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

by Amy Stewart

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781565129603
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date: 05/03/2011
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 164,883
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 7.10(h) x 1.00(d)

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.

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

Customer Reviews

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Wicked Bugs 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 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!
fuzzi on LibraryThing 19 days ago
A friend passed this book on to me, and after I started reading it, I wanted to finish it in one sitting. It's a highly entertaining series of descriptions and stories regarding certain insects/bugs/spiders/etc. Not for the overly squeamish, nor for those who have some sort of bug phobia (reading the part about cockroaches made my toes curl!)
dickmanikowski on LibraryThing 19 days ago
Fascinatingly quirky collection which examines the ingenious ways in which insects and arachnids and the parasites which they transmit prey upon other living creatures, including us. This is a companion book to the author's earlier work, WICKED PLANTS.
corcra on LibraryThing 19 days ago
This book, as the title suggests, revolves around the world of bugs, or rather the more sinister bugs. The plus of this book are the wonderful illustrations. I enjoyed the fact that these illustrations are both realistic as well as whimsical. One whimsical illustration shows the 'Zombie' insects in classic zombie horror movie poses. The facts provide by the author were interesting even if some of these facts were not completely clear. One example is, the history of the bacteria that cased bubonic plague is still debated and probably not the same strain as the Plague of Justinian. There were some defined chapters but I wish the bugs would have been better grouped into chapters such as dangerous, destructive etc. Overall, this is a great introduction into the more wicked world of insect that anyone can read, but if you have a greater knowledge about insect this book is a bit too basic.
richardderus on LibraryThing 19 days ago
Rating: too busy scratching to give it one.The Book Report: Amy Stewart, perpetratrix of [Flower Confidential] (a book I loathed), has given us bite-sized bios of horrible, horrible, horrible little creepy/crawly or fly-y/stingy horrible things with lots of horrible legs and horrible, horrible ways of mating and reproducing in general. Most of the worst ones are female. Just like in life.My Review: I've finished it, and so far I've determined that I suffer from:--scabies--Guinea worm disease--tapeworm--Lyme disease--elephantiasis--bilharzia--sand-fly infestation under my itchy toenailI've taken eleven showers with surgical scrub so far. I expect that, when I go outside next after the haz-mat suit is delivered, I shall be ridiculed...but I *won't* be a feast for the horrible disgusting vile scary critters this book is about!
BlackSheepDances on LibraryThing 19 days 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.
Jackie.the.Librarian on LibraryThing 19 days ago
Parasitic, opportunistic, and hard to get rid of. No - I'm not talking about Sarah Palin. What I'm referring to are the worms, flies, beetles, spiders, and other insects in Amy Stewart's Wicked Bugs. This book is even more disturbing than the books precursor, Wicked Plants. I also found it more compelling and harder to put down than Wicked Plants. Perhaps because the human-insect relationship is a bit more intense than the human-plant relationship. Consider the woman who extracted her pet tarantula's poison sack and baked it into a pie in a laughable attempt to kill her husband and collect on an insurance policy. Also interesting are some of the evolutionary tactics these insects employ and how they continue to adapt to humans in their quest to exterminate them. Another great part of this book are the illustrations - definitely enough to make your skin crawl.
akblanchard on LibraryThing 19 days ago
Much like the author's earlier work, Wicked Plants, this book provides a glimpse into the extraordinary habits of insects. The book's short chapters make it enjoyable to read, but it's not very substantial. I found that once I was through reading it, I didn't retain much of the information.
LizPhoto on LibraryThing 19 days ago
"Wicked Bugs" made me feel very satisfied, the kinda of satisfaction you get after a good scratch of a a very itchy body part. I loved this book, not only was it informative but it was funny to boot. Not being a expert on bugs or wanting to become one, Stewart gives just the right amount of information on bugs to be terrified by them or love them. The drawings of the bugs were a nice addition instead of the same old pictures you find on google. I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys bugs or who just want to creep out their friends!
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