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

    • 'Half-way through The Conquest of Water I felt as if I had been subjected to the literary equivalent of excessive c… ,
    • 'Volume five, then, but still no end in sight. Sandbrook is clearly enjoying himself so much he can’t bear the seri… ,
    • 'By the end of the book something so weighty, stylish and impressive has been built up that one feels far nearer to… ,
    • 'Her ensuing psychotic episode is described so convincingly ... that the reader will wonder if Dobrakovová did not… ,
    • 'The perspectives complement and contest one another, amounting to a glorious, atmospheric set of ventriloquisms.'… ,
    • RT : I reviewed The Testaments for . I will not be taking any questions at this time. ,
    • 'The Testaments is, first and foremost, a manual of resistance ... a type of resistance that is organised, articula… ,