This book took me awhile to read. It was a recommendation from Pop Culture Happy Hour and I did like reading the beginning.
I have a background in public health. I love history. I am one of those people who get bitten frequently to the point where I don’t like camping or being in the woods too long. The bites tend to be big and very itchy too. It’s a real nuisance and inconvenience. With all that in mind, this book was right up my alley.
The author is a Canadian academic in the US with a background in military history so there is a huge focus on human conflict and mosquito borne illnesses. The focus is largely on Western countries. I would have preferred more history in Asia, Africa and Oceania.
I like the first half of the book as it had a wider history of the ancient world, but as the book progressed, the focus became more centred around American history. The author does a good job of depicting historical facts and anecdotes for a wide audience. However, this is still a a dense history book. I had to return it to the library and when I tried reading the ebook version, I find it difficult to get into the subject matter. With dense books, I much prefer the book format over ebook. As a consequence and of other factors (the pandemic closing my local library for months), I only picked this book again after a year and finished where I left off.
The writing is fine. I do think the author also has some melodramatic tendencies when talking about the mosquito. There is a lot to learn from this book especially if you are not familiar with some health or military history. Even with my background in both, I learned a few things. I do not regret picking this book up but it’s less fun than when I started.
If you like military and health history, I’d recommend a peak into this book.
Started reading August 30, 2019. On hold from September 4, 2019. Resumed late September 2020. Finished on October 6, 2020.