Michael Burleigh

Battle Bugs

Six-legged Soldiers: Using Insects as Weapons of War


Oxford University Press 377pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

Six-legged Soldiers is the work of a familiar two-legged species: the jaunty scientist with a scary story to tell. Jeffrey A Lockwood is an entomologist and teacher of creative writing in Wyoming. His book is breezily written, although hardly as ‘gripping’ as the various blurbs by fellow entomologists optimistically aver. Few books require the equivalent of health warnings. However, this one may make readers itchy, with its graphic descriptions of lice replicating in the seams of clothes, and it is not good bedtime reading either, since even without a stiff drink they may well dream of ants and spiders scurrying up and down walls.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • The entertaining Howard Jacobson is in conversation with Prof John Mullan at the Queen’s Park Book Festival on Sund… ,
    • 'A modest and retiring man, Thompson spent his life describing apple varieties and recommending the best – Ribston… ,
    • 'Macfarlane is a poet with the instincts of a thriller writer, an autodidact in botany, mycology, geology and palae… ,
    • 'Some scholars attribute Shakespeare’s pre-eminence to four centuries of propaganda and not to the fact that Hamlet… ,
    • RT : We would appreciate any retweets ,
    • We've just stumbled on a gem from the LR archive. The emoluments page from May 1995, in which one reviewer asked to… ,
    • Unlike Mary Shelley's monstrous creation, Jeanette Winterson's Frankenstein-inspired novel feels 'barely alive', sa… ,