TITLE: Bugged: The Insects Who Ruled the World and the People Obsessed with Them
AUTHOR: David MacNeal
DATE PUBLISHED: 2017
I have mixed feelings about this book. Some of the information was interesting and informative (if superficial), some less so. However, the writing style was overly chatty and erratic, with various anecdotes jumping around all over the place and no real flow to the book. It reminded me a lot of a Mary Roach book, with the forced humour, over chattiness, disjointed subject matter and too much interview details in comparison with actual information. This is especially problematic with the first 3 chapters which tend to read like a collection of random facts. Later chapters are an improvement but could still use some work and less forced humour. I found the final chapter on bees and apiculture to be very interesting. This book also contains a vast number of, usually irrelevant, footnotes.
MacNeal focuses more on the "people obsessed with bugs" than the actual bugs, so if you are looking for information on insects specifically you aren't really going to find it in this book. If you are looking for information on humans and their strange interactions with bugs, then this book may be for you. The author covers such topics as genetically modified mosquitoes, cyborg cockroaches, assisted spider sex, insect taxidermists, insect farming and processing for human consumption, insect smuggling, bedbug extermination, dung and corpse "removal" services of bugs, and medicinal uses of bugs.
So, in conclusion, the book is interesting but could really use an editor, better structuring and focus, and less chattiness.
Warning Note: The F-bomb is dropped several times. Once in chapter 1 and several times in the chapter on cyborg-cockroaches.