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Demon Copperhead: A Novel



A New York Times "Ten Best Books of the Year" - 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 [the year]. . . . 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.

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560 pages

Average rating: 8.48




Community Reviews

Jul 05, 2024
10/10 stars
Genius reimagining of the David Copperfield story
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Jun 27, 2024
9/10 stars
Superb novel-well deserved prizewinner
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Jun 21, 2024
8/10 stars
Coming of age novel in foster care, along with the opioid epidemic. Super long, but somehow the end felt rushed. Writing was excellent. A bit preachy. I savored all of it, except maybe the last hundred pages or so, they just could’ve either been cut or somehow edited better.
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Jun 17, 2024
9/10 stars
Captivating, heartbreaking, and real. It was a hard read but totally worth it. I wish I could jump into the book and give Demon a hug. The book will not make you feel good but will make you have deep empathy for those that find themselves in his shoes.
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May 03, 2024
7/10 stars
Written with skill and beauty but it did not make me feel good and the ending seemed rushed
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