“Grasshopper Jungle” is two for one. On one level, it is a darkly comic story about the end of the world. The book’s narrator and protagonist — 16-year-old Austin Szerba, of the fictional town of Ealing, Iowa — accidentally unleashes an infestation of six-foot-tall praying mantises, products of a scientific experiment gone kookily awry. These HUGE insects are practically indestructible and only desire two things: ONE: Procreate; TWO: Eat anything in sight.
On another level, “Grasshopper Jungle” is a novel about adolescence. Like most teenage boys, Austin fairly vibrates with pubescent energy and blunderbuss desires; still a virgin, he fantasizes endlessly about sex.
I've NEVER read a book even remotely like this one. But it's extremely good and well written, and I thought I'd share it with you. :)