Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin

☆☆☆☆This review contains spoilers☆☆☆☆

I've watched both Stepford Wives on film and wanted to know how skillful Levin wrote the book--was his writing as brilliant as the first movie or as dreadful as the second or somewhere in between.
Additionally, the first Stepford Wives show Joanna(Katherine Ross) strong to the finish, and the second one with Nicole Kidman was merely silly, but what about Joanna in the book?

She's precisely the same as the character in the first film except she wasn't as secure with herself at the end and starts to lose her hold on reality. An infinite number of women couldn't arrive near this portion of the story and still stay sane--perceiving their death is imminent and soon a robot will be their replacement.

To understand the book one must understand the age the book was published (1972). For the first time, women were actually gaining rights and receiving the respect due to them, though grudgingly by a substantial population of men.

Perhaps all men from this time period grew up with a mom who didn't work and had one specific job--to create comfort for their family, wait on their husbands as if they were children, and never have their own identity. They must even write their name as Mrs. John Doe, and never receive or send letters with their own name. They were lost even to themselves.

The seventies became a breakthrough for women's rights and we won though it was a struggle. Men wanted their maids and cooks back in the kitchen--not out in the workforce. So it's conceivable that a man would replace his wife with a robot to create a home exceptionally comfortable and to have a sandwich in his hand whenever desired.

Though it's ambitious to believe that an entire community of men could agree to mass murder. The book states that countless people left the community after the men's club formed, and the previous owners of Joanna's home stayed only two months, hopefully in this world, a favorable amount of men had a conscience.

I've often thought about the female children of these killers--would they be just as willing for them to die so their husbands could have the same setup? They're all murderers and butchers, I've come to the conclusion they might be willing--who could have a normal psyche after conducting or agreeing to such madness.

The book is wonderful, and Ira Levin is an incredible writer, though he must always throw in a spattering of extremely crude sexual references, which I (the prude) pass by quickly. Though I'm sure in this day and age readers will not mind his little expressions.
He's the author of one my top ten books called This Perfect Day, and his writing in that book is also genius. His books are slow and easy yet convey a powerful mix of controlled energy.

I found this book to read for free on the Open Library  site which I put to work on my Kindle. There are copious amounts of older books to read that commonly charge a considerable sum of money on my Kindle and the paper books are difficult to find--this site helps frequently with my reading "wants."