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Editorial Reviews

Award-winning author Amy Stewart's Wicked Bugs is a compendium of every little critter you never want to run into, with interesting history lessons thrown in along the way. Ever hear the one about the guy who committed suicide by Black Widow? How about the time Darwin got some beetle juice squirted into his mouth? Bonus: have enemies? This book will teach you how to coat an arrowhead with poison from various insects and other potentially toxic compounds.
From spiders to stink bugs, this book is not for the faint of heart. Want to have nightmares forever? Picture a locust swarm larger than the state of California. One of the most compelling chapters is one that focuses on zombie bugs, particularly the parasitic Jewel Wasp, which injects venom directly into the brain of a cockroach, then forces the roach to do its bidding.
Coleen Marlo handles the text with an encyclopedic accuracy, narrating swiftly through all manner of latin phylum, order, class, and species with the greatest of ease. In the end, you're thankful that she can keep it clinical, just for the sake of minimizing the sometimes graphic nature of the content.
A big part of the message here is that bugs are more powerful than we give them credit for. Stewart posits that lice, not the harsh Russian winter, may have been the downfall of Napoleon's army. She also implies that Formosan termites may have been responsible for breaking the levies and causing the widespread devastation of Hurricane Katrina. If you had any doubt about it before, you can put it to rest now; bugs really are wicked.
Creepy? Yes. Morbid? Sometimes. Informative? Most definitely. —Gina Pensiero
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Publisher's Summary

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 Japanese beetles munching on your roses, Wicked Bugs delves into the extraordinary powers of many-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, creatures lurking in the cupboard, militant ants, and phobias that feed our (sometimes) irrational responses to bugs.
Wicked Bugs is a fascinating mixture of history, science, murder, and intrigue that begins - but doesn't end - in your own backyard.
©2011 Amy Stewart (P)2011 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Paul on 05-28-11

fascinating and creepy

This book was fascinating and well narrated. Lots of information on bugs and their habits and the diseases they carry. I started this book during a power outage due to severe thunderstorms. Quite creepy.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Jim "The Impatient" on 10-01-11

bunch of little articles

This is filled with lots of interesting and disturbing things about bugs. As I listen to it, I started getting itchy and stingy feelings. Insects are so different from us and live so different from us, it is like reading scary SCI Fi.

I think the book would have been better if she would have left out some bugs and spent more time with the more interesting bugs. This book is like a warm up band, it leaves you wanting more, unfortunately there is nothing to follow. The narrator sounds like she is speed reading, I don't know if that is her style or that is because of the way the book is written. Sometimes I got confused on when we had moved on to another bug or when we were going through the relatives of the last bug. Now I am going to look and see if there is an author who writes more in depth on the subject.

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14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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