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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic
This book has the kind of lovely slow burn beginning that someone like Stephen King has perfected. When Joanna arrives in the town of Stepford with her husband and two children, everything seems perfect. And then it starts to seem a little too perfect for Joanna's liking. In fact, the one thing that may not be perfect is Joanna herself . . .

The two film...
Published on 6 Aug. 2011 by John Harding

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars See the film!
Where there's a film of a book I usually prefer to read the book afterwards; there's usually far more in a novel than can ever make it to the screen. Sadly, that's not the case here. Anyone coming to this book having seen the film will find nothing new. And unfortunately I found the film far more intriguing and enjoyable. This is told in such a flat style there's very...
Published 18 months ago by Archy


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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic, 6 Aug. 2011
This book has the kind of lovely slow burn beginning that someone like Stephen King has perfected. When Joanna arrives in the town of Stepford with her husband and two children, everything seems perfect. And then it starts to seem a little too perfect for Joanna's liking. In fact, the one thing that may not be perfect is Joanna herself . . .

The two film versions - of which the first is far the superior - have failed to do this book justice. They make everything too obvious in a way the book does not. The book is far creepier. And at its heart is a ruthless dissection of modern suburban misogyny. A compelling read and up there with Levin's best.

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, but skip the introduction, 11 Mar. 2012
The Stepford Wives is a suspense tale. When the book opens the hero, Joanna, has just arrived in her new home of Stepford. Clearly it is a beautiful and quiet town, but equally clearly something is wrong. Slowly, the issues in Stepford become apparent and the tension grows.
The novel addresses issues of the role of women in society, the question of what an ideal wife is and, most sharply, whether men and women would give the same definition of 'ideal'. Despite the social changes since the book was written in 1972 this aspect remains remarkably fresh and vibrant. However, it would be wrong to give the impression that Stepford is a book about social issues. It's a great story which builds through Joanna's increasing realisation of the nature of the world which surrounds her.
One reviewer has noted references to some dated technology (which is true) but they are infrequent and the ideas in the book have not dated.
There is just one quibble. The Kindle edition comes with an introduction by Chuck Palahniuk which is well written and cogently argued, but gives away much too much of the story. Read it after the book, not before.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth A Read, 18 Sept. 2012
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I have not seen any film adaptations but like most people, am familiar with the references to the Stepford Wives. Written in 1972, it can now be considered as something of a classic, and something that has undoubtedly inspired a great number of subsequent authors and film-makers.

I bought the e-book version and it is very well edited and without any annoyances at all. However, it is a little uneconomical in price, at £5.31 (down from £7.99) for 139 pages. The dotted line indicating length is not much longer than a lot of the samples and short stories above and below it on my Kindle. That said, it is worth a read, especially if you have a voucher to use or find it in a sale (or pick up a hard copy for a reasonable price).

I won't go into the plot too much but I would like to respond to many of the comments that say the ending is disappointing or missing, or that it ruined the story/book for them. The ending is supposed to be that way and couldn't really be any other way if you think it through logically, based on who the narrator is and what happens to her by the end of the story (you are admittedly supposed to put two and two together and figure that out but I don't think it's too tricky!). I also think it ends the story on the perfect note, with the right tone, and leaves the reader with the intended uneasy sensation, intentionally suddenly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Classic, which is well worth reading, 20 Aug. 2012
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Wobette (The Wild West) - See all my reviews
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Like a lot of my fellow reviewers I was familiar with the story of "The Stepford Wives" from the film versions, but as it was a story I enjoyed, I was happy to purchase a kindle copy of the book as part of the Kindle Marathon.

Part Sci-Fi, part Thriller and Part Political Commentary, the book follows the story of Joanna and her move to the picture perfect town of Stepford... She befriends fellow free spirit Bobbie and they join forces against the prim and proper matrons of Stepford.... Until the day that Bobbie changes almost overnight...

If you don't know what is coming, the story builds to its climax, leaving newcomer Ruthann to the possible same fate as Joanna. If you do know what is coming - you spot the clues and will find yourself willing Joanna to discover the truth behind the perfect Stepford before its too late.

A brilliant short Novella and well worth reading, even if you are familiar with the films
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm glad I'd forgotten about it at the time as I ..., 11 Aug. 2014
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sashaknits (Nottingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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I bought this in a Kindle sale for the bargain price of 99p! It's one of those classics that I know a bit about due to its prescence in pop culture, but have never read. Amusingly enough, it turns out I'd seen the Nicole Kidman film some years before but had completely forgotten about it, a friend had to remind me I'd actually watched it with her! I'm glad I'd forgotten about it at the time as I recall now it was rubbish and I'm sure it would've at least slightly tainted my enjoyment of the book.

Doubtful I don't need to say much about the plot as I'm sure you must've been in a big dark cave for a very long time to not know anything at all about it!

What I loved most was how Joanna's relatively minor fear of sinking into boredom having moved into in suburbia slowly and insidiously morphs into the fear that her mortal life is actually in danger. Early on she tries to talk herself out of what she suspects is happening because it all just seems too preposterous and, of course, the men use those exact same arguments later on which powerfully undermines her certainties in a very creepy way. I thought Levin did an amazing job of keeping both Joanna and the reader themselves teetering between skepticism and certainty of what could be happening in this all too perfect suburb. A fantastically chilling read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars See the film!, 2 Jan. 2014
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Archy (ALTRINCHAM, Cheshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Stepford Wives (Paperback)
Where there's a film of a book I usually prefer to read the book afterwards; there's usually far more in a novel than can ever make it to the screen. Sadly, that's not the case here. Anyone coming to this book having seen the film will find nothing new. And unfortunately I found the film far more intriguing and enjoyable. This is told in such a flat style there's very little depth to it. It's an easy and innocuous read, but hardly meets the weight of its subject. A slim volume, an afternoon read - if you're not too demanding you may respond to this more positively than I did, since I thought it was basically okay, but nothing special. Even the ending - and I'd seen the film - left me thinking 'is that it?'
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4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting if dated tale of transformation., 2 Jan. 2015
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I first saw the film directed by the late Brian Forbes, in the 1970's and am only now coming to the book. I had been absolutely blown away by Ira Levin's earlier work Rosemary's Baby and wanted to see if the Stepford Wives was as good. It isn't! But having said that, it is very readable, maintains good pace and drives towards its conclusion in at a pace that kept me turning the pages. Once the reader accepts the basic premise, the story remains focussed and coherent until the very end. Given the main character Joanne's antipathy towards Stepford housewives, the ending comes as something of a surprise and we are never clear how it came about. I thought this a bit of a weakness in the narrative. There are similar themes to those that worked so successfully in Rosemary's Baby. Joanne's developing sense of paranoia and the bland denials of the bland citizenry will have the reader unsure what is really happening. And as in Rosemary, there is a central character who seems to pull all the strings but Dale Coba is no Roman Castevet and disappears without trace after their first meeting. It almost seems as though the author lost interest in developing his role any further. I considered that a weakness in the plot development. Otherwise it is a good read if now rather dated.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A tiny classic, 2 Sept. 2011
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Peter Lee (Manchester ,United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I was already familiar with the film but hadn't read the book until I saw it was available so cheaply on the Kindle. Once downloaded I discovered just how short the novel is and an hour later I had read it! It is tiny - more of a novella than a novel.

The plot is well known: a couple move to the town of Stepford where the men go to a clubhouse at night and the women stay at home and clean. Why do all of the women behave this way? What happens at the club? And why do feisty newcomers succumb to this drone-like existence?

The book is a brilliant exercise in brevity, shorn of all excess and instead it focuses on the essentials of the plot. It is extremely creepy throughout, and much is left to the imagination, which adds to the effect. Sadly the ending is a little disappointing, but effective in its own way.

If you're looking for a quick read which is a masterclass in thriller writing you can't do much better than this, but don't expect a lengthy novel!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 21 Jan. 2013
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I thought I'd give this a go so I could say I'd read it, but I actually really enjoyed it! It seems really advanced for the time that it was written, but it's a good story that leaves you questioning things right up to the end. It was disappointingly short, but a great story is crammed into it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Still a classic, 11 Aug. 2012
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I would imagine that most people will be familiar with the concept of Stepford Wives, the book is a very well written short read with what i thought was a brilliant Introduction by Chuck Palahniuk! and although the story was written in 1972 it still has a relevance today and it certainly asks the question of what role do both men and women play in relationships and what do we really desire from it, Palahniuk makes inference to an almost full circle in Women's Liberation which i found interesting and thought provoking whilst reading the book, but for me this book wasn't just about women it's equally as much about men with some sharp observations about relationship and society and i wondered how much those two have changed in the decades since it was written, which makes it still a classic.
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The Stepford Wives
The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin (Paperback - 21 July 2011)
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