A NEW YORK TIMES "TEN BEST BOOKS OF 2022"
An Oprah’s Book Club Selection • An Instant New York Times Bestseller • An Instant Wall Street Journal Bestseller • A #1 Washington Post Bestseller
"Demon is a voice for the ages—akin to Huck Finn or Holden Caulfield—only even more resilient.” —Beth Macy, author of Dopesick
"May be the best novel of 2022. . . . Equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking, this is the story of an irrepressible boy nobody wants, but readers will love.” (Ron Charles, Washington Post)
From the acclaimed author of The Poisonwood Bible and The Bean Trees, a brilliant novel that enthralls, compels, and captures the heart as it evokes a young hero’s unforgettable journey to maturity
Set in the mountains of southern Appalachia, Demon Copperhead is the story of a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father’s good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival. Relayed in his own unsparing voice, Demon braves the modern perils of foster care, child labor, derelict schools, athletic success, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses. Through all of it, he reckons with his own invisibility in a popular culture where even the superheroes have abandoned rural people in favor of cities.
Many generations ago, Charles Dickens wrote David Copperfield from his experience as a survivor of institutional poverty and its damages to children in his society. Those problems have yet to be solved in ours. Dickens is not a prerequisite for readers of this novel, but he provided its inspiration. In transposing a Victorian epic novel to the contemporary American South, Barbara Kingsolver enlists Dickens’ anger and compassion, and above all, his faith in the transformative powers of a good story. Demon Copperhead speaks for a new generation of lost boys, and all those born into beautiful, cursed places they can’t imagine leaving behind.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
With a hat tip to David Copperfield, Barbara Kingsolver’s brilliant novel portrays a modern-day Appalachia that’s every bit as dangerous and unforgiving as Dickens’ Victorian London. Young Demon was born into an area of rural Tennessee where the only constants are poverty, drugs, and a dearth of opportunities. After losing his teen athletic gifts to a knee injury, Demon’s future looks grim. Saddled with a drug-addicted mother, a tragic father, and a system that never fails to fail, Demon faces a daunting journey. We love how Kingsolver never diminishes the darkness of Demon’s world, yet still manages to provide points of light like his determined foster sister, Angus, an academic star with big plans to help the entire community. Narrator Charlie Thurston captures Demon’s often-wry voice without losing the weight behind the words. Kingsolver is a staggeringly talented storyteller. She can’t change the real-world hardships that Demon faces, but she can make us see them in a new light.
The perfect title.
I loved this book from start to finish. Barbara Kingsolver is the most descriptive writer out there. She can make a sentence go from here to the street and you won’t be at all annoyed or bored. Demon Copperhead is a character I’ll never forget.
I loved the book, characters, setting, dialogue. Everything. I was skeptical overall at first. The comparison to Dickens made me hesitate. But one evening I couldn’t decide from my long list of “want to read” books so I chose this one. BK nailed it all, characters, including the dialogue, settings-all if it. Realistic in its depiction of addicted life too.
This story had me hooked from beginning to end. Must read or listen. The audiobook narrated by Charlie Thurston is a masterpiece in itself. Thurston does an incredible job telling the story and portraying the characters.