Book Review – Wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart

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

Amy Stewart

I have no recollection of why I bought this. It must have been one of those “people who bought X also bought Y” things on Amazon. Nonetheless, a good fun read which touches on a little of the science (Amy Stewart freely professes she’s no scientist early on), a lot of the crawling, flying and slimy things that make human life a little more challenging, and does it with a touch of good humor and a strong intent to inform.

I’ve no idea whether Stewart has a great editor or whether she’s something of a comic genius, but the section/chapter names are fantastic – “She’s Just Not That Into You” for the beasties with weird and often horrifying reproductive lives, “Fear No Weevils” for those infesting our food, and “Have No Fear” for those that are the subject of some human phobias.

As a kid (and still subconsciously as an adult) I was fascinated by all the things that creep and crawl. It’s astounding I didn’t end up bitten, stung, infested or otherwise damaged. I still enjoy learning about these things and Amy Stewart’s book does a good job of being informative while providing some good storytelling and recounting interesting anecdotes along the way.

Oh, and the illustrations are weird and beautiful.

If you’re at all into creepy-crawlies, I’d say give it a read. But don’t come looking for hard science.

I’m giving it a 4/5.

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