This novel has entered pop culture so seamlessly it was strange to read the source material. As some reviewers have acknowledged, there isn't a whole lot to the book, Levin didn't feel the need to elaborate on the hows and whys of Stepford's transformation. That is probably one of the chillier aspects for me. Joanna has nothing more than a vague suspicion that something is wrong until near the end. Its laughable until its too late for her to escape.
Levin's work succeeds on the tiny premise, the doubt in all of us, that there must be something inhuman behind perfect facades. The book could have been longer than it is and it could have improved by more of Joanna's thoughts and the big picture of her months in Stepford. Levin was capable at least once of a character study in creeping horror ('Rosemary's Baby'), but I'll admit this book is just fine without it. It's quick, it was scary, and knowing the end didn't change the dread I felt at the end of the penultimate chapter.
It's an artifact, enjoy.