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Bedbugs

Written by: Ben H. Winters
Narrated by: Elisabeth Rodgers
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2011 Ben H. Winters (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Bedbugs

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

skin crawling fun

Not what I was expecting, so much better.
I am still crawling from reading this.

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  • Schneider
  • 2011-09-14

OH MY GAWD!!!

one of the best ever! I just couldn’t stop listening to the horror! GAWD!!! My flesh is still creeping… GASP!

At the beginning I thought the narrator would be boring with the time but no way. She really does the best job. She IS the main character who is slightly boring at the beginning but she gets more and more involved with the read… you will see, this audio piece is just abso fabso! One of the best I’ve ever listened to.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Tricia, Audible Editor
  • 2012-04-11

Itchy!

If you do not take, Bedbugs, too seriously you might like it. This is not an exposé about the current bedbug epidemic hitting many cities today (thank goodness). But it is urban tale, set in New York City. Susan and Alex Wendt, a young yuppie couple, move from their tiny Manhattan apartment to a “too good to be true” Brooklyn Heights brownstone. I kind of loved, and kind of hated, the constant modern day references: “Susan opened up her Macbook and updated her Facebook status,” kind of stuff. Most of the problems this couple faces are the kind of problems we’d all like to have. I guess it could be a challenge to quit your job and hire a full time nanny so that you can focus on your art. But Susan’s Bedbug issue is not something I’d wish on anybody. Are they real? Where did they come from? Why did they appear? While all of these questions are answered, in the end you are still left wondering…and itching.

The narration of this audiobook is excellent. The voice was a perfect match for the main character, a woman in her 30’s. The narrator does very well in transitioning between this character, the husband, the young daughter and the little old landlady, as well. The voice is pleasant, believable and not at all distracting from the story being told. The quality of the narration also held up when listening on double speed.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Wild Wise Woman
  • 2012-01-03

Fantastic narration! Good, creepy story.

This book was really a wonderful listen. It's rare that a male writer creates a female protagonist as true-to-life as Susan, in this charming, refreshingly contemporary horror novel. There is plenty to be creeped-out by in this book, but it never sinks to a level of making you throw up. It's a psychological drama all the way. I was repeatedly impressed with Elisabeth Rodgers's narration. Usually I'm impressed if I /DON'T/ notice a reader, but in her case she brought all the characters wonderfully to life. I will deliberately seek out other books she has read.

If I'd realized that the author, Ben H. Winters, had written Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, I might have steered away from this book as too campy, or trite. But it is neither and I'm glad I didn't recognize the author's name! It's a solidly, gracefully written novel, very entertaining and I look forward to more original books by Mr. Winter!

12 people found this helpful

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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 2013-05-30

All Bedbugs are Not Created Equal

This is a very today version of Night Gallery, Amityville Horror, Rosemary's Baby and The Tell Tell Heart.

It is more then just about a bug infestation. At times you will wonder if there are bugs, what is in the basement, is the main character going crazy, why does the husband not like the landlady, how far is the main character going to go? It is a scary story with several twists that you will not see coming. I found it very entertaining and scary.

I am surprised no reviewers have mentioned the main character. I guess because it is politically incorrect. The main character is a woman, who is married and has a baby girl. She talks her husband into letting her quit her well paid job at a law firm, so she can paint. Then months go buy and she never paints a stroke. They continue to pay $400 a week in child care for the little girl. The husband does the cooking and he is very understanding and never lays a guilt trip on her. She insists that they need a bigger a apartment, even though it will be more expensive then what they already are renting. The only have sex about every other week and the husband is loyal. This guy needs to grow some balls.

Even though I did not like the main character, I still loved the story. This is story has enough elements in it that some well known writers would have stretched it out into a lot longer book, I appreciate the brevity.

I almost knocked off a star on the narrator, as I thought maybe she played the child too irritating. The kid sounds pretty spoiled the way she reads it and I am not sure that is how it was written, but considering the wife, maybe so.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Annie
  • 2011-09-13

Not quite scary or original enough

It's difficult to scare me with a book. In fact, there's just one that's kept me awake nights and made me wonder what might be hiding in the dark space under my bed. This one didn't even come close, though it turned into a decent thriller in the last couple of hours.

Inspired by recent troubles in New York City, Bedbugs is just too familiar. An ordinary family moves into a too-good-to-be-true apartment and one of them--in this case, the wife, Susan--begins to suspect something is not quite right about their new home. Strange facts about the place's history come to light. Worry turns to paranoia and then to apparent insanity. I can think of a half dozen similar stories. The ending offers some excitement, though; I admit I didn't guess correctly who/what was behind it all, and the family's fate seemed in doubt at several points.

Technically, the recording is perfect: no awkward cuts, missing words or sentences, etc. And the narrator does an excellent job. It just wasn't scary or original enough for me.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Jean
  • 2011-09-26

For daytime hours only!!!

Great story Mr. Winters! At one point, I was so engrossed in it, I stopped listening to go have a shower just because the storyline was making me feel so creepy-crawly. Anyone who chooses to listen to this one while in the midst of moving, consider yourself warned!

10 people found this helpful

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  • Donna
  • 2012-03-12

Not Bad :)

The thing I liked about this story is that I never quite knew what kind of story it was. Every time I thought I had it figured out, something would change and I'd be left wondering again.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Terri
  • 2011-11-11

GREAT LISTEN

As noted by a previous reviewer, the narrator can make or break a story. In this case, I thought the narrator did a great job.

The story itself was creepy and kept me on the edge of my seat. I was also pleased with the ending--in my mind I had it going in a different direction so I was surprised (and pleased) when I was wrong.

This book was worth the purchase price, and I will keep my eye out for future titles from this author.

6 people found this helpful

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  • C. Byrnes
  • 2014-01-24

Didn't care for it at all, and it wasn't the bugs

So, we have a main character that is lazy, self centered and mooching off her husband while she ignored her kid by having a baby sitter daily. And people found this woman likable? By the end of the third chapter, I was wishing she'd get eaten alive and let her husband and child have a new decent person in their lives. Ben, if you can't write female protagonists that aren't needy and useless, perhaps you shouldn't try.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Asenath Waite
  • 2013-11-20

Yeah, not the best

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I dont know. Weak story. There were some (very few) interesting underlying scientific nuggets incorporated towards the end, but not much otherwise. I did not feel any connection whatsoever to the characters. It is a short listen but sadly, I would hardly call it "creepy".

What do you think your next listen will be?

Shadow divers. Even though it's non-fiction it is a lot creepier than this book.

What about Elisabeth Rodgers’s performance did you like?

She did quite well with the voices, the kid's, the landlord. Really good job.

Was Bedbugs worth the listening time?

I'm not sure. I did listen to the whole thing, so thats a good sign because if i'm bored with a book ill drop it without thinking twice. But I kept thinking the story is going somewhere and it didn't. The final ending was unsatisfying, a typical, positive, fairy tale ending, which was a 180 degree change from where the author seemed to take it in the middle/end part. Oh and, I would hardly call this book scary like some others have. Not if you are a grown up.

Any additional comments?

Definitely will not be listening to this again.

5 people found this helpful