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The Stepford Wives

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  28,467 ratings  ·  2,208 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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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 3.77  · 
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 ·  28,467 ratings  ·  2,208 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
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
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
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!

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
“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
Apr 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, novella, american, 2018
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 1950's 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 soci
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
Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ 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
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 ...? “
Oct 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
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
Rebecca McNutt
From the writer who brought us Rosemary's Baby, which many readers have suggested is a feminist tale about the lack of control that a woman has even in a modern, urban society, The Stepford Wives offers an equally creepy and thought-provoking tale to a Satan baby - this one isn't set in New York City, but rather in an idyllic community that seems like it tumbled straight from the pages of a 1950's magazine. Ira Levin finds the underlying misogyny and horror beneath the manicured lawns and homema ...more
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
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
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
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?
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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
Roman Clodia
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Yes, I've changed. I realised I was being awfully sloppy and self-indulgent. It's no disgrace to be a good homemaker. I've decided to do my job conscientiously, the way Dave does his, and be more careful about my appearance."

Ok, there's nothing subtle about this but it is a hilariously camp satire of small-town conservatism and its masculine backlash against 1960s feminism. It's no surprise to find Kate Millett and Betty Friedan name-checked within the narrative, and it's also a revealing p
Feb 08, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Susan's Reviews
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
My goodness, I read this so, so long ago. Being the staunch feminist that I was and still am, I was furious at the ending. Since then, I have never liked negative or hopeless endings. Still, very well written, and Ira Levin was a master of the game back then.
Kate (GirlReading)
A super fun, quick and easy read. I wish I had gone into it not knowing what it was about, as it meant the majority of the suspense and the ‘big reveal’ were a little wasted on me but it was nonetheless an entertaining read and I’m now super intrigued to watch the movie adaptations, as I’m hoping they will add a depth to the plot I felt this was slightly lacking in.
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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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“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.” 18 likes
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