FOR RENT: Top two floors of beautifully renovated brownstone, 1300 sq. ft., 2BR 2BA, eat-in kitchen, one block to parks and playgrounds. No broker's fee.
Susan and Alex Wendt have found their dream apartment. Sure, the landlady is a little eccentric. And the elderly handyman drops some cryptic remarks about the basement. But the rent is so low, it's too good to pass up. Big mistake.
Susan soon discovers that her new home is crawling with bedbugs... or is it? She awakens every morning with fresh bites, but neither Alex nor their daughter Emma has a single welt. An exterminator searches the property and turns up nothing. The landlady insists her building is clean. Susan fears she's going mad - until a more sinister explanation presents itself: she may literally be confronting the bedbug problem from Hell.
©2011 Ben H. Winters (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
This book was really a wonderful listen. It's rare that a male writer creates a female protagonist as true-to-life as Susan, in this charming, refreshingly contemporary horror novel. There is plenty to be creeped-out by in this book, but it never sinks to a level of making you throw up. It's a psychological drama all the way. I was repeatedly impressed with Elisabeth Rodgers's narration. Usually I'm impressed if I /DON'T/ notice a reader, but in her case she brought all the characters wonderfully to life. I will deliberately seek out other books she has read.
If I'd realized that the author, Ben H. Winters, had written Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, I might have steered away from this book as too campy, or trite. But it is neither and I'm glad I didn't recognize the author's name! It's a solidly, gracefully written novel, very entertaining and I look forward to more original books by Mr. Winter!
The thing I liked about this story is that I never quite knew what kind of story it was. Every time I thought I had it figured out, something would change and I'd be left wondering again.
Great story Mr. Winters! At one point, I was so engrossed in it, I stopped listening to go have a shower just because the storyline was making me feel so creepy-crawly. Anyone who chooses to listen to this one while in the midst of moving, consider yourself warned!
Constantly in search of the perfect listen.
If you do not take, Bedbugs, too seriously you might like it. This is not an exposé about the current bedbug epidemic hitting many cities today (thank goodness). But it is urban tale, set in New York City. Susan and Alex Wendt, a young yuppie couple, move from their tiny Manhattan apartment to a “too good to be true” Brooklyn Heights brownstone. I kind of loved, and kind of hated, the constant modern day references: “Susan opened up her Macbook and updated her Facebook status,” kind of stuff. Most of the problems this couple faces are the kind of problems we’d all like to have. I guess it could be a challenge to quit your job and hire a full time nanny so that you can focus on your art. But Susan’s Bedbug issue is not something I’d wish on anybody. Are they real? Where did they come from? Why did they appear? While all of these questions are answered, in the end you are still left wondering…and itching.
The narration of this audiobook is excellent. The voice was a perfect match for the main character, a woman in her 30’s. The narrator does very well in transitioning between this character, the husband, the young daughter and the little old landlady, as well. The voice is pleasant, believable and not at all distracting from the story being told. The quality of the narration also held up when listening on double speed.
Maintained my interest from start to finish and, as the story developed, the tension built nicely. Pretty creepy. Nicely narrated too.
As noted by a previous reviewer, the narrator can make or break a story. In this case, I thought the narrator did a great job.
The story itself was creepy and kept me on the edge of my seat. I was also pleased with the ending--in my mind I had it going in a different direction so I was surprised (and pleased) when I was wrong.
This book was worth the purchase price, and I will keep my eye out for future titles from this author.
As soon as I saw this book on the home page, I know that I would end up listening to it! I could not stop seconding guessing myself. First of all, the idea of bedbugs only makes my skin itch. Now, take a new apartment add in a nice landlord (which is creepy by its self; but in Brooklyn?), and sprinkle a whole lot of blood-sucking bugs. This book freaked me out and some parts were out right disgusting. But that is what scary movies are made of.
one of the best ever! I just couldn’t stop listening to the horror! GAWD!!! My flesh is still creeping… GASP!
At the beginning I thought the narrator would be boring with the time but no way. She really does the best job. She IS the main character who is slightly boring at the beginning but she gets more and more involved with the read… you will see, this audio piece is just abso fabso! One of the best I’ve ever listened to.
So, we have a main character that is lazy, self centered and mooching off her husband while she ignored her kid by having a baby sitter daily. And people found this woman likable? By the end of the third chapter, I was wishing she'd get eaten alive and let her husband and child have a new decent person in their lives. Ben, if you can't write female protagonists that aren't needy and useless, perhaps you shouldn't try.
Living is easy with eyes closed... and headphones on.
I dont know. Weak story. There were some (very few) interesting underlying scientific nuggets incorporated towards the end, but not much otherwise. I did not feel any connection whatsoever to the characters. It is a short listen but sadly, I would hardly call it "creepy".
Shadow divers. Even though it's non-fiction it is a lot creepier than this book.
She did quite well with the voices, the kid's, the landlord. Really good job.
I'm not sure. I did listen to the whole thing, so thats a good sign because if i'm bored with a book ill drop it without thinking twice. But I kept thinking the story is going somewhere and it didn't. The final ending was unsatisfying, a typical, positive, fairy tale ending, which was a 180 degree change from where the author seemed to take it in the middle/end part. Oh and, I would hardly call this book scary like some others have. Not if you are a grown up.
Definitely will not be listening to this again.
"Itchy (in a good way)"
I like this book a lot. The author does an excellent job of painting a comfortable picture of normality, slowly introducing the peculiar and unpleasant until sudden all that is left is abnormality and insanity. It's a classic horror device, and executed here very subtley and effectively. The bugs in particular are a good theme - very few people will not have a reaction of some kind to bugs, from mild disgust to full blown phobia, and, when I started scratching part way into the book, I wasn't really surprised and took it to mean I was enjoying it. The author managed to keep me guessing regarding the eventual outcome, which I appreciate. The reader does a great job as well. I'd definitely recommend it, unless you have a phobia of insects.
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