The Stepford Wives Paperback – 21 Jul 2011
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Masterful, ridiculously well crafted, and, like the ladies of Stepford themselves, flawless. (Esquire)
Levin is the Swiss watchmaker of the suspense novel. (Stephen King)
Both crude and amusing. (Metro)
A glorious read. (Herald)
The internationally bestselling novel that has inspired two Hollywood movies. With an introduction by Chuck Palahniuk.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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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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.
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.
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.
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
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'd always heard people refer to stepford wives so was excited to read the (relatively) short book. I was left confused at the end but I guess this was the point? Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amy
I wish it was longer! Funny, profound, and intriguing- I was really gripped by the narrative and I loved the intertextual references to other feminist novels.Published 6 months ago by Jade
You gotta read this book. Terrifying and unforgettable..I almost want to write a paper about it just because!Published 12 months ago by Antonia Palacios
Having only seen the more recent 'comedy' version of the film, I was curious about the book. I enjoyed it and read it in one sitting. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Camelot
The concept of this book is all too true of todays society-perfection & striving to maintain a completely deluded lifestyle to the point where it had to become robotic. Read morePublished 14 months ago by D Frances
another short book to read - was enjoyable. Certainly not the best book I have read, just an enjoyable quick read.Published 14 months ago by Aimee
This is a super quick read at less than 150 pages. I had already seen the film, so I knew the story, but this didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Kaos