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Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon's Army and Other Diabolical Insects
     

Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon's Army and Other Diabolical Insects

4.2 19
by Amy Stewart, Coleen Marlo (Narrated by)
 

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Amy Stewart follows her wildly successful national bestseller Wicked Plants with an investigation of the insects, worms, and spiders that have tormented humankind for centuries.

Overview

Amy Stewart follows her wildly successful national bestseller Wicked Plants with an investigation of the insects, worms, and spiders that have tormented humankind for centuries.

Editorial Reviews

James Norton
…an entertaining tour of creepy-crawly territory.
—The Washington Post
Washington Post
“[Wicked Bugs] is not a comprehensive field guide but a smorgasbord of facts—ranging from horrible, painful or otherwise discomfiting—about bugs... Stewart’s prose is simple and to the point. She lets the little horrors she describes work in the reader’s imagination without any hyperbolic help from her. Guaranteed to cause sympathy itching and other discomfort.”—Kirkus Reviews
Knoxville News-Sentinel
“This book covers many of the gross, frightening, disgusting, and awful things that bugs can do to you. And it’s COOL ... Bugs become less gross, and a lot more interesting, when put into the context of how they have changed human history.”—Scientific American blog
The Oregonian
“I should have known it would gross me out, in a deliciously creepy kind of way. It's everything you didn't know you didn't want to know about insects…” – Knoxville News-Sentinel
Entertainment Weekly
“A fascinatingly dark look at the world of wonders that buzzes, burrows and reproduces all around us... Stewart's research is prodigious and her writing precise, whether she's telling the tale of a caterpillar that looks like a tiny Persian cat or more about fleas than you ever wanted to know. Read this book and you'll always keep your gardening gloves on...Stewart concentrates on scarily diabolical bugs, to great effect.”—Seattle Times
Seattle Times
“A fascinatingly dark look at the world of wonders that buzzes, burrows and reproduces all around us... Stewart's research is prodigious and her writing precise, whether she's telling the tale of a caterpillar that looks like a tiny Persian cat or more about fleas than you ever wanted to know. Read this book and you'll always keep your gardening gloves on...Stewart concentrates on scarily diabolical bugs, to great effect.”—Seattle Times
Smithsonian.com
“If you’ve got an insect phobia, this probably isn’t the book for you. But if not, dig in, as Stewart gleefully archives more than 100 of earth’s creepiest crawlies.”—Entertainment Weekly
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“From bat bugs — yes, bat bugs — to banana slugs to the pork tapeworm, [Stewart] details the most infectious, most terrifying insects on the planet.”—NPR’s “Fresh Air”

“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”

NPR's "Weekend Edition"
“There is a ton of well-researched, fascinating information with terrific and terrifying stories from history ... As Stewart writes, ‘we are seriously outnumbered.’ It’s best we know our enemies.”—Smithsonian.com

NPR's "Fresh Air"
“There are a number of interesting tidbits in this book, you know, things that you might want to work into a conversation.”—Linda Wertheimer, NPR’s “Weekend Edition”
The New York Times
“Stewart offers witty capsule biographies of dozens of chitin horrors, from the African bat bug to the tsetse fly, with plenty of shout-out for the spiders who haunt our nightmares, including such familiars as black widows and brown recluses.” - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
From the Publisher
“[Stewart] wrote this book to scare the bugs out of you…Stewart is not an entomologist, but she is a consummate storyteller with a curious mind.” – The Oregonian
Scientific American bog
“A cavalcade of terrors ... [Wicked Bugs] makes for an entertaining tour of creepy-crawly territory.”—Washington Post
Library Journal - Audio
They're everywhere! Insects, arachnids, and gastropods that bite, sting, burrow, invade, and otherwise compete with humans in their effort to survive and reproduce. Stewart follows her best-selling Wicked Plants with this delightfully gruesome compilation of facts about the critters with which we share the planet. The Asian Giant Hornet, up to five centimeters long, is a recent threat in Japan. When it stings it leaves a pheromone that attracts other giant hornets to sting the same site—how nice! Bedbugs, which can live up to a year without feeding (in upholstery or bedding, for example) until a human host comes along, are a renewed threat in New York. Along with the scientific facts, Stewart also includes historical and literary anecdotes (the death-watch beetle that horrified the madman in Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart"). Coleen Marlo's narration is very clear and well paced. This may not be the ideal selection for an outdoor camping trip, but it will appeal to kids and young adults as well as the general public who like creepy crawlies. [The Algonquin hc, published in May, was a New York Times best seller.—Ed.]—Nann Blaine Hilyard, Zion-Benton P.L., IL

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781452602608
Publisher:
Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date:
05/23/2011
Edition description:
Unabridged CD
Sales rank:
471,300
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 5.50(h) x 1.20(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"Stewart amusingly but analytically profiles the baddest bugs around in quick but attention-grabbing snapshots of little creatures that pack a lot of punch." —-Booklist

Meet the Author

Amy Stewart is the bestselling author of several books on the perils and pleasures of the natural world, including From the Ground Up, The Earth Moved, Flower Confidential, Wicked Plants, and Wicked Bugs.

AudioFile Earphones Award winner Coleen Marlo has earned numerous Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Awards and won an Audie Award for her narration of Snakewoman of Little Egypt by Robert Hellenga.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Wicked Bugs 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
SAHARATEA More than 1 year ago
You'll more than likely find this title in the Nature section of your bookstore, but it could realistically be shelved under Horror. This book is seriously scary. In a breezy, light tone and pace, it describes all sorts of frightening details about insects, especially in terms of what they will do to you if you run across them. Covering various continents, there's really no place you are safe from these tiniest of creatures-sure, they may not hunt you down exactly, but the odds are with them that one of their kin will be dining with (or on) you. 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. A great gift title, but I would probably hold back from sharing with children. The chapters on bug reproduction are, um, disturbing and graphic. Clearly, a bug's life is not always fun, and (spoiler alert!)the males usually end up dismembered and dead. For the most part, females rule the insect world and males are their underlings and servants. In terms of criticism? I find none except that I wish some areas were even more in depth, such as to know exactly why these insects behave the way they do. However, the information given is accessible and never loses your interest as it might if it became too much like a scholarly article or textbook. This is my favorite kind of nonfiction title, and it's already been devoured by two other members of my family. Mention must be made of the incredible illustrations that accompany the text by Briony Morrow-Cribbs. They are hand-drawn and stunning.
Chowbell More than 1 year ago
This is an interesting, entertaining book. Isn't it wonderful that there are so many amazing, living things on this planet to find out about?And Amy Stewart is a pro at making us want to.
efm More than 1 year ago
Bought both of her books, Wicked Bugs and Wicked Plants, enjoyed both, learned a lot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What an awesome book. I learned sooooo much from it and it was really funny too. Double thumbs up!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting subject matter
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This book sucks
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Boooooring! I'd give it a 0 and a 2 +1= aaa
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Blaaa¿Aaaa
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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