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.
Though the introduction claims this book is NOT a reference guide or to be used as one, that is how it is written and how it reads. It reads like an arbitrarily put together reference guide on "bugs," (in the broad sense), written by a non-scientist/non-doctor.
The book is long and gives a survey of hundreds of "bugs," to the point where they blend together and get confusing. As one reviewer said it would be better on paper.
As a result the individual entries/chapters are short and often contain only basic information.
From the title "The Louse that Conquered Napoleon." I was expecting detailed and interesting histories highlighting 10 or 20 bugs, and how they have changed human history.
Instead the chapter on the louse was only a few minutes long and simply said that Napoleon's army may have been weakened by Louse and the diseases they carried, so that they were overcome easily by the Russian winter. Then she moves on to another bug.
The narration was great! And the information was interesting if a little repetitive, so I give it two stars for that. But in general this book is a short bug encyclopedia written by someone who professes not to be qualified for such an endeavor and so it is not worth it.
Easier to understand.
The ticking is the Death Watch Beetle that taps on the rafters looking for a mate.
The only character is the narrator and she is very good. She has a precise voice that is soothing and easily understood. That is what is needed for this book This book is a compenduim of many of the wicked bugs known and their habits. It is wonderful to listen to but you might not want to leave the house, much less travel too far. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
This might be better as an actual book rather than an audio book. What captured me in the title was "the louse that conquered Napoleon's Army," and I was thinking there would be good and quirky info about that. Well, not really. Each chapter gives technical info on some kinds of bug, and there is a story to go with each one, but the scientific info far outweighs the quirky info. I can imagine reading this book in print and being able to skim through the scientific info to get to the quirky stuff, and getting through it all during a short trip to Starbucks. Sadly, in an audio, there is no skimming, or at least it's very difficult. Also, the chapters on the audio did not match up with actual chapters, so skipping ahead to the next chapter didn't work. I'm sorry I spent a credit on this. It was definitely not worth it.
Admittedly, I haven't finished listening to it. Fine performance, and even better book, however, I do believe that it is better in the printed version (which I don't have). I found myself frantically googling the names and pictures of the animals, trying to guess the latin spelling from listening. After the fifth bug I had to stop listening as I am living in a tropical climate and just about anything can live here (our wasps are as big as a child's thumb), and I got a bit scared. So, great concept, fantastic research, and next time I'll get the printed book to peruse at my own leisure.
Reader And Listener
I don't know if the original book contains illustrations, but it's not a book well suited to audio. I give the reader credit for pronunciation of some challenging words, but it's awkward trying to follow what's basically a list of interesting (if not exactly scientifcally presented) factoids in this format.
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
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.
This is an entertaining book, though she picked many bugs common to the more sciencey TV channels so I knew some of this already. I like bugs, so I was surprised how my skin still crawled at some of the descriptions though in my head I wasnt grossed out at all. People with weaker constitutions towards creepy crawlies should probably stay away from this book.
I kept waiting for the 'meat' in this book -- it is not in depth enough and written more as a coffee table book -- also the author should hire a better reader for her material.
Addicted to audiobooks & podcasts. 5 Stars=I Loved It, 4 Stars=Enjoyed it Thoroughly, 3=Kinda Good, 2=Bad/Boring, 1=Complete Waste of Credit
I find the subject matter of this book fascinating and was looking forward to a good creepy bug book to haunt me for a bit. Unfortunately, it missed the mark two ways - 1) Not enough scientific detail - the descriptions of the insects and their behaviors were too brief. Fewer insects with more detail on each would've been better. 2) Not enough anecdotal or cultural references to make listening fun for more than a couple of hours. If there had been more "fun" stuff, I wouldn't have noticed the lack of educational content.
Although I was disappointed, I'm giving this selection 3 stars overall because I did enjoy sections of it, and it kept me interested enough to listen all the way through.