Demon Copperhead

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver Book Summary


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.

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver Book Reviews

Payoneer 💰 5 star

Wondering how you could earn $25 by just signing up? Earn $25 for free by joining Payoneer. Sign Up!

 I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Not only did I learn new things, meet, fascinating characters, and thoroughly enjoy myself, but as usual, I also enjoyed Kingsolver’s writing style.

Barbara Kingsolver knows how to tell a story and this one is right up there. Excellent character development and plot. Really follows the original David Copperfield story but with it’s own creative process. Truly keeps you glued to the book. An absolute must read but does take a minute!

So, so good.

I loved the story telling in this book it was very matter of fact and didn’t sugar coat or hold back at all. As someone who wants to become more of an avid reader this was a great book to get me wanting more. The book really made me think too I loved the main characters way of thinking and found myself disappointed in him and rooting for him all at the same time.

This is an important story and I am so glad to have read it. I enjoyed it very much

So well written! Couldn’t put it down. Highly recommend!

I am hating saying goodbye to Demon Copperhead. Worth every sentence.

The author is unbelievably talented. This book is so raw, but so good.

This interesting twist on David Copperfield is excellent. The author is true to both the Dickens classic and life in the opioid-addled hills of Western Virginia. As always, Kingsolver develops multi-faceted characters and finds hints of goodness in even the most flawed characters. Not for the faint of heart, but still a wonderful novel.

This book was so real. There were times I had to take a break from reading because the story was physically making my stomach hurt. The empathy I felt for the characters was overwhelming at times. But overall, it is a story of hope. Indomitable hope.

Just a sad book

This book was horrible, I keep reading but it never got any better, just horrible stuff happening to this young man, when they started shooting up I had to stop, too much anxiety on my part, I will not be reading any more kingsolver books in the near future. If you want to be depressed then read this book, otherwise read something that’s more uplifting.

Be warned, if you like prolonged tales of failure, addiction, death, and depression this is your book. For me the characters were depressing and the end lacked any finality.

Coming from the system i am here to tell you this excellent book was so hard for this 70 yo woman as so much took me back to those early yrs of mine in Oklahoma. Different but the same. Gripping at times. This book goes the range of emotions. Sad funny delighted scared happy destroyed and tears laughter. Im so happy i have read it. Thank you all who made this book come alive especially the author.

Truly loved this book. I so wanted for Demon to turn his life around and find his happiness. I’m certainly not going to reveal if this ever happened here in my review! I’ve never understood why some people become addicts. this story gave me an appreciation of why some submit to addiction. No one wants to become an addict, however each has their story of what led them to their addiction. This was my first Barbara Kingsolver novel; it certainly is not my last.

Loved this book! As life goes on you start to realizes that there are class systems that we all get put in, maybe upgraded, maybe not, but the struggles of this young boy and his friends was real from beginning to end! A few lucky ones break away.

The writing as usual is spectacular, weaving elements of nature and culture into an amazing story as only she can. That being said I almost quit on this book several times. It is just so very heavy and sad with so few uplifting moments. I would say the journey of this book feels like watching an ASPCA commercial—sad, guilty, and hopeless. Ultimately I’m glad I saw it though to the end. I even feel guilty writing this review because I love Barbara Kingsolver so very much!

When I back up a few pages to re-read a section, I know I’ve got hold of a really great book. This is one of those.

If you like books about recovery and self discovery then you will love these characters

Potentially life-changing read for just about anyone from anywhere…

Great insight and realities. Page-turner for me. Loved it.

Such a great story. Love the author … read all of her books.

A realistic look into the effects of the opioid crisis but told in a masterful story telling way. Parts of the book was so depressing that I didn’t know if I could finish but glad I did.

I really struggled getting through this book. It’s dark, repetitive and sad.

Absolutely loved the characters and the rocky road of life they traveled on.

Amazing! Book!

Painfully beautiful!

Definitely a favorite! Demon Copperhead is an astounding novel from start to finish. I was not only entertained but I also felt like I learned from it.

Great reading

Loved this book so much! I grew up in rural Virginia and thankfully missed the drug world but know it’s there. This book is so much more than that. The lovely Community of people living off the land and supporting one another. The beauty of nature and space. The yearning and sadness and struggles of growing up and negotiating the world. Just beautiful.

This story is difficult to get through because it delves into a life of poverty and all the challenges that come with poverty, drugs, hardship, family failure. But in Kingsolver fashion, it’s also a love story to the people and mountains of Appalachia. I am always left with beautiful natural scenes at the end of her books and this is no exception. You cannot help but love and root for Demon and pray for escape and happiness.

Remarkable insight into narcotic effects plus a heartwarming story of love .

Outstanding novel!! The authors prose is outstanding. Humor, heartbreak and reality all rolled into one. Demon Copperhead is Steinbeck, Faulkner and Salinger. Read it - you will love it.

Modern day version if Dickins. Always liked the story even with the modern twist.

Beautifully constructed novel. The characters, dialogue and story line evolved in such a natural and unforced way. Bitter sweet, filled with pain, loss and hope.

Excellent reality of todays times in the mountains

Thoroughly captivating in telling this story. Loved her use of local dialect . This book really delved into issue related to poverty and welfare system in a way that was very easy to empathize with

The author proclaims a love of Appalachian mountain folk, decries how they are treated in media, and then turns everyone in this book of woes into a caricature of the typical ignorant hillbilly.


Very well written book. Unfortunately it’s only too real of a story of the oxy problems , brokenness of child services & struggles of rural America

It was often an exhausting slog. I’m glad I got to the end. There were some good parts that I was happy to read, but it read more like three novels, shoved into one. And weirdly, I still felt that I didn’t get to know some of the important characters.

Excellent historical modern fiction. Very well written and engaging.

Did not like the abundant dependence on vulgarity to create characters and storyline. Way OVERDONE AND UNNECESSARY TO THE STORY LINE. Book lagged into unending nothingness. I was determined to finish book, but after hundreds of pages; I had to be nice to myself and do something I rarely do…..just stop. I had lost total interest in how it might end and what might happen to the characters next. The beginning had promise, but didn’t deliver.

I couldn’t put this book down. Beautifully written.

Important and beautiful. Loved it!!

unique window into a world most of us don’t know or understand. Although painful in parts, it shines in the end, with unforgettable characters you come to love.

Love this book it will be in my mind and heart for a long time. This story touched a lot of nerves and my heart. Could not put this book down and when I had to, I couldn’t get it off my mind and couldn’t wait to get back to all the people and place.

So loved this tragic story that left me with a glimmer of hope for resiliency for all of us …

Didn’t read the book just wanna be mean

Good story. Sad but accurate description of foster care . Definitely worth reading.

TransferWise 💸 5 star

Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 120 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks! The cheap, fast way to send money abroad. Free transfer up to 500 USD!

Mind Lab Pro 🎯 5 star

Mind Lab Pro boosts work performance and productivity with nootropics for focus, multitasking under stress, creative problem-solving and more. Buy Now!

This book is incredible and a must read for anyone looking to expand your understanding of American history and human nature. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.

Kingsolver doesn’t any punches in this novel set in Appalachia. The loss of coal mining jobs, the oxy epidemic in the region, foster care seen through the eyes of Damon (called Demon) I couldn’t stop reading it. In my opinion, this book is Kingsolver best work since ‘ThePoisonwood Bible’.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The character development, story, and writing were all superb. However it fit very long and redundant. If it was 300 pages shorter would give it 5 stars.

Could not finish this book when it became too oppressive. I read Shuggie Bain last year (5/5) despite the extreme sadness, but this narrative became repetitive. Childhood poverty and the failures of society to deal with it are on full display in Demon, but I just could not finish it.

WOW—how does one write like this?! An epic story, up there with Poisonwood Bible.

Just read it. You won’t regret it.

An amazing tapestry of captivating fiction and fact from modern day backwoods VA. I laughed out loud, cried, wanted to move to Lee County and hoped my daughters would never come close to such a place. This is a wonderfully sobering follow up to Beth Macy’s Dopesick. A book to be appreciated on so many levels…

I stumbled on this book and was flabbergasted to find the setting in my hometown of Lee County, VA. My parents moved us to Nashville when I was a child but we make many trips a year to this beautiful, unappreciated heaven on earth the Author so poignantly described. Highway 58 is worth the drive. She has also perfectly described the sad nature of the small, rural towns and the heartbreaking scenes of generations of our Appalachian ancestors. This book made me cry and swell with pride to be from such a remarkable heritage. Ms. Kingsolver truly made Demon Copperhead come to life.

I quit this book halfway through reading it as it was literally depressing me (both the story and the writing).

Kingsolver never disappoints. I’m in awe of her ability to inhabit the voices of her characters, in particular, Demon. A timely work of absolute genius.

Captivating read. The first part so sad it is difficult to continue. Again a story where “art” saves a person.

One of the best novels I have read in many years, but not for the faint of heart or those not up for a painful ride. Alternately sad, devastating, dark, funny and ultimately, uplifting. A laser focus on pressing social issues and the resulting destruction of kids and families, told through an incredibly authentic narrative.

And the way I had to pause regularly to find someone in the house to tell them what I was learning. Best of all worlds, this book. Definitely a top 5 of all time for me.

This is an excellent novel. I enjoyed the characters and the plot. There are lots of twists and turns but it’s quite coherent. The modern crises in rural America are compellingly portrayed. It’s a bit didactic though.

Excellent read with much thought provoking moments. I couldn’t wait for the next chapter to learn more about the world surrounding Demon.

Simply beautifully written, an incredible story one I will never forget!!!

Loved the first half. Then she just rambled on. I gave up

I loved the humor and forthrightness of young Demon. I missed the humor once he got tangled up even more in the web he could not escape. Kingsolver nailed the football culture of small town high school! I had such longing for Demon and Tommy in their recovery of all things living and resilient. They are champions. There is hope still out there. I only hope there is enough time for those hurting from life made way too hard.

Authentic & beautifully written, Demon Copperhead is NOT your Grade 8 summer reading requirement -it’s the literary version of a great song covered by an equally great artist (think: Johnny Cash covering NIN ‘Hurt’). This spin on the Dickens classic is at once fresh and new & hauntingly familiar. Ms. Kingsolver’s work proves that the societal issues of Victorian London are alive & well in Gen-X Appalachia. Next up: the author’s take on Great Expectations, set in Boston, circa 1982 (hey, a girl can hope, right?).

Well written, no doubt about that, but a heavy, hard, depressingly dark book to read. Poverty, domestic violence, child abuse, drugs, addiction, pill mills, opioids, more abuse, industrial poverty, and on and on and on, with very little hope. You’ve been warned now.

Another amazing book by Kingsolver! It grabbed me page 1 and never let go. Such a beautiful story. I could not put it down.

Well told depressing story; a well tailored hair shirt. Sad that some people have such a life. “Read my lips, no new taxes “ but rampant capitalism yields such misery.

My favorite Kingsolver book a ten years.

Fantastic! One of the best books I’ve read this year. Awesome. I read it in 2 days. Love, love, loved it!

Seriously couldn’t put this down. This story will stay with me. Read it.

Barbara Kingsolver - Demon Copperhead Comments

About Barbara Kingsolver Wiki

Barbara Kingsolver (born April 8, 1955) is a Pulitzer Prize winning American novelist, essayist and poet. She was raised in rural Kentucky and lived briefly in the Congo in her early childhood. Kingsolver earned degrees in biology at DePauw University and the University of Arizona and worked as a freelance writer before she began writing novels. Her widely known works include The Poisonwood Bible, the tale of a missionary family in the Congo, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, a non-fiction account of her family's attempts to eat locally. Her work often focuses on topics such as social justice, biodiversity and the interaction between humans and their communities and environments. Each of her books published since 1993 has been on the New York Times Best Seller list. Kingsolver has received numerous awards, including the Dayton Literary Peace Prize's Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award 2011, UK's Orange Prize for Fiction 2010, for The Lacuna, and the National Humanities M....

If you want to link to Demon Copperhead book page, please use the codes provided below!
Do you want hide your ip address?Surf anonymously, prevent hackers from acquiring your IP address, send anonymous email, and encrypt your Internet connection. High speed, ultra secure, and easy to use. Instant setup.