Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bedbugs by Ben H Winters

Goodreads Synopsis:

FOR RENT: Top two floors of beautifully renovated brownstone, 1300 sq. ft., 2BR 2BA, eat-in kitchen, one block to parks and playgrounds. No broker’s fee.

Susan and Alex Wendt have found their dream apartment.

Sure, the landlady is a little eccentric. And the elderly handyman drops some cryptic remarks about the basement. But the rent is so low, it’s too good to pass up.

Big mistake. Susan soon discovers that her new home is crawling with bedbugs . . . or is it? She awakens every morning with fresh bites, but neither Alex nor their daughter Emma has a single welt. An exterminator searches the property and turns up nothing. The landlady insists her building is clean. Susan fears she’s going mad—until a more sinister explanation presents itself: she may literally be confronting the bedbug problem from Hell.

My Take:

I will NEVER forget this book!  Every time I change the sheets, I think about this book! Okay, I even admit that sometimes when I just 'look' at the bed, I think of this book!  Bedbugs, ugh!  The book was GREAT in the fact that this creepy subject matter just gets right under your skin!  I was itching as I read it, or even if I think of it!  I mean WHO doesn't FEAR BEDBUGS?  You hear them talked about on the television newstations, specials on TV, in the newspapers and online.  It is our greatest fear that "we" get Bedbugs in 'our' own beds!  It used to be we just needed a mattress pad to protect the mattress from dust mites, spills, etc.  Now when shopping for mattress pads or  for covers for your boxspring mattresses, we come across all these 'Bedbug Proof' things.  It used to be you could just buy these things, no problem. Now, everything is warning us about products being 'bedbug proof', 'repels bedbugs', and more!  This puts fear into us now!  What a nightmare!  The thought of getting them, having them crawling on us at night, the thought of them taking a bloodmeal from our bodies is disgusting!  Yet it is true.  They are rampant as the areas we live in become more Urban, the 'once possible threat' has become reality for many people.  I think this is what attracted me to this book.  Fear.  Fear of getting bedbugs ourselves!  I happened to see this book as a giveaway during one of our recent Blog Hops.  I put in hoping to win it, but didn't, so I HAD to go and purchase this book! I HAD to read this!

This book was realistically terrific!  In this book, ONLY Susan seems to be getting bit by something.  Why just Susan?  Emma, her daughter, and Alex, her husband, do not seem to have one single bite on them from anything.  Why only Susan?  The very first night sleeping in this new apartment, her husband, Alex, found blood on Susan's pillowcase.  They searched for this little critter that could have possibly bit her, but could not find one.  They blew it off at that time, except Susan.  Susan hires an Exterminator, who has all the latest and greatest of gadgets that are used to detect bugs.  Any type of bugs.  Even bedbugs.  The Exterminator says there are NO BEDBUGS or any other types of bugs in their home.  Susan is glad, but SO confused.  Something in the back of her mind is telling her it is bedbugs.  Why?  What about the back room where Susan started to turn it into her painting studio?  The smell coming from that room.  What is it?  What happened to her painting?
There are three sections to this book.  The first section lays out all the ground work, the second develops the suspense, and the last tells us what happens.  
This was a very good, suspenseful book.  I enjoyed reading it very much.  It was an adventure we went on with the main character as she tries to figure out what all these bite marks are on her skin.  She even made a trip to the doctor to try to find out what it is.  The doctor told her she is being delusional, which made her very angry.  The author really held my attention  from start to finish.  The character development was very good, focusing primarily on Susan.  
If you would like to read a wonderfully suspenseful book on what could happen to you, this book is IT!  If there is something that YOU fear greatly, such as bedbugs, THIS book is IT!  Very true-to-life, and very entertaining.  This book WILL stay with you forever!  Or at least as long as you allow it to!  I look forward to more realistically written books like this from this author!  I hope they are as good as this one!  I HIGHLY recommend reading this one!
I give this book a HIGH 4-star rating!
Enjoy!  Keep some lotion on the table next to you as you read this, so if you start to itch, you can put some of that lotion on!

I read this book as part of the Just for Fun Reading Challenge, where we choose books WE WANT to read for ourselves, Just for FUN!  This is my January wrap-up post.  You can read MORE about this Challenge at this link:  It takes you over to Goodreads, where this Challenge is being held at.  When you get there, you will see posts split up according to the alphabet as to 'who' is participating!  It is a LOT of fun!


  1. Sounds creepy. Deliciously Creepy! :)

  2. Hey Laurie:
    I wish I had known you were looking for this book. I just gave it away the other day. Anyway, here is my review of the book:

    Julie @ My Favorite Pastime(formerly My Only Vice)
    I also am the Edifying half of Edifying and Edgy

  3. Mardel,
    Yes, DELICIOUSLY creepy!!! As it gets closer to the end, WOW!!! Sorry, no spoilers, though!!! LOL!

  4. I don't fear bedbugs it's just the feeling of them being on my body that makes me feel disgusted. I bet the book was really creepy but i love those kinds of books that make you feel uncomfortable and you just don't want to sit on your bed anymore. Haha


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