Demon Copperhead: A Novel – Audiobook


(409793 customer reviews)



Audio Length

21.00 hours

Release Date

October 2022


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“Demon Copperhead: A Novel”, written by Barbara Kingsolver, is a contemporary novel that tells a captivating and emotionally charged story. Set in the Appalachian Mountains, the novel is a modern retelling of Charles Dickens’ “David Copperfield”. It centers around the life of a young boy named Demon Copperhead, who is born into poverty and faces numerous hardships.

Demon’s journey is marked by struggles against poverty, addiction, and abuse, mirroring the challenges faced by many in the rural Appalachian community. The narrative delves into themes such as the opioid crisis, the failing foster care system, and the endurance of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

Kingsolver’s storytelling is rich and vivid, bringing to life the landscape and culture of Appalachia. The novel is not only a commentary on contemporary social issues but also a deeply personal story of resilience, growth, and survival. Through Demon’s eyes, readers experience a world that is both harsh and beautiful, ultimately finding a tale of hope amidst despair.

“Demon Copperhead” is acclaimed for its powerful storytelling, strong character development, and its ability to highlight important social issues while maintaining a compelling and engaging narrative.

409793 reviews

409793 reviews for Demon Copperhead: A Novel – Audiobook

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  1. Verified owner Ronda (verified owner)


  2. Verified owner David Little (verified owner)

    ” To make a long story short (LOL) Demon Copperhead is an emotionally charged story about survival in rural Appalachia. It’s a compelling account of what it means to be human – struggling against all odds to make something out of nothing. Truly inspiring and very highly recommended! “

  3. Verified owner M Holly (verified owner)

    Barbara Kingsolver captures the rugged beauty, culture and struggles of the Appalachian region of the U.S. with vivid language that paints a realistic picture of life in rural poverty and its attendant struggles. Her prose is captivating, drawing listeners into the world she has created, allowing them to share in her characters’ experiences. The narrator amplifies its emotional resonance with an expressive performance that effectively conveys both the humor and heartache of the characters with sensitivity and nuance. Demon Copperhead is an evocative story that shines a light on underrepresented social issues while exploring themes of family, identity, love and loss. It’s one of the best novels I’ve read this year!

  4. Verified owner B Janis (verified owner)

    Demon Copperhead is a rather captivating story set in the rugged and picturesque Appalachian Mountains and told with great warmth, heart and insight into human nature. It’s an oftentimes dark tale about poverty and loneliness but it’s also full of moments that made me smile. Kingsolver’s characters are fully realized—they’re complex individuals who can’t be boiled down to a simple stereotype or archetype—and her writing also touches on themes such as love, friendship, family, loyalty, courage and strength. Additionally the narrator’s voice work brings out the beauty of the Appalachian landscape and its people, as well as the struggles they face on a daily basis. From its vivid portrayal of Appalachia to its compelling storyline of one brave boy trying to make his way in the world against all odds – there’s something here for everyone.

  5. Verified owner Clara (verified owner)

    Demon Copperhead is a fantastic audiobook that I highly recommend to everyone and I can see why Oprah picked it as a top read. Set in a small Appalachian town with vivid descriptions of the characters and their struggles, this book will definitely keep your interest from start to finish. Charlie Thurston’s narration adds an extra layer of depth and dimension to the novel. His voice is soft yet powerful and his storytelling style is captivating, allowing listeners to really get immersed in the story. His ability to capture all of the nuances in Barbara Kingsolver’s writing creates a truly immersive experience which allows readers to experience Demon Copperhead through more than just reading it. The book itself is full of insight into Appalachian culture and daily life while still focusing on universal themes such as love, loss and identity that everyone can relate to. Check it out and I’m rather sure you’ll agree!

  6. Verified owner Jay Ruud (verified owner)

    When, at the age of 15, I first read David Copperfield, Charles Dickens’ classic novel of the protagonist’s struggle to rise above child poverty in a society seemingly structured to keep him poor, it was the first book that made me tear up at the end, that glorious end with the angelic Agnes ever “pointing upward.” I wasn’t sure that Barbara Kingsolver’s DemonCopperhead could possibly elicit anything like that response from my jaded, seen-it-all-before, read-it-all-before consciousness. Re-imagining the quintessentially British Dickens’ nineteenth-century story as a twenty-first century slice of American Appalachian life? How’s that likely to work?

  7. Verified owner Midgetjones (verified owner)

    I love Barbara Kingsolver and was hopeful about Demon Copperhead. Great book, yes, written in the vernacular of Kentucky, voiced by Damon himself. Many amusing turns of phrase that will draw a younger audience to her work. Its not the Poisonwood Bible (at times I struggled to find motivation to continue it) but what it has done, is frame in my mind the reality of what poverty, pain and big pharma has done to ruin the dignity of several generations in America. What I did learn through her extensive research is more about the ruinous nature of over-prescribed pain meds and their real life side-effects. Its a book that will stay with me and one that has changed me for its honesty, hope and compassion. Many brilliant characterizations (as always) and the message that despite your circumstances you must travel with hope.

  8. Verified owner Emily (verified owner)

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

  9. Verified owner Sadie Noni

    The story starts strong introducing Elizabeth Zott, a scientist, a woman, a mother. Her desire to do well professionally, to love, to be loved are relatable. Her resilience is admirable. Her struggles with becoming a mother were so familiar. Motherhood doesn’t come naturally to every woman, it didn’t to me, and I appreciate the author represented this diversity.

    The descriptions of sexism and patriarchy Elizabeth faces at every turn are an awful reminder of how far we’ve come in fifty years but also how much further we still need to go. Women are still paid less than men for the same jobs. People are still constantly telling women what to wear, how to look, what to do.

    The story is heavily fictionalized – it’s difficult to imagine how a lone feminist woman would even come about in a society fully entrenched in patriarchy. But the writing flows beautifully, it is crisp and the plot is well-paced and the story is overall quite convincing.

    Finally, I understood that the narrative about atheism was linked to Elizabeth’s research on abiogenesis but felt it could have been woven together more explicitly. I also found it quite hard to believe that a five year old could have extensive and quite insightful conversations about god, faith, and science. But perhaps that’s because I don’t know any prodigies.

    In general, I really enjoyed the book and recommend it to anyone who is looking for a thought provoking read.

  10. Verified owner Angela M

    This novel is described as a modern day version of David Copperfield, which I’ve never read. I’m generally not a fan of rewrites of classics, so if I had read it, I may not have picked this one up even though Barbara Kingsolver is such an amazing writer whose books I have loved over the years. I’m grateful to have read this novel because I would have missed out on a brilliant story – brutal, but brilliant and a character who was in my heart from the first to the last page .

    An addicted teenage mother, an abusive stepfather, a corrupt foster care system reeking of abuse is what Demon Copperhead endures at the young age of ten years old. Working on a tobacco farm, then with a family who has him sleeping in a dog room, hungry, taking leftovers from school lunch trays, he endures – somehow without speaking up to his case worker for fear of what his next foster situation would be. His next one turns out to be life altering in more ways than one. This is an in your face, in your gut punch, no holds barred portrayal all of that, and a stabbing expose of the opioid epidemic in Appalachia.

    It’s depressing and heartbreaking to read with little respite. I was drained at times . As with other books by Kingsolver, there is a social message here, but it’s not just told with statistics of addictions, deaths, but through the moving story of a character as a little boy and then as a young man, with all of the horrors he faced in between, feeling as real as it gets .

  11. Verified owner Maureen

    Demon Copperhead entered the world in a single trailer, born to a single mother who hadn’t a clue how to look after him – nor did she have the means. The southern Appalachian mountains of Virginia is where he took his first breath – a place of dire poverty, though most local folk were in the same boat, so it was pretty normal. Demon’s mum though had additional problems, and that meant even less of the basic needs for the two of them. Thank God for good neighbours.

    I won’t go into the synopsis as this is a lengthy (over 600 pages) and eventful novel. However, this is a tale of love and the need for love, it’s about dreams and anger, hate and pain, and what really stands out is how the opioid crisis is responsible for many of those bad feelings, and demonstrates how it wrecks the lives that might otherwise have climbed out of that daily grinding poverty, perhaps realising those long held dreams and ambitions.

    The journey for Demon Copperhead is long and eventful, (epic is the best way to describe it). The writing is so beautiful – exquisite even, but it takes the reader to places so dark, depressing and dangerous with its intimate detail, that you wonder why you find such beauty in it. But it’s there on every page, in every event and every crisis – harrowing yet uplifting. Has to be one of the standout books of the year – it is stunning!

  12. Verified owner Liz

    I love Barbara Kingsolver, so I picked this as our book club selection. Then, I had the bright idea that since this was based on David Copperfield, I should try reading that first. 800 pages, dry as dirt, and I gave up at page 200. That had me worried. Until the first page of this book. OMG! The language! Her way with words is beyond description. I wanted to highlight multiple phrases per page. I quickly realized I’d be highlighting the whole book. I found myself getting caught up time after time by some phrase or sentence. She just tells it so you really understand something.
    This book sucked me in. Demon’s life was one long sorrowful moan. But not just his. Almost everyone in this tale has had trouble. This is a deeply depressing book. But thank heavens it ends on a note of hope for those still standing at the end.
    I was impressed that Kingsolver was able to take this re-telling of David Copperfield and make it about the opioid crisis in Appalachia. It shows that not much has changed between Victorian times and now when it comes to the disadvantaged being marginalized and ignored. It starts with an area with little on offer, government programs stretched beyond its limits and first one, then another, industry more interested in profits than people. The plot is a reminder that severe poverty isn’t just limited to the inner cities. If anything, there’s as much prejudice against the “trailer trash”. “A blight on the nation…a smudge on the map.”
    I highly recommend this and it is definitely one of my favorite books of the year. I can’t wait to discuss this at book club.

  13. Verified owner Jen CAN

    Who is this Demon Copperhead?? Well, let me tell you: He’s a wild red headed melungeon, whipper snapper of a hillbilly. A young boy with a mind so expansive, how he describes life, is large.
    Orphaned at 11, Demon’s teenage years are fraught with sadness and hopelessness. Through foster homes, running away and at last finding his grandmother. A life headed to go off the rails, somehow maintained its balance, until it didn’t. As in life, there are tops and bottoms. In Demon’s, the bottom bottoms out with opiates- plundering his chances of making it out of poverty.

    Demon is a character you will grow attached to and cheer for in his early ages simply for his resilience. But life can be tough and heavy choices are made.

    Kingsolver, you haven’t lost your touch. This one is epic. This character; this story; the writing. But whoa. It does get dark and heavy for a long part of this journey and it makes one wonder of the helplessness and fear these addicts feel and face in reality.

  14. Verified owner Barbara

    I am far from the first one to be blown away by this phenomenal book. How can one novel be heart-breaking, beautiful, amazing, poignant, and funny? Barbara Kingsolver lives in these mountains she writes about, this area of southern Appalachia that is a place of immense beauty but which is known more for its poverty, unemployment, and addiction. The Appalachian people, people who are often ridiculed for their rural ways and particular speech.“All down the years, words have been flung like pieces of shit, only to get stuck on a truck bumper with up-yours pride. Rednecks, moonshiners, ridgerunners, hicks, deplorables.”Kingsolver writes from the heart with love and understanding. She has written many fine books but, in my opinion, this is her best since The Poisonwood Bible.

    Rather than retell the story (No! No! Please don’t!), I will share some of my favorite quotes. Please realize these are just a sampling of the many I might have included.

    “The wonder is that you could start life with nothing, end up with nothing, and lose so much.”

    “I wanted to go home, which was nowhere, but it’s a feeling you keep having, even after that’s no place anymore.”

    “I’d live long enough to know shit doesn’t bounce off.”

    “Certain pitiful souls around here see whiteness as their last asset that hasn’t been totaled or repossessed.”

    “A junkie catches his flight. That sugar on your brain cells sucks away any other purpose. The human person you were gets yanked out through whatever hole the devil can find.”

    “I thought about what Rose said, wanting to see the rest of us hurt, because she was hurting. You have to wonder how much of this whole world’s turning is fueled by that very fire.”

    “That’s the deal of sober life: celebrate the fresh start, suck up your sadness for all that was left behind”.

    I hope those who haven’t read this masterpiece will love it too.

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Barbara Kingsolver is an American novelist, essayist, and poet. She was raised in rural Kentucky and lived briefly in Africa 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 most famous 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 have been on The New York Times Best Seller list. Kingsolver has received numerous awards, including the UK's Orange Prize for Fiction 2010, for The Lacuna and the National Humanities Medal. She has been nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize.In 2000, Kingsolver established the Bellwether Prize to support "literature of social change."Kingsolver was born in Annapolis, Maryland in 1955 and grew up in Carlisle in rural Kentucky. When Kingsolver was seven years old, her father, a physician, took the family to the former Republic of Congo in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Her parents worked in a public health capacity, and the family lived without electricity or running water.After graduating from high school, Kingsolver attended DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana on a music scholarship, studying classical piano. Eventually, however, she changed her major to biology when she realized that "classical pianists compete for six job openings a year, and the rest of [them:] get to play 'Blue Moon' in a hotel lobby." She was involved in activism on her campus, and took part in protests against the Vietnam war. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1977, and moved to France for a year before settling in Tucson, Arizona, where she would live for much of the next two decades. In 1980 she enrolled in graduate school at the University of Arizona, where she earned a Master's degree in ecology and evolutionary biology.Kingsolver began her full-time writing career in the mid 1980s as a science writer for the university, which eventually lead to some freelance feature writing. She began her career in fiction writing after winning a short story contest in a local Phoenix newspaper. In 1985 she married Joseph Hoffmann; their daughter Camille was born in 1987. She moved with her daughter to Tenerife in the Canary Islands for a year during the first Gulf war, mostly due to frustration over America's military involvement. After returning to the US in 1992, she separated from her husband.In 1994, Kingsolver was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from her alma mater, DePauw University. She was also married to Steven Hopp, that year, and their daughter, Lily, was born in 1996. In 2004, Kingsolver moved with her family to a farm in Washington County, Virginia, where they currently reside. In 2008, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Duke University, where she delivered a commencement address entitled "How to be Hopeful".In a 2010 interview with The Guardian, Kingsolver says, "I never wanted to be famous, and still don't, [...:] the universe rewarded me with what I dreaded most." She says created her own website just to compete with a plethora of fake ones, "as a defence to protect my family from misinformation. Wikipedia abhors a vacuum. If you don't define yourself, it will get done for you in colourful ways.