Cheryl's Reviews > The Stepford Wives

The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin
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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.
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Reading Progress

January 29, 2016 – Started Reading
January 29, 2016 – Shelved
January 29, 2016 –
page 50
34.72% ""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 suburban housewives unconvincingly, too nicey-nice to be real.""
January 30, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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message 1: by Idarah (new)

Idarah Very interesting! I've been meaning to read this for awhile. I am a fan of both films. You've inspired me to pull this off my shelf.


message 2: by Cheryl (last edited Jan 31, 2016 04:15AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Cheryl The length of the book surprised me. It is very short and can be read in a day (145 pages).


message 3: by Joe (last edited Jan 31, 2016 12:12PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Joe Valdez Excellent review, Cheryl. You enjoyed the novella a little more than I did. I thought it was boring and ridiculous. You're right; Levin is using exaggeration to comment on the issues of his day, but it's just so diet cola. Maybe I love women too much to truck with men who 'd prefer they be replaced by robots.


Cheryl Joe wrote: "Excellent review, Cheryl. You enjoyed the novella a little more than I did. I thought it was boring and ridiculous. You're right; Levin is using exaggeration to comment on the issues of his day, bu..."

What I liked was how ambiguous the plot was. We are shown no proof of Joanna's idea of the robots. We don't see her stab Bobbie, like in the film, or see wives repeat what they're saying in a "robot malfunction". All we see is them suddenly fitting in and becoming the perfect housewife. You could also look at it as a comment on women moving from the city to the suburbs and losing their identity as they fit in with the "super housewives" living there. Did that drive Joanna crazy, or are there really men replacing wives with robots? It is different, in that respect, from the film.


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