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Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered…

Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other… (2011)

by Amy Stewart

Other authors: Briony Morrow-Cribbs (Illustrator)

Series: Wicked Things (2)

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5123929,692 (3.81)45

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English (38)  Piratical (1)  All languages (39)
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
This is a collection of trivia about bugs, which include not only insects, but arachnids, worms, centipedes, tapeworms, you name it. While the book lacks a clear structure and jumps from bug to bug, it contains a wealth of facts and is good for reading on the run, where you have just a sec to find out this or that fact. ( )
  Oleksandr_Zholud | Jan 9, 2019 |
An interesting, somewhat eclectic & esoteric collection of insects and anecdotal evidence about the destruction that they can bring. In part, fascinating, in part, terrifying. This was an immensely entertaining read. Good for medics, entomologists, and ode with an interest in the nature a world. If I had on complaint, it would be that it is very America based. ( )
  aadyer | May 12, 2018 |
I have arachnophobia. I once refused to sleep in my room after I saw a spider crawling on my dust ruffle; my dog usually ate spiders for me, but I had no idea whether she found it or not so I slept on the couch and then washed all of my bedding in ultra hot water the next day (my parents love this story). I seriously believe every spider in my house is out to get me. Hey, it’s not labeled an irrational fear for nothing.

So what would possess me to read a book about all sorts of bugs, including several chapters on arachnids? I will cite insanity or at least perverse curiosity. After all, if I am going to beat my enemy, I need to learn as much about him or her as possible. (Seriously, why are spiders always considered female? Is it the whole black widow thing? Because I’m thinking it is more than a little sexist.)

While I will never espouse to Ms. Stewart’s level of enthusiasm towards bugs, I will say she does a great job of making them interesting. Ms. Stewart presents a lot of information about her bugs of choice and does so methodically, showcasing her careful research and incorporating anecdotes to drive home her messaging. Each bug receives its own chapter, and she typically ends each chapter by identifying those bugs which are in the same family as the spotlighted one. In that way, she connects the insects so that you can see how they all fit into the planet’s ecology.

While I actually found myself enjoying Wicked Bugs, I did not enjoy the audio production. Ms. Marlo is a perfectly adequate narrator, and she does a great job injecting the right amount of enthusiasm and disgust into the words. My problem stems with the fact that there are no breaks. When looking at the print version, there are chapter numbers and titles. In the audio version, there are no chapter numbers. Ms. Marlo literally goes from one sentence right into the title and opening section of the next chapter without pause and without identifying it in some way as a natural break. For the first hour or so, I was thoroughly confused whether a new bug was a continuation of the “Meet the Relatives” section or a new chapter entirely. Once I understood how they structured the audio, I found I was able to enjoy it better, but the lack of pauses and natural breaks in the narration bothered me until the very end.

There are some weird-ass bugs out there, and most of them I have no desire to meet. I consider myself better informed about bugs in general and proud that there were only a few chapters that turned my stomach. In spite of the fact that Ms. Stewart did confirm my reasons for never wanting to garden or go to a rain forest or African jungle and in spite of the poor audio production, I am surprisingly glad I read Wicked Bugs. After all, forewarned is forearmed. I got you now, spiders!
  jmchshannon | Sep 11, 2017 |
In this darkly comical look at the sinister side of our relationship with the natural world, Stewart has tracked down over one hundred of our worst entomological foes?creatures that infest, infect, and generally wreak havoc on human affairs. From the world?s most painful hornet, to the flies that transmit deadly diseases, to millipedes that stop traffic, to the ?bookworms that devour libraries, to the Japanese beetles munching on your roses, Wicked Bugs delves into the extraordinary powers of six- and eight-legged creatures. With wit, style, and exacting research, Stewart has uncovered the most terrifying and titillating stories of bugs gone wild. It?s an A to Z of insect enemies, interspersed with sections that explore bugs with kinky sex lives (?She?s Just Not That Into You÷), creatures lurking in the cupboard (?Fear No Weevil÷), insects eating your tomatoes (?Gardener?s Dirty Dozen÷), and phobias that feed our (sometimes) irrational responses to bugs (?Have No Fear÷). Intricate and strangely beautiful etchings and drawings by Briony Morrow-Cribbs capture diabolical bugs of all shapes and sizes in this mixture of history, science, murder, and intrigue that begins?but doesn?t end?in your own backyard
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
This book was so great! It was very interesting and I learned so many cool facts. ( )
  JillKenna | Jul 9, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
Wicked Bugs delivers the sting, whether it’s a deeper understanding of all the critters that go “zzzz” in the night or a good gross-out that you’re after.

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Amy Stewartprimary authorall editionscalculated
Morrow-Cribbs, BrionyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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In 1909, the Chicago Daily Tribune ran an article titled "If Bugs Were the Size of Men."   (Introduction)
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Book description
In this captivating look at the sinister side of the natural world, Amy Stewart uncovers more than one hundred of our worst insect enemies -- creatures that infest, infect, and generally wreak havoc on human affairs.   From the world's most painful hornet to millipedes that stop traffic, from "bookworms" that devour libraries to Japanese beetles that much on our roses, Wicked Bugs" tells the stories of bugs gone ail.

Here is a captivating mixture of history, science, murder, and intrigue that begins -- but doesn't end -- in our own backyards.  [from back cover]

Contents: African bat bug -- She’s just not that into you -- Asian giant hornet -- Assassin bug -- Bugs of war -- Bed bug -- Biting midge -- Black fly -- Black widow -- Stinging caterpillars -- Bombardier beetle -- Brazilian wandering spider -- Curse of the scorpion -- Brown marmorated stink bug -- Brown recluse -- Chigger mite -- Chigoe flea -- Have no fear -- Cockroach -- Colorado potato beetle -- The gardener’s dirty dozen -- Corn rootworm -- Death-watch beetle -- Bookworms -- Deer tick -- Filth fly -- I’ve got you under my skin -- Formosan subterranean termite -- The ants go marching -- Giant centipede -- Mediterranean fruit fly -- Millipede -- Arrow poisons -- Mosquito -- Mountain pine beetle -- Nightcrawler -- The enemy within -- Oriental rat flea -- Paederus beetle -- Corpse-eaters -- Phylloxera -- Rocky Mountain locust -- Fear no weevils -- Sand fly -- Scabies mite -- What’s eating you? -- Spanish fly -- Tarantula -- Tsetse fly -- Zombies.
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In this darkly comical look at the sinister side of our relationship with the natural world, Stewart has tracked down over one hundred of our worst entomological foes-creatures that infest, infect, and generally wreak havoc on human affairs.

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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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