter. Wow. That was quite terrifying and the ending was just great. I didn't find myself overly scared reading this but I know if I was watching the movie of it, the ominous feel of the whole thing would definitely scare me! I don't seem to get scared much by books.Very interesting concept also. Women being oppressed by men. I'm looking forward to reading more of Levin's books, especially Rosemary's Baby. Overall, awesome book and very quick to read!

  • Jon(athan) Nakapalau
    2019-04-26 18:45

    A very complex book: a commentary on the way we look at women and the role women have been assigned for centuries. The horrific aspect of the novel is that (in the end) the real question is: who really has lost their humanity?

  • Jen
    2019-04-21 21:51

    What’s scarier than zombies, alien beings that Will Smith fought in films from the '90s, and Nicki Minaj’s “music”? A suburban community that is being run by a group of straight (White) men. The Stepford Wives is the crème-de-la-crème of speculative fiction and horror. It's an extremely tense and quick read that Ira Levin wrote as a direct commentary on the burgeoning “second wave” feminism movement of the 1970s. Levin’s tale is a revenge fantasy of sorts, a somewhat satirical prod towards women being far too quick to smash June Cleaver’s 1950s pearls to smithereens and slip into Ward Cleaver’s slacks, as men weren’t ready for all that independent, ‘I am woman, hear me roar’ stuff. I do hesitate to call this story a “dystopian horror” tale considering that we continue to live in times where women are still thought of only being wired to cook, clean, and be mindless sex goddesses. There are even laws that still stand that dominate and diminish women, sequestering them as second-class citizens. As for setting, the fictional Connecticut township of Stepford could be any small town, suburban homestead, or close-knit community whose ideals are claustrophobic and exclusive, who don’t take kindly to outsiders and want everybody to think and act similarly. It’s why the true horror of The Stepford Wives is far from fiction because it breathes down our necks as fact.Our heroine Joanna Eberhart is a photographer, wife, mother, and a progressive woman who thinks and speaks for herself. A person who believes in individuality and would hate to have it compromised. It’s why she’s the perfect victim because she believes in individualism, of freedom to think and be as one chooses, and well the men of Stepford aren’t here for that kind of ‘trouble’. It’s chilling that the men of Stepford are first shown to not be vicious or calculating. They are just regular guys. They may be sexist, but they slap your back and give a laugh because, ha ha ha, it’s all just “jokes”! From the outset these men aren’t foaming at the mouth to denounce women --- but they are carefully choosing their words to do so. When Joanna becomes privy of her husband, Walter’s joining of the ultra-exclusive Men’s Association, she is assured that the club wants women like Joanna to join, so that it can be changed “from the inside”. The true irony of ‘The Stepford Wives’ is that the story is really about the husbands of Stepford and how they react to their wives “rebelling”. You can almost hear the men whine: “Why do the women hate us and refuse to make us turkey pot pie for dinner?” Being unaware of what feminism is about and fearing their livelihoods over it because #MasculinitySoFragile. I’m reminded of the time when all those insecure men got together online and began foolishly calling themselves “Meninists”. Like really, dudes?This brings me to how Joanna is thrown under the bus by Walter. Like Ira Levin’s other masterpiece, Rosemary’s Baby, which showed a sociopath narcissist husband at work, the scary thing about Walter is at first he is welcome towards the idea of equality between the sexes. He encourages Joanna to do what she pleases and is supportive of her endeavors, but once he gets around the Men’s Association, he changes his mind about Joanna’s individuality and finds it a problem. Levin doesn’t spend much time discussing or letting us dissect Walter. The 1975 movie starring Katharine Ross shows you how quickly Walter is initiated into the association and from viewing the film I now believe he moved his family to Stepford on purpose --- he knew the community was like this. (The movie also hints that the children may have also been changed themselves, adding to the spook factor) The book only lets you know of his motives by way of how Walter gets so jazzed over the idea of the ‘Stepford Wife’ that he’s fiercely ‘beating his meat’ under the sheets one night. Levin is fantastic with this crass imagery, as it’s hilarious at first, but then as the tension builds, a chill comes down your spine after realizing ‘Hey now, this dude is fucking JOYFUL over the fact that his wife is going to be KILLED and a mindless robot that resembles her is going to fill her place!’. So sick and twisted…Joanna is like a lot of independent-minded women: we still love and trust the men we are around. We still view them as protectors and providers. We still muse over the ‘strong silent’ types. It’s almost instinctive, and that’s something even my feminist ass can admit. Joanna fell right into the expectancy of her gender role right when things go sour. When she clues into how whacked out Stepford is, she gets scared thus she goes straight to her husband begging to move. And what does Walter do? He assures her everything is alright and then tells her that they will move after the school year is over with, and without a blink Joanna is then back at ease. This is why what Walter does is the ultimate betrayal. We often think that the people we circle ourselves around are the “good people”. “Not my husband! Not my boyfriend!”, we say. “My man would never do that to me!”, we say. Bullshit, is what Levin is saying us as he waves this book in our face. Bull fuggin’ shit. Of course by the end of this book I was throwing side-eyes at every male I know, even my Dad whom I’m never mad at (okay, there was that one time when he GAVE AWAY our Nintendo to one of his friend’s son’s who broke it…). It’s a book that has you gnawing on the bleak idea that deep down, all men want to control and have a submissive “go fix me a sandwich” woman, and if given the chance for that, they will do it. Truly, I don’t think all men are like this, I don’t even think most men are like this. I even personally know some men who are whipped and can’t say “boo” unless their mother or wife allows them to, but I still feel that a lot of men have tendencies and…well, moments where they want to put women in place because well, sexism. While reading this book I was also reminded of one of my best friends in college. This friend, in order to keep this guy she was seeing ended up changing her hairstyle and stopped indulging in the interests and hobbies she loved because the guy didn’t like her hair long and blonde, and didn’t think the things she was into were “cool enough” (He apparently wanted her to resemble Shakira during her alternative ‘90s days. Yeah, it doesn’t make sense to me either). After these ‘alternations’, my friend morphed into a shadow of herself. She was a complete stranger with a horrible dye job and it was heartbreaking to see her change everything that was unique about her for this guy who was really a controlling asshole. She didn’t deserve him, but he made her think that she did. That whole episode reminded me of how easily women can forgo their identities for men’s sake and how men can be so caught up on a particular image of a woman, that they will fight tooth and nail to make their woman squeeze into that tiny marginalized hole of their specifications, even when that woman’s personality doesn’t even fit in the pinprick. As you can tell, The Stepford Wives affected me to sit, think about, and examine gender roles in this society greater than any so-called feminist book ever has before.Another thing that caught my interest was the choice for Levin to include a Black family into the Stepford sphere. Ruthanne (though explored briefly) was like Joanna, she too also was a woman who was holding down a family but also had an occupation to call her own. I thought it was progressive of Levin to show a Black woman having a job like a book author during a time era where Black women were marginally considered to be nothing more than caretakers to White people’s households and their children. I wondered if the inclusion of Ruthanne and her family was sort of a secondary commentary on Black people being integrated into White suburban communities during the time this book is set? Almost to say that Ruthanne was going to become “Stepford White”, stripped of not just her identity, but her racial identity as well? Erasure is always a big fear for Black Americans. It’s why we’re sensitive about being appropriated, stereotyped, and about being “too integrated” for fear of losing sense of our people, our history, and our culture. It’s why gentrification is such a huge deal right now. It’s why we call out “New Blacks” and those who say “All Lives Matter”. Why we condemned Rachael Dolezal when she kept saying she was a Black woman. While the presence of Ruthanne and her family may not mean anything, but it struck my curiosity as to what Levin was trying to say with their inclusion, and closing the novel with them in the final scenes. A foreshadowing tone was on those last few pages, sending even more chills up my spine. This is just a classic piece of literature in every sense of the word. My only wish is that it could’ve gone on longer, possibly Ruthanne could've put a stop to it, rescuing others, but that would’ve killed the message and the intrigue Levin was intending to convey.Meaningless Side Observation: I was reading this book while wrapping up the now-defunct TV series United States of Tara and all the while, I kept reading each Stepford wife in the voice of Tara’s alter Alice. So kooky.

  • Jonetta
    2019-05-18 00:45

    I read this as a teenager when it was groundbreaking, coining the term "Stepford Wife" to describe the perfect wife. It was provocative at the time and interesting in concept. I recommend reading it just to understand the pop culture term alone, even if it is a bit dated.

  • Holden (malfunctions without books)
    2019-05-01 20:44

    Everyone knows the story of The Stepford Wives. So very iconic and culturally ingrained! So very feminist. If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought the author was female. Ira Levin was definitely not afraid to show his support for the women’s liberation movement! Ira Levin’s books are so suspenseful and well-written, I think everyone should read them. I’ve been wanting to read this for ages and now I finally have. It’s very fast-paced and short and you really fly through it. I do have to say that I liked the ending of the original 1975 movie better than the ending of the book. It’s one hell of a shocker and I loved it!

  • Kavita
    2019-05-06 21:57

    Oh My Gosh! What a brilliant, brilliant book! I think this is what happened to so many of my lively, entertaining and interesting friends after marriage. They've become slaves to their homes and their families, and somehow they are even worse off than the women in this book, because they also go to work. One of them irons her husband's underwear! Another gets up and cooks even when she is sick. Their husbands don't do a scrap of work at home, even though they both work full time. They need permission for every little thing! These were real, living, vital women earlier too! From one day to the next, just like that. And now, there is an explanation ...!This really has to be the creepiest book I have read in my life, because it feels so real. There are men who would actually prefer this than have to deal with real women as equal human beings. I know men like this! Of course, they deny the fact but every expectation they have from their wives points towards it. The book is short and fast paced, the suspense increasing with every page. Of course, there are some weak plotting points in the book. For instance, why would an intelligent woman like Joanna confront her husband and accuse him of anything when she believes herself to be in danger? That didn't make sense to me. I would also have loved to know how her husband Walter changed, or is it insinuated that he was always the same beneath his veneer of equality? What happens to the children, especially the girls?There is a Japanese movie called Kuki Ningyo that also shows this phenomenon. And then, there is Rinko. Scary shit!

  • Sarah
    2019-05-02 17:55

    I thought this story was good, but strangely enough the movie with Nicole Kidman was far better. For once the movie fleshed out the story more than the original book, plus the movie had a much better, more satisfactory ending (although maybe not as disturbing).23/1/2016 - Just watched the Nicole Kidman movie for the first time since reading the book and I definitely like the movie's ending better than the book's.

  • Syl
    2019-05-12 16:46

    I recently read The Shining which was one of the most chilling horrors I read as it introduced horror step by step, and by letting one know that ordinary things wait for you...And barely a couple of weeks later, I started this book, which I thought to be a quick contemporary read describing the lives of the village housewives. I was wrong. It was a quick read agreed, but not at all placid, which was what I was aiming for. My bad, since I started this without reading the reviews/blurb as the title and the short length beckoned me. But lordy lord, it was more horror than King. The author seduced me with soporific and peacefultown Stepford, to where Joanna Ebenhart, a freelance photographer decides to settle down with her lawyer husband and two kids, a boy and a girl aged approximately 8 and 6. Things are lulling at first, with a local lady who welcomes her with a welcome kit containing commodities, cheerful neighbours and dutiful housewives. Things heat up when she tries to form a lady's club as a counterpart to the mens club which is taboo for females. The men are apparently gentle and fun loving, but they don't tolerate their club activities being attended or watched by ladies. And all the ladies, except 3 are housebound and house proud, their only aim being cleaning and cooking, and keeping their families happy. Joanna tries to investigate into the uniform dullness existing among the ladies who unanimously oppose her efforts to draw them out and shocking things surface...I was thoroughly drawn into the book, felt frustrated and increasingly horrified, more so than Joanna, because the society in which I am born is slightly beneath Western society when it comes to female freedom [or so I think, this is just a hunch, not a learned opinion]. I am lucky enough not to have been much restrained by societal laws, and I just imagined being slowly [or was it quickly] being converted into a Stepford Wife, which according to a blurb I read later, is now a known term in the dictionary meant to denote women who are placid, all encompassing and opinionless. Thoroughly loved the book, though the end left me with a few questions, these being(view spoiler)[1. How do the men convert a normal human female into a robot. Joanna suspects it to be the robot suit that they make them wear, which kills them and converts the body into a robot which cannot be easily identified by others. But I don't hold with her theory as there is no earthly means by which a mass of flesh can be converted to a machine. And what happens to the emotional part of the brain? fried by currents?2. Joanna turns into a Stepford wife at the end. Her last opponent as a normal lady was her previous friend. But if the robot theory holds true, the lady will not be able to convert her easily. Did she take her to the men who overpowered her and then put her in the suit3. A lingering, lingering miniscule doubt - whether Joanna really turned into a paranoid schizophrenic suspecting foul play with robots, whereas the Stepford conversion was actually a slow mass hypnosis which slowly converted the adult independant woman mind to a submissive one?So many unanswered doubts.(hide spoiler)]This book would make an excellent group read material.And as I said earlier, the effect of this book was so immense that on occasions I felt like stopping my reading to start household chores and give a spring clean, which I thankfully resisted. Because Bibliobibuli are seldom oikologists. :)Recommended to: All women, especially married ladies with kids. Men, please don't read. I don't want you people to get ideas{just joking]

  • Erin the Avid Reader ⚜BFF's with the Cheshire Cat⚜
    2019-05-14 22:53

    This is a book I can't necessarily figure out of it should be considered feminist fiction or not. Personally I thought it was a disturbing novel based on the fact that men were frightened by the women's liberation movement and, to get what they fully wanted, killed off their wives and replaced them with the conventional, conformist, big-breasted, skinny-hipped robot.Some people say Levin was mocking the feminist movement, but after reading this book twice and looking back on "Rosemary's Baby", I highly doubt this. Levin writes male character that start out treating the women with respect, but when they find out at an association at the "Men's Club" that they can replace the women with sexier robots, they comply to it. It's as if Levin was parodying the suburban males who were against the women's liberation movement and were willing to do anything to have a female who would comply to them at every whim. This was a time period where women were starting to realize that they have more to look forward to than just being in a kitchen, caring for a husband who was usually a lot older and having three kids but the time they were twenty, when they could be in college or traveling instead.I find this book extremely creepy and interesting at he same time. If the sexes were reversed this book would be banned and dubbed as "feminist propaganda."

  • juan carlos
    2019-04-22 20:45

    Un libro con una narrativa ligera y capítulos cortos que hacen que se vaya rápido. Ira levin trata de darle un giro a la temática que maneja en sus otros libros pero no me término de convencer.1. Puntos buenos: Los personajes son bien sustentados y argumentados , la crítica que hace ante el machismo y feminismo se ve claramente mientras avanzas las hojas. La personalidad de la protagonista jamás decae. 2. Lo malo: La historia es plana, no avanza, a veces es muy reiterativa. Llegando a la segunda parte empieza el misterio pero dura muy poco, el final fue muy simple para mi gusto. Puedes saltarte párrafos y no pierdes el hilo de la historia. 7 De calificación.

  • Anne
    2019-05-20 19:00

    Oy. That was scary. Super scary. Ending wasn't very satisfying, though.Glad I read it, but probably won't reread. 3 stars.

  • Celine
    2019-05-20 17:43

    Unlike most of my reviews, this review contains hints towards the final revelation in The Stepford Wives. It's safe to read if you know what the story is about, or if you have ever seen one of the movie adaptations.A few years ago I wrote an essay about the movie of The Stepford Wives (2004) and how it fit in with the Pygmalion myth. To give a quick recap - Pygmalion is a character from Greek mythology who sculpted a woman and fell in love with the statue. Aphrodite, sucker as she is for a love story, turns the statue into a woman of flesh in blood. What's most interesting about the myth is how Pygmalion has no interest in ordinary women. Only the woman he has shaped himself can he love.Just like in the movie, the Pygmalion myth is evident in The Stepford Wives, maybe even more so. The book is more subtle than the 2004 movie, and because of that, also more uncomfortable. Even though what's happening in Stepford isn't all that scary in horror terms, it freaked me out. The Stepford Wives is actually more like a longish novella rather than a full novel. The tension is well spread through the story, and I loved how everything when from creepy, to bad, to worse. Unfortunately, Levin never attended the writing class where pupils are taught "show, don't tell". Entire paragraphs are just summations of what the main character Joanna does; things like "she picked up the kids, made them dinner. Kate still had a cold, but hopefully tomorrow she would get better. At night, she made love to her husband, and fell asleep." I get that these passages have some meaning. They show how time passes, how Joanna is caught up in the normalcy of her life, but dear god, who wants to read these dry pieces of day to day life like that? I sure didn't. Even though The Stepford Wives was written over forty years ago, its message hasn't lost an ounce of its strength. Highly recommended for people who would like to read about a feminist's worst nightmare.

  • Мис Марпъл
    2019-05-12 19:39

    Давам три звезди преди всичко за оригиналната, зловеща идея, с елементи на социална сатира. Все пак книгата е писана преди повече от 40 години и тогава е звучала доста по-актуално, въпреки че защо и сега да няма своите основания. Със сигурност в известна степен се стимулира поведението и на жени, и на мъже по конфекция. А и не е като да няма все още хора, които ригидно да следват някакви стереотипни представи за женственост/мъжественост, дори когато вътрешно не го желаят само защото е социално аплодирано.Разглеждайки коментарите за книгата тук, видях, че някои са я определили жанрово като утопия, а други - като дистопия, което си е забавна констатация. Сигурно повечето знаят, че има филмови адаптации (1975, 2004) или поне са наясно със сюжета. "Степфордски съпруги" се е превърнало в устойчиво словосъчетание и нарицателно все пак. Иначе и аз имах идея за какво става въпрос, но честно казано- очаквах повече. Преди това бях чела "Бебето на Розмари" - достатъчно отдавна всъщност, но помня, че ми хареса доста. Сега, докато четях, отново си мислех, че това е поредната книга, която звучи като сценарий и повече би ми харесала във филмов вариант. Е, пак се оказа, че самият автор е сценарист, което не е учудващо, пък не и рядко срещана комбинация.За мен по-скоро "Степфордски съпруги" е дълга новела, отколкото роман. Речникът не е кой знае колко богат ( разбира се, не е необходимо да е обратното) и хора със средно ниво на английски биха се справили с прочита на оригиналния език. Действието се развива бързо и 144-те страници свършват неусетно, но за мен и някак незадоволително - защото всичко ми създаваше усещане за сценарий, фрагментарност, незадълбоченост. Хубава зловеща идея, но "незловещо" изпълнена. Все пак давам три звезди (I liked it), защото се чете бързо, не ми доскуча и сюжетът е оригинален.