Demon Copperhead - Barbara Kingsolver

Demon Copperhead

By Barbara Kingsolver

  • Release Date: 2022-10-18
  • Genre: Fiction & Literature
Score: 4.5
From 343 Ratings


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.


  • Extraordinary read!

    By miss Dixieydo
    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.
  • Extraordinary.

    By Red-headed Witch
    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?).
  • Heavy sad read

    By Amigo73
    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.
  • Kingsolver never disappoints!

    By Pkvan1
    Another amazing book by Kingsolver! It grabbed me page 1 and never let go. Such a beautiful story. I could not put it down.
  • Depressing

    By ar244310
    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.
  • Great read! Sometimes difficult because it’s so real. She is a master wordsmith. So good!

    By CobiClimb
    My favorite Kingsolver book a ten years.
  • Stupendous!

    By Gourd girl
    Fantastic! One of the best books I’ve read this year. Awesome. I read it in 2 days. Love, love, loved it!
  • Gave It A Try, and….

    By juliusa
    This idea of using a Dickens novel and rewriting it based on its premise is not new, despite what Oprah or some reviewers might think. It was done far better years ago in the another large book - The Quincunx. It too was filled with glumness and nothing good ever happening. This book is overwhelmingly depressing about a sad topic we have heard much about already. Not sure what purpose it serves at this point other than to depress the reader. Hard pass, despite the excellent writing. The topic deserves more than just a depressing novel.
  • Couldn’t put it down

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