Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon’s Army and Other Diabolical Insects Audiobook | Amy Stewart | Audible.com
We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon’s Army and Other Diabolical Insects | [Amy Stewart]

Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon’s Army and Other Diabolical Insects

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
Regular Price:$20.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Audible Editor 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

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (262 )
5 star
 (67)
4 star
 (72)
3 star
 (79)
2 star
 (32)
1 star
 (12)
Overall
3.5 (183 )
5 star
 (52)
4 star
 (45)
3 star
 (47)
2 star
 (29)
1 star
 (10)
Story
3.7 (185 )
5 star
 (60)
4 star
 (50)
3 star
 (49)
2 star
 (18)
1 star
 (8)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Paul HARRISBURG, PA, United States 05-28-11
    Paul HARRISBURG, PA, United States 05-28-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    62
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    215
    29
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    "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.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Pitman, NJ, United States 07-24-11
    Paul Pitman, NJ, United States 07-24-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "Too Many Bugs not Enough History"

    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.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Bellevue, WA, United States 06-10-12
    Elizabeth Bellevue, WA, United States 06-10-12 Member Since 2007

    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!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    82
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    446
    125
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Don't bother"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 11-07-13
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 11-07-13 Member Since 2009

    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

    HELPFUL VOTES
    473
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    254
    105
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    97
    16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not enough...."

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob Longmont, CO, United States 07-23-12
    Bob Longmont, CO, United States 07-23-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wrong format for this book"

    An audio book is the wrong format for this book. It's essentially a list and short bio of various diseases and/or their vectors. An audio presentation is way too linear and cannot be indexed for what you want to see.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carole Las Cruces, NM, United States 07-02-12
    Carole Las Cruces, NM, United States 07-02-12 Member Since 2007

    Field Deputy Medical Investigator, Avid listener, particularly Henry VIII's period. Enjoy a good spooky story now and then.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Tick, tick tick, like The Tell Tale Heart by Poe."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Wicked Bugs to be better than the print version?

    Easier to understand.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Viviane Dunedin, New Zealand 04-28-12
    Viviane Dunedin, New Zealand 04-28-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    95
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Probably better in print"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Abigail arlington, VA, United States 09-07-11
    Abigail arlington, VA, United States 09-07-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    142
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    181
    39
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    17
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting but my skin kept crawling."

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    haesel Maryville, TN, United States 06-16-11
    haesel Maryville, TN, United States 06-16-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "All fluff no meat"

    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.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzn F Fletcher, VT, US 07-28-11
    Suzn F Fletcher, VT, US 07-28-11 Member Since 2005

    I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2256
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    673
    157
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    963
    19
    Overall
    "I'm scared and nauseated"

    Really don't listen to this while eating. And now I'm totally afraid to travel to anywhere south for fear of picking up a parasite, or to eat anywhere other than home and to be sure to cook my food thoroughly. Because with my luck I'll get a dreadful disease from a bug; Ms. Stewart happily points out. And if this isn't all enough, one would think at least think this an interesting book on bugs, but it really didn't hold my interest. It wasn't so much the content per se, I think. I felt as though it all moved along almost too quickly so that I wasn't able to take in what was being presented. Oh well.......

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 25 results PREVIOUS123NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.