Demon Copperhead: A Novel

Written by:
Barbara Kingsolver
Narrated by:
Charlie Thurston

Unabridged Audiobook

Ratings
Book
590
Narrator
214
Release Date
October 2022
Duration
21 hours 3 minutes
Summary
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE • WINNER OF THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION

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.
Reviews
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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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Kristen F.

And enjoyable story, a little lengthy at times, and well written. Except for the numerous references to people, movies, and fads that didn’t happen in that time period. Who was your editor?

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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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Hilary W.

I would like the option of giving the narrator special superlative stars. He was phenomenal. Kingsolver stunned me twenty years ago when I read the Poisonwood Bible. Demon C is similarly triumphant.

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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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Andrea M.

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

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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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Joni T.

Addresses issues including poverty, drug addiction, foster care. The ending gives you hope. Great sense of humor. The narrator was excellent.

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Anonymous

Super excellent listen! Could have listed for another 21 hours. Seeing his life through to an old man.

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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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Anonymous

Sigh. What a beautiful journey. It’s a testimony to Kingsolver’s talent that 20 hours of single-voice narrative remains consistently engaging. It’s a brilliant novel that is somehow both heartwarming and heartbreaking. A must listen! Narrator is fabulous.

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H. Michael R.

Funny, tragic, uplifting, sad, awful, beautiful, amazing. No-holds-barred social commentary drawn with a level of skill and care that puts non-fiction in its place. And the audiobook narrator deserves an award for this work.

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Slrossman

A wonderful story about a boy's fight for survival in a cruel world where everything is stacked against him. Took me a long time to get into it, as the character development is slow and lots of characters to keep track of. I do think it was worth the reach and is one book I will recommend again and again. Narration was outstanding.

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Catherine C.

I enjoyed this a lot. The accent and slow detailed way the story unfolded took a bit of getting used to in the beginning but once I settled into the story all the details made for a well rounded book.

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Anonymous

Brilliant. I don't know any other way to describe the concept, writing, and narration.

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Marisa B.

Very well written. Raw and full of detail that really helped you get to know the characters. Lots of struggles/tragedies/etc that made it realistic but also didn’t have a direction where you felt like you were headed somewhere. It definitely sheds light on the challenges of foster care, opioid crisis, and rural life without a lot of opportunities. A great first read but (personal preference wise) not a book I would come back to read again. The author is very talented so I would definitely want to read more by them.

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Alexandra C.

Heartbreaking, heartwarming, and one that will stay with me my whole life.

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Sally F.

A brilliant story beautifully written and captivatingly narrated - one of the very best narrators I've listened to!

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Katherine K.

Barbara Kingsolver is a master of the English language. And her insight into life is heartfelt and thoughtful. This book was heartbreaking and redemptive. The Pulitzer Prize was well earned. Also, the narrator took me a minute to get used to, but he sucked me right in. One of the best books I’ve listened to in a long while on both accounts.

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William E.

How the author was able to research and write this book from the narrator's perspective is a wonderful mystery to this reader. I confess that there were times when I wearied of the drug culture that often dominated the narrative, but it was a key to the story and how it played out. I loved the Melungeon history that was also foundational to the novel. Fascinating!

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Eve M.

Barbra Kingsolver NEVER ceases to amaze! I have read many of her books, and always am so satified by my experience, I think about her writing for many days even after I have finished reading her book. This book was especially meaningful because I went to undergraduate college in Roanoke VA, just a whistle up the road from where this book was set. Kingsolver's ability to authenitcally create/research peolple and places and weave her stories around contemporary issues is so important, while seeming effortless. (oh shoulf I site Dickens?, Hee hee). The narrator was brilliant! Loved the listen!!!

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Janie W.

Loved it. Very long but that was ok because it held my interest.

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Diana H.

Wow… loved every minute. Great narration. Great story…very captivating, First person narration made it very real. Highly recommend!!! BKS does it again.

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Anonymous

Maybe the best book I ever read. The story of course is extremely moving and parallel to Oliver twist as well as the corner cannot be overstated. It opens up the inner workings of a drug saturated subculture in heartbreaking ways. But the authors command of Southern country vocabulary and language is stunning. And the narrator is truly amazing. Highly recommend...

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Ann P.

A great read. Touches on some of what is wrong in our culture and how to help set things right. The characterization of Demon is amazingly clever and interesting and heartwarming. The themes of generational poverty and how disadvantaged people are treated are in need of exposure and this book shines a light on these sad realities. At times a bit long winded, but worth sticking with it. Barbara Kingsolver weaves a wicked, yet hopeful tale. BRAVA!

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Linda R.

A boys childhood to a man. Discounting the language I believe everyone should listen to this book. We have a child who looses his mother at 11 and is shuffled from one foster to next. From the beginning he learns he is only there to give everything he has and if he doesn’t do it good enough he will be thrown out. He finally is placed with a dream family but still believes he has to prove himself as the star football player. When he is injured life turns on him. ** This book was difficult but needed for life lesson. As was the book Educated

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Anonymous

Enjoyable

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Anonymous

Excellent book! Provides real incite into the opioid crisis, the flawed foster care system, and poverty in Appalachia. The natural beauty of Appalachia and generosity of neighbors in also revealed. Beautifully written through the eyes of the charming narrator who has a wonderful heart and wicked sense of humor. I must listen!

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Gail W.

I have never read a Barbara Kingsolver book that was nothing other than fabulous. This one is no exception. From her very first book decades ago, I’ve been totally hooked on anything she writes. Always timely, always of the utmost social commentary and urgency, she’s forever at the forefront, writing about the issues of the moment, the issues that the world must pay attention to for the sake of our planet.

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Aengle3

This was a wonderfully woven story. Narration was great as well.

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Leon S.

pretty good listen

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Rachel B.

I truly enjoyed this book, however it got so depressing & stayed there for so long that I almost didn't finish it. The characters were made very real by the narrator's country accent. This book was a true experience!

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Patrick M.

This was a great listen. Recommended to me by a good friend. Really loved the story and the characters. Overall a great listen!

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Ken W.

great story well told

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Miranda H.

Fantastic book and the narration is perfect. My new favorite audiobook.

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Namarran

Amazing narration! And an extremely well written book. Loved it.

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Marion B.

Loved Demon all the way through. A myriad of characters around him in this love letter to the “hillbillies” of rural America.

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Antoinette V.

Great story! Even better narrator!

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Casa V.

The narrator’s voice made it even more real.

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Christina R.

I loved the narration on this and the story was disturbingly addictive.

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Todd N.

Not quite finished, but I am really enjoying this audiobook!!

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Ellen M.

Compelling

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Description Label

Amazing writing and the narration was perfect.

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Sharon R.

Worth Reading. Seemed as though he would get a break and then something would happen to set him back. The very people who were put in place to help raise him were deeply flawed. The writing was supurb and the narration was excellent.

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Anonymous

A very realistic look at the lives of those kids that have been brought up by neglectful parents and endured the foster system. It opened my eyes as to how opioid abuse gets started with pain meds and how dependent people get on them for their feeling of well being. Fabulous narration and believable characters.

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Anonymous

I’m surprised there are no comments regarding the similarities of this book to David Copperfield. The names of the characters, their relationship to Demon, and their situations mimicked the characters in David Copperfield. The plight of the people of Applachia was accurate, however reading 550 pages or listening for 21 hrs to an uneducated, backwoods hick made this book one that I would not recommend.

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Anonymous

I had tried to get into the book twice with no luck so I decided to try it on audiobook and that made such a difference. The narrator did a superb job and told the story perfectly.

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Anonymous

Great read / listen

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Mark S.

Loved this book!

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Prasad P.

nice book

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Phil S.

Excellent American novel, felt like I was living the narrator's life in Appalachia

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Jennie L.

Narrator brought this story to life!

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Jaelen G.

Great book

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Kathleen W.

Excellent!

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Terry P.

Demon copperhead was very creative and moving. The reader was excellent.

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Anonymous

Great story, kept me interested the entire book. Narrator was awesome!

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Ronda M.

Great book!

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Anonymous

Truly Amazing

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Aggie

I forget sometimes, how difficult life begun in the hole can be, and how casually drug addiction can occur. This story left me emotionally wrung out, but with hope at the end.

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Anonymous

Very long. Got lost at times as to who was who. The narrator was fantastic capturing the idioms and feel of the character

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Howard R.

Great narrator but I thought the book could have been shorter especially tiresome at times with the endless drug addiction scene.

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Diann D.

Excellent book! Really enjoyed it.

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Anne W.

A stunning treat

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