Friday, August 26, 2011

Book Review: Bedbugs by Ben H. Winters

Release date: Sept. 6, 2011

Quirk Books

[from the back cover]

FOR RENT: Top two floors of beautifully renovated brownstone. 1,300 sq. ft.,

2BR 2BA, eat-in kitchen, one block to parks and playgrounds. No broker's fee.

I'd like to say two (2) things right off the bug ... I mean, bat.

One, Ben Winters is a New York Times best-selling author for a reason. The

guy's that good! Fans of Sense, Sensibility and Sea Monsters know what I'm talking about.

Two, if Stephen King and Bentley Little went through some hideous teleportation accident

and emerged as one being - that being would be Ben Winters. Seriously.

Edgy and evenly paced, Bedbugs begins innocently enough with the upwardly mobile

Susan and Alex Wendt *just looking* [we all know where this leads] for an affordable

place to rent.

Susan, stay-at-home mother of their young daughter - Emma, yearns for a larger

apartment to accommodate her growing family. Her fantasy/dream home includes a

special room just for Susan to renew her artistic desire for oil painting.

Stumbling across an ad for what appears to be the perfect place, the Wendts quickly set
up an appointment to meet with Brooklyn landlady Andrea Scharfstein - a

dry-as-dust and helpful to the point of hellish geriatric who slowly emerges as

the poster child for creepy old ladies.

They say there's "no such thing as a free lunch", and this is where the Wendts discover

their dream apartment has a small problem. Hundreds, thousands of them to be exact!

And they've targeted Susan as their next victim ...

Bedbugs is one of the best horror reads of the year. Even though I knew better,

I couldn't put it down, gobbling the entire book in one emotionally-fraught sitting.

I say emotionally-fraught because I'm mildly phobic about bedbugs, and suspicious

of landlords in general.

And ehmagawd, suddenly I discover there's good reason to be, at least according to

Ben Winters.

The M.A.D. take on Bedbugs:

An 'all-nighter' - there's no putting this book down once you start.

*and here's a dirty little secret for you ... besides an epic story featuring an absolutely

awesome cover, HUNDREDS of terrible, tiny bedbugs are scattered throughout the pages.

Thank goodness they're only ink on paper.

... for now.

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