This is the sort of book just about anyone could cook up after an entomological tour of Wikipedia and then some further--but not too deep--research at a library. It is superficially scientific, at least Latin names are used, but little more than a catalog, with brief venture into pestiferous Ripley's Believe It Or Not gosh awful descriptions of the tortures of insect or arachnid toxins. It might serve as a sort of bar bet reference, but is otherwise is fairly dull.
The narration is good, but the material to be narrated verges on tedious so it is hard to stay with it.
The title and reviews made this book sound more interesting than it turned out to be. I heard about it on NPR and so purchased it. I was hoping for more interesting stories about how insects have affected history or changed humanity, but it felt more like a dry recital of facts most of the time. I did not finish listening to the book as I grew bored with it.
Wonderful stories and details. I enjoyed learning about these amazing creatures that share the world with us.
This is a really interesting book about bugs. The narration is good. It reads like an encyclopedia though, so it may have been better in print. I do not regret listening to the entire thing and would recommend it for those who don't have the time to read the print version.
Great idea, and it starts out with the interesting and unusual sex lives of various critters...stories about insects and other crawlies (Stewart uses the term "bug" in the loose common term rather than the scientific sense) are fascinating and more than a little creepy, especially when we get to the lifecycle of some of the human parasites and disease vectors.
My complaint is that each "bug's" narrative is interesting individually but the writing is a bit formulaic and after a while they all blurred together.
I liked Coleen Marlo's narration, she conveyed Stewart's sense of humor and interest in her subject.
Overall, I rated it at about 3 1/2 stars; I rounded up to 4.
Audible listener who's grateful for a long commute!
I'll definitely listen to this book again - so much information was packed into a very short read, I want to make sure I heard everything.
Was it the magots? The worms? The mind-controlling parasites? So hard to choose . . .
This book, with the wrong reader, could have been dull, plodding, and full of dreadful mispronounciations. Coleen Marlo is a lively reader, and her ability to pronounce complex Latin names without hesitating is admirable. Definitely the right narrator for this book.
I woke up in the middle of the night with a nightmare that I had bugs in my body. I wouldn't recommend listening to this right before bed.
I'm planning on ordering "Wicked Plants" by the same author.
Long time listener - very eclectic mixture of reads. Never bored. Glad I started this way to read books over a decade ago.
This books title might throw you off base thinking, as I did, that you would get some historical information about Napoleon's army and the loss to the Russians. What you will get is approximately 10 minutes near the end of the book and that is it. Otherwise the book is a disease lovers delight giving information about the multitude of organisms, insects, protozoa and other disease bearing vectors. In a way it is interesting; yet, written like a text book listing the carrier by genus and species then detailing the: country of origin, disease and the havoc this particular disease causes humans. Other information includes details about cousins of the original offender and their blights - if any.