Sebastian Shakespeare

A Bug’s Life

Mosquito: The Story of Man's Deadliest Foe


Faber & Faber 247pp £10.99 order from our bookshop

Harvard Professor Andrew Spielman has dedicated his life to understanding the mosquito. Just as William Blake saw the world in a grain of sand, Spielman sees Darwinism embodied in the flying bloodsucker. Like the insect itself, his book provokes fascination and irritation. It is full of illuminating anecdotes, recherché facts, mind–boggling statistics (two million people a year die of malaria) and a lifetime’s wisdom distilled into two hundred pages. But all too often the narrative voice is drowned out by annoying buzz words (‘vector’, ‘pathogen’ and so on). Regrettably, mankind has not yet devised a prophylactic against scientific jargon.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,