A Kiss Before Dying not only debuted the talent of best-selling novelist Ira Levin to rave reviews, it also set a new standard in the art of mystery and suspense. Now a modern classic, as gripping in its tautly plotted action as it is penetrating in its exploration of a criminal mind, it tells the shocking tale of a young man who will stop at nothing—not even murder—to get where he wants to go. For he has dreams; plans. He also has charm, good looks, sex appeal, intelligence. And he has a problem. Her name is Dorothy; she loves him, and she’s pregnant. The solution may demand desperate measures. But, then, he looks like the kind of guy who could get away with murder. Compellingly, step by determined step, the novel follows this young man in his execution of one plan he had neither dreamed nor foreseen. Nor does he foresee how inexorably he will be enmeshed in the consequences of his own extreme deed.
En la apacible y bucólica ciudad de Stepford las mujeres están poseídas por algo extraño, dificil de precisar, pero que en todo caso las induce a guardar una conducta sorprendentemente ejemplar. Por su parte, los maridos también observan un comportamiento intachable. Nadie se explica los motivos de unas vidas tan modélicas. Johanna, recién llegada a Stepford con su marido y sus hijos, decide investigar el enigma, sin imaginar que se verá atrapada en una pesadilla escalofriante… Las Poseídas de Stepford es una novela tan original como sobrecogedora, un nuevo hito en la producción del autor de la célebre La Semilla del Diablo.
Qu’arrive-t-il donc aux femmes de Stepford ? Ont-elles toujours été, ainsi que Joanna les découvre en s’installant dans cette ville, de véritables poupées ménagères, uniquement préoccupées de l’entretien de leur intérieur et du bien-être de leur famille ? Ou alors sont-elles victimes de leurs maris, tous adhérents du « Club des Hommes », qui se réunissent chaque soir dans une vieille bâtisse mystérieuse interdite aux femmes ?
Joanna, jeune femme libérée, tente de créer une association féminine avec l’aide de deux amies nouvellement arrivées. Quelle n’est pas sa stupeur de les voir, à leur tour, se transformer brusquement, à l’image des autres femmes de la ville. L’inquiétude devient rapidement de l’angoisse…
Joanna réussira-t-elle à échapper à ce cauchemar aseptisé, climatisé, lot quotidien des femmes de Stepford ?
When published in 1967, Rosemary's Baby was one of the first contemporary horror novels to become a national bestseller. Ira Levin's second novel (he went on to write such fine thrillers as A Kiss Before Dying, The Stepford Wives, and The Boys from Brazil), Rosemary's Baby, remains perhaps his best work. The author's mainstream "this is how it really happened" style undeniably also made the novel his most widely imitated. The plot line is deceptively simple: What if you were a happily married young woman, living in New York, and one day you awoke to find yourself pregnant? And what if your loving husband had-apparently-sold your soul to Satan? And now you were beginning to believe that your unborn child was, in reality, the son of Satan? Levin subtly makes it all totally plausible, unless of course, dear Rosemary-or the reader-can no longer distinguish fantasy from reality! A wonderfully chilling novel, it was later faithfully transformed into an equally unnerving motion picture
Joanna és férje, Walter számára rendkívüli élményt jelentett Stepfordba költözni. Az idillikusnak tűnő kisváros azonban borzalmas titkot rejt… oly megrázó titkot, mellyel ha egyszer szembesül valaki, már soha többé nem lesz az, aki korábban volt. Ira Levin két alkalommal is elnyerte a krimiírók Edgar Allan Poe díját. Jelen regényéből pedig Nicole Kidman főszereplésével készült azonos című film.
The wives in Stepford are not exactly what you might call feisty, but they do keep nice homes. They wax and vacuum, and clean and dust all day long and late into the evenings, but they never complain. They are rather pleasing to look at too these Stepford ladies. They are round and shapely in all of the right places and in many ways they are model wives.
When the Eberharts move to Stepford Joanna finds it hard to settle in the town. She finds the town's women weird. Not one of them ever seems to have time to pop over for a cup of coffee. They are much too busy keeping house. They do find time to go out every once in a while though, to do the shopping, and even that is done neatly; every item is perfectly stacked in their trolleys.
Fortunately Joanna does manage to find a couple of friends who are normal. In fact one of them, Bobbie, is refreshingly slob-like. The other one, Charmaine, exudes elegance and is obsessed with tennis. She even has her own court in the garden, and so things are not, perhaps, so bad in Stepford after all. Or so it seems. But when Charmaine suddenly sacks her maid, and dons the pinny herself, Joanna is shocked. And when she discovers that her tennis buddy is ripping up her tennis court so that her husband can have his own putting green, Joanna realizes – for a fact – that something very strange indeed is going on in Stepford
The Stepford Wives is a much shorter read than I had anticipated. My copy is only 116 pages long, but it achieves a lot in those few pages and bulking out of the story would only have spoiled it. I would describe this as being a quietly scary story. The real nasty stuff always happens just out of sight, never right there in your face. If you have ever watched any really old films, you might remember how scenes sometimes ended with the loving couple closing the bedroom door. What happened next was left to the viewer's imagination. In a similar way the nasty stuff in The Stepford Wives is left to the reader's imagination. In the final pages, there is a scene where the Stepford men-folk usher Joanna into Bobbie's kitchen and Bobbie, who really doesn't seem like Bobbie anymore and is holding a knife, calls her over to the sink so that she can prove to her that she isn't a robot. What happens next in that kitchen is left to the reader's imagination. The horror is not depicted in glorious Technicolor and if the claret flows it flows unseen, but it is still a very scary scene indeed and possibly one of the best ones in the book.
In this 1970's book, the author explores a society in the near future which totally controls and represses all members. Difference between members is negated to the point that all members of the society are considered alike - actually genetic manipulation has taken place to make everyone of equal height, skin color, etc.
Even worse is the mind control which extends to every portion of life - and is augmented by chemical infusions. There are only four names for girls and four names for boys. A frequent theme for the youth is winning and losing are t he same- it is the game. The only heroes of this world are Christ, Marx, Wood and Wei
Gradually, the protagonist, Li (or Chip - his forbidden name given by his grandfather) - begins to seek a way out of this stifling atmosphere.
His trials and tribulations - backsliding to the safe norm - and eventual fate make for one of the most exhilarating but depressing books I have ever read - given that it was written in 1970, it is amazing how much of the total control can be seen to be something that could actually happen.
Idealne miasto Stepford: niski wskaźnik przestępczości, raj dla szczęśliwych rodzin, dobrze utrzymane trawniki, bogate i czyste domy.
Idealne żony ze Stepford: piękne, posłuszne, zadbane, niewymagające. Mężczyźni ze Stepford chcą mieć właśnie takie żony. Trudno sobie wyobrazić, jak daleko mogą się posunąć, aby dostosować rzeczywistość do swoich wymagań…