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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Maintained my interest from start to finish and, as the story developed, the tension built nicely. Pretty creepy. Nicely narrated too.
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.
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.
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
This is a very today version of Night Gallery, Amityville Horror, Rosemary's Baby and The Tell Tell Heart.
It is more then just about a bug infestation. At times you will wonder if there are bugs, what is in the basement, is the main character going crazy, why does the husband not like the landlady, how far is the main character going to go? It is a scary story with several twists that you will not see coming. I found it very entertaining and scary.
I am surprised no reviewers have mentioned the main character. I guess because it is politically incorrect. The main character is a woman, who is married and has a baby girl. She talks her husband into letting her quit her well paid job at a law firm, so she can paint. Then months go buy and she never paints a stroke. They continue to pay $400 a week in child care for the little girl. The husband does the cooking and he is very understanding and never lays a guilt trip on her. She insists that they need a bigger a apartment, even though it will be more expensive then what they already are renting. The only have sex about every other week and the husband is loyal. This guy needs to grow some balls.
Even though I did not like the main character, I still loved the story. This is story has enough elements in it that some well known writers would have stretched it out into a lot longer book, I appreciate the brevity.
I almost knocked off a star on the narrator, as I thought maybe she played the child too irritating. The kid sounds pretty spoiled the way she reads it and I am not sure that is how it was written, but considering the wife, maybe so.
This was a good story and worth a listen. It is not only about bedbugs and the twist using these creatures was interesting. It has a rythm that makes you want to find out what happens next, so be prepared for a good long sit down. You will find it worthwhile
"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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