The Cockroach Papers: A Compendium of History and Lore
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The Cockroach Papers: A Compendium of History and Lore

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  22 ratings  ·  6 reviews
What has six legs, skulks around late at night, and likes to sniff out the hidden crevices, the dank corners, and the dark recesses? The cockroach, of course. The cockroach is a bug of great design. Most of its contemporaries from the Carboniferous period -- around 300 million B.C. -- are extinct, but cockroaches live on reproducing inside our walls and traveling the world...more
Paperback, 266 pages
Published November 27th 1999 by Basic Books (first published November 2nd 1999)
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Tim Martin
Hold on, I know what you are thinking. Tim, you read a book on roaches. Cockroaches (as if we need to say that to avoid any confusion). For fun. And liked it.

I did! It is a good book! Very well written and yes, tells you more about cockroaches than you ever hoped, dreamed, or dared to know. Since I assume you are still reading this review, here a few tidbits:
- Of the about 5000 species of cockroach worldwide, only about 100 are associated with mankind.
- The ancienbt Romans called them lucifuga...more
Apr 18, 2009 Hol added it
This was so fascinating I could not put it down. Actually, I put it down only to go make dinner--and naturally had a false roach sighting, an oblong lint ball near the laundry rack--then quickly finished it. The book includes memoir, science, history, and culture, all loosely braided together by the theme of cockroaches. I especially liked learning about the American cockroach in Southern African-American folklore, where it was a Trickster figure (the bug arrived on slave ships and is slyly adap...more
Sep 10, 2007 Inc rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: most people.
I'm not sure where my copy of this is right now, but I enjoyed it enough that I'm going to buy another just in case. So what else should I say, that's recommendation enough, right?

Ok, it's all about cockroaches so maybe I'm biased. Still, you have to live with them...wouldn't you like to know why? Or what they are? Or how they work?

If you ever saw a white cockroach I think you should read this book.
A light read on a serious subject that touches on all the major aspects of cockroaches with famous quotes thrown in. Anatomy, behavior, and extermination are all well covered as are the roach's place in art and society. Personal anecdotes from the author make what could be a dry text highly enjoyable though I still don't recommend reading while eating, especially the part about roaches harboring in ears. *shudder*
Everything you could ever want to know about cockroaches. And they are repulsive but fascinating. Most amazing is their biological systems.
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