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The Stepford Wives

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  31,957 ratings  ·  2,601 reviews
For Joanna, her husband, Walter, and their children, the move to beautiful Stepford seems almost too good to be true. It is. For behind the town's idyllic facade lies a terrible secret—a secret so shattering that no one who encounters it will ever be the same.

At once a masterpiece of psychological suspense and a savage commentary on a media-driven society that values the p
Paperback, 144 pages
Published July 23rd 2002 by Perennial (first published September 1972)
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Popular Answered Questions
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) That depends on the edition, page size, font used etc. The ebook had 94 pages.
Kendall Moore Fourteen or fifteen. Same for the movie.
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  31,957 ratings  ·  2,601 reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, book-to-film
“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.”

 photo Stepford-Wives-1975-PIC_zps1669f67d.jpg
Katharine Ross stars in the 1975 movie version

Joanna Eberhart is an accomplished photographer. A woman comfortable with herself, in love with her husband, and raising two
Susan Budd
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In the early 80s, I took a college course in feminist theory. That’s where I was introduced to the ideas of Simone de Beauvoir, Kate Millet, and Betty Friedan. Little did I know that I could have saved myself a lot of time by reading The Stepford Wives instead.

The Stepford Wives is one of the popular books of the 1970s that I somehow overlooked, though I did see the 1975 movie on television years later. What recently prompted me to finally read the book was an article at JSTOR Daily titled “Sex
Feb 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
When I finished Larry McMurtry's 800 page novel, Moving On two weeks ago, I felt like a war widow, grieving her fallen soldier. I had become desperately attached to every single character in that slow-paced but brilliant story, and after closing the back cover, I paced my house like a desperate ghoul, ordering books from the library and Amazon, in an attempt to fill the void.

Turns out, one of the books in my new stack of arrivals was written just two years after Moving On (McMurtry's novel came
Oct 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, horror
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 in ...more
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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Is 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 mo
Bren fall in love with the sea.
“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.”

Ira Levin-The Stepford Wives.

It is important for people who are not familiar with the original Stepford wives to understand that this is not a comedy. It is a genuinely frighte
Mar 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modernclassic, scifi
A modern classic, whose ending many of you will already know from the movie? An eternal warning about how men truly want to deal with issues around the gender equality? Is that far fetched? I witnessed the machinations of the Trump White House and the legacy of Hollywood's casting couch approach to providing women with work to see how relevant Levin's little book continues to be.

The sparsity of character development, description and scene setting further enhances the suspense and heading into th
L A i N E Y ~back in a bit~
Dec 23, 2020 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: my enemies
Since reading, and loving, The End of the Affair and The Great Gatsby, I have been readily more open to reading more books that I - a.) generally know the plot of and/or b.) have seen its adaptation on screen. And that agreeableness made me suffer through all 200 pages of this bone dry, robotic *winkwink* story of The Stepford Wives.

Nice premise, egregiously bland book. Underwhelming writing with about ten pages of suspense, if that. And with basically no resolution.

rating: ★½
Dan Schwent
Oct 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
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
Apr 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
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!

Apr 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, 2018, novella, american
Warning: spoilery stuff ahead

The amazing thing about this story is its wide-reaching cultural impact. Whether you've read the book or seen any of the film versions, when you hear the term "Stepford wife", you know what it refers to: an immaculate woman in a 1950s throwback poodle skirt, with an impressive rack - and a glassy, eerie gaze. She's "so busy" with her housework and pleasing the husband she is so lucky to have, she doesn't have time for anything else.

The idea behind this chilling socia
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
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
I read this a few years ago, but my review vanished. However; I only had one thing to say and that was “We wouldn’t want this to happen would we ? Or has it already in some places ...? “
Petra is slightly on hiatus doing bookshop work
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, the ...more
Ana Mardoll
Jul 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ana-reviewed
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
Jon Nakapalau
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?
When it all boils down you gonna find in the end
A bitch is a bitch, but a dog is a man's best friend
So what you found you a hoe that you like
But you can't make a hoe a housewife
Clearly 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
Sep 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Horror Fans, Feminists, Satire Fans
Recommended to Michael by: Bryan Forbes
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 voca ...more
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘’They never stop, these Stepford wives. They something something all their lives. Work like robots... They work like robots all their lives.’’

I just wanted to say that I liked the Stepford Wives 2004 remake. Fight me... the 1975 is obviously better tho.
“What’s the going price for a stay-in-the-kitchen wife with big boobs and no demands?”
It’s 2020 and there are still men who want a submissive housewife that will be hot, hair/nails/clothes on point every fucking day, will clean and cook
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Zuky the BookBum
I read this novel as my BookBum Club book for June. Check out my BookClub on the Goodreads Groups!

I never normally read a lot of one author’s work, unless I feel there is something exceptional there. Last year, my favourite book was Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin, so I instantly wanted to pick his work back up again, but I got side-tracked. Finally, thanks to the wonderful Inside My Library Mind, I’ve picked up my second book of his, and wow, whaddya know? It’s another 5 star read!

I am amazed at t
Timothy Urges
Aug 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Everyone knows what a “Stepford Wife” is and what that entails. Due to popular culture it’s hard to avoid spoilers for this novel.

Had I not already known the ending this would have been decently suspenseful.

Levin has an interesting style. The Stepford Wives is worth the read.
Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A book so good that it became a cultural reference. Today, everyone knows what a Stepford Wife is.

Ira Levin is a master of the horror genre. This book, while a little sci-fi, reads much more as horror. Talk about unputdownable - I feel like Ira Levin invented the term.

This book is about a woman from New York City who, after some difficult life experiences in the city, moves out to an idyllic countryside village at the behest of her husband. He thinks it would be good for her. But Joanna soon d
Joe Valdez
Jan 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: The Six Million Dollar Man, the Bionic Woman, the Fembots
Shelves: sci-fi-general
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Simona B
Reading this book is like getting kicked in the chest by a really angry karateka. Rarely have I seen such capacity to arouse strong emotions in so short a book. Levin's writing is no-nonsense and terse, but lively and incisive. And The Stepford Wives isn't just a book about feminism and independence, but also about herd mentality and how the social scenarios we navigate contribute to changing us. A complete and utterly chilling pocket-tale worth at least one reading in everybody's life.

That pref
Mar 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
OK, after Rosemary's Baby and now this book, it's been confirmed that
1. I like the "town with a dark secret" trope
2. Ira Levin is THE MAN for this.

This book is written so. damn. well. Just like Rosemary's Baby, you can't tell whether the main character is being paranoid and almost hysterical or if there REALLY is something going on, especially with all the deliberate, subtle gaslighting going on. This is also one of those books that has major rereading merit even after the reveal, because you ca
Carla Remy
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Like his Rosemary's Baby, this tells the story of a likeable wife being utterly betrayed by her own husband for his personal benefit. This is more sci fi, and here the conspiracy is bigger (the whole town!), but they both involve the husband using her body for his own happiness and success. ...more
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 i ...more
Jan 29, 2016 rated it liked it
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 fil
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Where my prose at?: Stepford Wives 2004 Movie Review 1 3 Apr 04, 2021 08:22PM  
Where my prose at?: Stepford Wives 1975 Movie Review 1 3 Mar 30, 2021 05:59AM  
How does the Men's Association doe with the bodies? 2 38 Dec 14, 2018 07:07PM  
She-Thing and Other Righeous Tales 1 11 Feb 01, 2018 08:38AM  
Play Book Tag: The Stepford Wives / Ira Levin. 4 stars 13 24 Oct 06, 2016 07:54PM  

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Levin graduated from the Horace Mann School and New York University, where he majored in philosophy and English.

After college, he wrote training films and scripts for television.

Levin's first produced play was No Time for Sergeants (adapted from Mac Hyman's novel), a comedy about a hillbilly drafted into the United States Air Force that launched the career of Andy Griffith. The play was turned int

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“You're not going to get any true confessions out of me," she said. "I'm a Leo, and our thing is changing the subject.” 21 likes
“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.” 19 likes
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