Sarah Ames-Foley's Reviews > The Stepford Wives

The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin
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really liked it
bookshelves: classics, feminism, science-fiction, thriller-mystery

This review can also be found on my blog.

An odd medicinal smell soured the air -- coming on the breeze at her back. It almost reminded her of something in her childhood, but fell short.

→ What I Liked:

The Characters
This is a rare instance in which the female characters seem to be more developed than the male characters, and I loved it. They had so much individuality (aside from the Stepford wives of course), whereas the men were defined more by their jobs than anything else. One of the women was even implied to be asexual!

The Writing
While simplistic in style, the way the story was written was just fantastic. It started off relatively innocuous (even knowing what the ending would be), but built to an incredible climax full of anxiety. He pulls off a similar climb in Rosemary’s Baby, which I also really enjoyed.

→ What I Didn’t Like:

The Foreword
To be fair, this was added later to the book and was not written by Ira Levin. The fact remains, however, that Peter Straub’s introduction was painfully condescending. He went on and on about how the average reader wouldn’t be able to properly appreciate Levin’s writing and how subtle and literary it is. I can appreciate him wanting to explain the nuances of this simplistic writing style, but the way he did it just really rubbed me the wrong way.

The Ending
While I understand to a certain extent why the ending felt so abrupt, I wish it hadn’t. I felt pretty unsatisfied by it, even though I “get” it. Maybe Peter Straub was right and I just can’t properly appreciate it. ;)

→ TL;DR:
~Well-developed female characters
~Great pacing
~Pretentious foreword (not written by the author)
~Abrupt ending
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Reading Progress

June 15, 2017 – Shelved
June 15, 2017 – Shelved as: wishlist
July 20, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
December 28, 2018 – Started Reading
December 28, 2018 –
December 29, 2018 – Shelved as: science-fiction
December 29, 2018 – Shelved as: classics
December 29, 2018 – Shelved as: feminism
December 29, 2018 – Finished Reading
August 30, 2019 – Shelved as: thriller-mystery

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