I was shopping at Half Price Books when I came across a hardcover 1st printing of “The Stepford Wives” published in 1972. Ira Levin’s follow-up to his hugely successful “Rosemary’s Baby” (p. 1967) may not have shared the same level of achievement as its predecessor but made its own cultural impact nonetheless. “The Stepford Wives” is a 145-page, satirical novella touching on the rise of feminism, a woman’s role in the home, as well as their husbands’ fear of losing control. It would inspire two films of the same name: a serious adaptation in 1975 and a more comedic rendering in 2004 starring Nicole Kidman. The first movie even inspired three indirect made-for-TV sequels – Revenge of The Stepford Wives (1980), The Stepford Children (1987), and The Stepford Husbands (1996). Despite receiving mixed reviews, the word “Stepford” has since entered our pop culture lexicon to describe someone acting perfect, phony, or subservient. Having seen both screen versions, I was interested in reading the book and did so in the span of one chilly, Chicago afternoon.
So how does it compare to the 1975 film? Anyone not worried about SPOLIERS can read on and find out…
One of my favorite recent reads was “No Exit” by Taylor Adams. This fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat thriller wasn’t just a universal favorite on BookTube but guaranteed to pull you out of any reading slump. It only took me a couple of days to finish and I remember thinking how the story would make for an excellent film adaptation. Little did I know that HULU was way ahead of me; dropping their screen rendition late last month. I was excited by the news but also worried the live-action version wouldn’t do justice to the written word. Before I break things down, be warned this post is loaded with heavy SPOILERS for both the book and film. This is geared for those who’ve already read the book so, if you haven’t done so already, I suggest you stop reading this blog and immediately seek out the novel. I think the less you know going in, the more fun the ride will be, and this comparison will certainly be waiting for you upon your return.
Horror books often find themselves on the silver screen and with mixed results. The Exorcist, JAWS, and The Omen are positive examples of book-to-movies but, unfortunately, for every Misery, there’s a Dreamcatcher. Sometimes the book is inspired by the film rather than its source material but, either way, there’s bound to be differences; subtle or profound. Today’s vintage book discussion is more of a rumble than a review and between one of my favorite John Carpenter films and a book written by Dennis Etchison to promote it. So let’s jump back to 1980 and revisit The FOG…