Wicked Bugs

The Louse That Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other Diabolical Insects
Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other Diabolical Insects. 5 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 5½ hrs. Tantor Audio. 2011. ISBN 9781452632605. $59.99; 5 CDs. retail ed.; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. SCI
They're everywhere! Insects, arachnids, and gastropods that bite, sting, burrow, invade, and otherwise compete with humans in their effort to survive and reproduce. Stewart follows her best-selling Wicked Plants with this delightfully gruesome compilation of facts about the critters with which we share the planet. The Asian Giant Hornet, up to five centimeters long, is a recent threat in Japan. When it stings it leaves a pheromone that attracts other giant hornets to sting the same site—how nice! Bedbugs, which can live up to a year without feeding (in upholstery or bedding, for example) until a human host comes along, are a renewed threat in New York. Along with the scientific facts, Stewart also includes historical and literary anecdotes (the death-watch beetle that horrified the madman in Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart"). Coleen Marlo's narration is very clear and well paced. This may not be the ideal selection for an outdoor camping trip, but it will appeal to kids and young adults as well as the general public who like creepy crawlies. [The Algonquin hc, published in May, was a New York Times best seller.—Ed.]—Nann Blaine Hilyard, Zion-Benton P.L., IL

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