Demon Copperhead A Novel

$ 19,00


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.

SKU: 0063251922
Publisher ‏ : ‎

Harper (October 18, 2022)

Language ‏ : ‎


Hardcover ‏ : ‎

560 pages

ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎


ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎


Item Weight ‏ : ‎

1.94 pounds

Dimensions ‏ : ‎

6 x 1.48 x 9 inches

Best Sellers Rank:

#5 in Literary Fiction (Books)

Customer Reviews:

7,108 ratings

Customer Reviews

1-5 of 10 reviews

  • bethcross

    Earlier this year, I read my first Barbara Kingsolver novel, Unsheltered, and I was blown away. So beautifully and empathetically written. So hopeful, and a lot of fun, despite dealing with the pressures that are common among a lot of us now.This book? Wow, where to begin. Like the book I’ve just mentioned, this one is beautifully and empathetically written. It took me a long time to get through – not because it’s a slog or boring. It is intense. By that I mean the reader has to be fully engaged in it, and therein lies my personal problem.Like many in this country, someone I love was deeply addicted to opioids. It was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever been witness to. Right now, he is on even keel and doing well. I pray every day and beg every star in the heavens it stays that way, much like a family of a cancer patient in remission must pray for a clean bill of health at every checkup. How does one ever breathe fully again, knowing a monster is following your person every day, waiting, stalking??This book triggered so many things, I had to put it down and walk away. It’s that accurate. Demon was my person on more than one occasion. The origin stories are not the same, but the roadmap and highway markers are all there. I had nightmares during my reading of this book, trouble sleeping. Anxiety throughout.Demon’s voice is that strong, his personality so engaging. I will NEVER stop thinking about Demon.Technically, Barbara Kingsolver has one more book with a 4- to 5-star personal rating to qualify as one of my favorite authors. However, I’m bending that rule a bit in this case. Two books, characters I’ve loved in both that I will remember forever. I think that’s enough of a gift for an author to give, and I have no doubts about my next Kingsolver read.

    December 25, 2022
  • D. Dunstock

    “The wonder is that you could start life with nothing, end with nothing, and lose so much in between.”.OH Demon Copperhead. What a gut punch. We may have another month and a half to go in 2022 but Demon Copperhead is my favorite book of the year and I can say that with 100% confidence. This is just a beautiful, heart-wrenching story. Even sitting down to write this review is making me emotional..Demon Copperhead is a modern day, American tale of about the institutional poverty and the damage that it causes children in our society, and is based on Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield. Kingsolver wrote this “For the Survivors” – those that made it out of their “station” escaping the crippling poverty, addiction, ect that is so prevalent in the American south and Appalachia.. It is a gripping story that opened my eyes to how so much of the world lives in atrocious conditions..If you read one book this year, let it be this one.

    December 25, 2022
  • Moira kaplan

    This book is an education. A keen journey into a world not my own, yet Kingsolver makes it knowable.This is a novel with breath and depth and characters that haunt and instruct. I am sad the book is over yet grateful for the ending.Barbara Kingsolver wrote with such force, humor, perception and brilliance. We learn specifics as to how this area of our country has been plundered, shat upon, neglected and abused as this shame is made manifest in the lives of the folks made real to the reader.Of course, Demon Copperhead stands out from the rest and one roots for him from the very moment he is born, in a natal sack, on the floor of the single wide.I have read several books by Barbara Kingsolver and have learned from and enjoyed them all. Demon Copperhead is by far my most favorite and I thank the author for such a masterful book.

    December 25, 2022
  • happy camper

    This is a work of art. I was dubious after reading reviews, but was hooked (hmm maybe a bad word choice) from the first page. Kingsolver creates an empathetic narrator, a person who seems very real, and that voice is resonates through the book. She not only destroys stereotypes, she creates a world few of us know or understand. This book is a gift of love- brilliantly written, compelling, compassionate, insightful, heartbreaking.

    December 25, 2022
  • Bruce and Kathy O’Gorman

    His name was Damon, and he had the red hair of his late father. He was dubbed Demon Copperhead by the other kids and it stuck. He was living in Lee County, Virginia, with a mother who had him as a teen. This wonderful tome of a book follows his life as an orphan, through years in the foster care system, through drug addiction at the beginning of the opioid crisis. By the end of the first chapter, I was totally invested in this boy and his life. Adventures and misadventures. The cast of characters that remind me of people I know and will never forget.Even though this is a very long book, I found myself purposely reading slower so I would have longer with these characters. This is my first Barbara Kingsolver book and my favorite read of 2022. This book will wrench every emotion from you. Grab some Kleenex and read this one. Five stars.

    December 25, 2022
  • Dianne W.

    This is easily one of the best books I’ve ever read. It reached out and grabbed me on the first page and wouldn’t let go. Probably will never let me go. If your roots are in Appalachia, as mine are, it’s especially a must read.First, Barbra Kingsolver; enough said right there. Her sentences alone can make your heart sing. I think this novel may be her crowning achievement.This coming-of-age story is told through the eyes of Demon Copperhead, a boy born to an addicted teenage mother in western Virginia, an area blighted by the opioid crisis. I’m from Western North Carolina, a spit from where this takes place, and every bit of it rings true, especially the language and the idioms. Demon goes through a difficult, at times harrowing, childhood at the hands of an abusive stepfather and a deeply broken foster care system. It’s hard to read at times, but Demon has so much pluck and resilience, I HAD to keep reading. The compelling story telling and short chapters kept me glued to the page.I was afraid this book would break my heart and depress me too much to finish it. But just when you think you can’t take any more, things take a significant turn for the better for Demon, and the story takes off again.I literally couldn’t put this book down. Sometimes I would slam it shut at a chapter’s end just to get some sleep…only to be back at it 5 minutes later. 😂 Ultimately, this is a deeply satisfying coming-of-age story, beautifully told by a literary master. Many of the characters will live in me forever. It’s also an insightful and disturbing look at the opioid crisis, as well as a window into why it’s not always so simple to “pull yourself up by the bootstraps.”

    December 25, 2022
  • Kindle Customer

    I know the lives foster kids live, I heard their horrific stories they told once they were lucky enough to make it to my parents’ doorstep. There they were loved and nurtured and in one case married my cousin once out of college. Far too many children fall through the cracks and if they survive way too many are broken past redemption. It broke my heart to read this. That said, the author’s dialogues are pitch perfect, a captivating read. Well, except for the heartbreaking parts.

    December 25, 2022
  • Joan

    This is one of the best books I have read in a long time! It’s not a short book and the writing style took a tiny bit to get used to but it is worth it! I will be honest and say that I don’t even know the David Copperfield story but Demon Copperhead is a character you will not forget!

    December 25, 2022
  • KE

    I absolutely loved this book! It started out maybe just a tad slow, but after a few chapters, I was totally hooked. I imagine Demon’s tale is not all that uncommon, which is a sad commentary on our society. Big pharma with their powerful influence on our legistlators; these heartless companies still often getting away with murder. In any case, back to the book – the characters are fantastic, the writing superb and the story a great one.

    December 25, 2022
  • cjcollector

    A third of the way through this novel, I felt such despair for the resilient protagonist and his rag tag band of acquaintances, a few of which are his friends, I almost quit reading. The pain of growing up in the foster care system, poor and uncared for in Appalachia, that Kingsolver exposes, was enough to make me feel weepy despite this book being a novel. Truth rang out.Then I remembered David Copperfield, the Dickens’ protagonist upon whom her main character is based, had a happy ending. So I kept reading. And am grateful I did.This is a fulfilling read. There is sentiment but it is not sentimental. Celebrating the beauty that survives in the overlooked — people and cultures and areas — despite the indifference the world projects.My only complaint is that a few of the important characters seemed less than realized. Particularly Hammer, who I wished to know and understand better. He seemed peripheral until he wasn’t.This is a small complaint. Every novelist needs to focus on the story as they see it. So my wishing I knew more about certain characters does not diminish the mastery in her story telling.I agree with others that this is one of the best novels of 2022 and I highly recommend it.

    December 25, 2022

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