Book Rating (436)
Narrator Rating (169)

Demon Copperhead: A Novel

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Charlie Thurston

21 Hours 3 Minutes


October 2022

Audio 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.

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  • Gary C.

    A terrific and timely story made even more compelling by the terrific narration.

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  • Kristin O.

    Really ended up liking this book. It took me a while to get into it, but once I did I was hooked.

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  • Colleen G.

    I think - WOW. Kingsolver does it again.

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  • Andrea M.

    Funny and heartbreaking. I loved it and didn't want the book to end.

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  • Michael G.

    Kingsolver is a great storyteller. I can't actually say I enjoyed Demon Copperhead. It is not an easy read but it is very good. It's a heartbreaking indictment of so many broken systems in our country. I love the way she makes the politics real. She shows how the power of big pharma and profit, our pathetic health-care system, the inequalities in everything from public education to child welfare to wealth distribution affects people in very real and heart wrenching ways.

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  • paisleynoel

    A such an amazing novel and the audiobook was incredible. The reading gave more credibility to the story which I loved

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  • Emily B.

    This book really added a human element to the opioid crisis in rural America. The narrator was also excellent

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  • Bruce R C.

    Amazing! Ms Kingsolver has an understanding of how childhood trauma looks from the perspective of the child better than I have ever read.

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  • MaryWyatt S.

    Moving. Stunning. Tragic. Perfectly narrated. A triumph of the individual over the horrific failures of our society.

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  • Teresa B.

    This is one of the finest, most important books I've read in years. Barbara Kingsolver shows her literary power, her compassionate eye and her ear tuned to the true voices of people that matter. I see this book as a necessary part of our national healing, should be mandatory reading. It reveals through the delightful language of one young man, all the ways we fail to see each other and ourselves, all the reasons we need to dig in, listen harder, understand each other better, to lean in and lend a helping hand to pull our collective selves out of this mess. Thank you Barbara Kingsolver. So delighted that you received the Pulitzer Prize. Well deserved.

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