Book Review | Bedbugs by Ben H. Winters

bedIn a word, Bedbugs was flawless. I loved every frightening and overwhelming page. The marketing fellow at Quirk Books was kind enough to send me an advance copy and thank goodness he did because I would likely have missed this book, which will certainly go down as one of my favorites of the year.

The story is simple yet full of twists and turns. A young family moves into an apartment in Brooklyn Heights, NY that seems too good to be true. And so, of course, it is. The characters were authentic, the pacing was impeccable and the scary bits were, well, scary!

Part of the reason I enjoyed this book so much is because I’ve been reading a lot of contemporary novels recently and have been struck by how many authors try way, way too hard to write a sort of modern hipster character. They do so by just throwing in random, misplaced and often downright irrelevant cultural references in or quote some hipster author or hipster film and god damn does that get on my nerves.

Mr. Winters is clearly an actual hipster, or has at least spent time in actual hipster habitats, because he managed to write a totally believable, spot-on novel that feels authentically modern. The characters shop at Trader Joes and Ikea, they’re constantly messing around on their iPhones and for goodness sake there is a cat named Catastrophe! It really did work though and had an honest, natural vibe that I do believe will stand the test of time.

Overall, this novel was crisp, original and terrifying. I would recommend it to the non-faint-of-heart but a warning: it’ll make you want to burn your bedding.

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