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Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other Diabolical Insects Hardcover – May 3, 2011
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“I read your book, and I'm all itchy.”―Dave Davies, NPR’s “Fresh Air”
“A word of warning: Some of the descriptions ahead might trigger your gag reflex.”―Terry Gross, NPR’s “Fresh Air”
About the Author
Amy Stewart is the award-winning author of six books on the perils and pleasures of the natural world. She is the cofounder of the popular blog Garden Rant and is a contributing editor at Fine Gardening magazine. She and her husband live in Eureka, California, where they own an antiquarian bookstore called Eureka Books.
Top Customer Reviews
Flies, caterpillars, spiders: the diseases they carry and their methods of transmission are all detailed, with anecdotal stories illustrating just how effective they can be. The book is a sequel to Wicked Plants by the same author (which I haven't yet read), and it's extremely well-researched. One section details early forms of biological warfare, when soldiers would hurl hornet's nests or scorpion-filled baskets over the city walls of their opposer, causing havoc and sickening many. Another section explains why you should be a cat-person, as the diseases that rats, mice, and vermin still carry (the plague in the past) are easily able to sicken you.
I made the mistake of reading this before bed. I don't recommend that, as you'll find yourself convinced something is crawling in your sheets. Despite the light-hearted presentation, the book does a serious service by showing just how interlinked species are, and how extinction of some animals or insects causes a disparity that often increases the danger of illness and infection. The balance of habitats is essential to keep most of these bugs manageable. Really, there is no such thing as a "small" bug in the living world as all factor in somehow.Read more ›
If you were a fan of Wicked Plants, you can rest assured that this book is just as good. If you never read that but have an interest in entomology or know someone who does, this will be a fun read and a good addition to the bookshelf.
Furthermore I found enough typographic errors; this book could have used better editing.
|Length: 3:40 Mins|
While Amy's a huge fan of bugs, she didn't focus on their virtues in this book. Instead we're treated to the gory sexual lives, dietary quirks, and reproductive evils they take part in every day just to survive. Amy's dry humor is the perfect balance to these horrible happenings, and the tales of zombie cockroaches and filth flies had me alternately laughing and cringing with glee. I did, however, find that my desire to read portions of the book out loud did not go over well at mealtimes.
I'm lucky enough to live locally to the author, and she graciously invited me over to talk with her about the book, hence the video.
If you love science, zombies, and tales of wickedness, you'll definitely dig this book. I'd especially recommend it for gift-giving because the dry wit and short chapters make it easy for people to read bits out loud in a group setting. Plus, it's one of those gorgeous hardcovers with a ribbon for a bookmark, and has gorgeous etchings by Briony Morrow-Cribbs (who did the etchings for Wicked Plants).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I got a kick out of Amy Stewart's Introduction, titled: "Warning: We are Seriously Outnumbered".
Ain't that the truth. Read more
Don't read this before you go to sleep at night! Really scary and creepy.. I never knew there were so many dangerous creatures out there.Published 28 days ago by C. Bosacki
I was given this book as a gift from an acquaintance. For the layman, I am sure it would be a fine, light read, but for people that are experts in the subject matter, this book is... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Rea Manderino
As a writer myself, I love Amy Stewart's books as a great reference.Published 6 months ago by M. Cornett
Amy Stewart is a wonderful writer, I only gave it four stars because I'm afraid of bugs.Published 6 months ago by Timothy McCluske
I picked up this book cheap at Half Price Books and was well pleased with it. Wicked Bugs is a good read with many interesting (and disturbing) facts about insects and parasites. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Arthur Daigle