Monday 5 February 2024

Kingsolver, Barbara "Demon Copperhead"

Kingsolver, Barbara "Demon Copperhead" - 2022

I must have mentioned this a hundred times. I'm a huge Charles Dickens fan. I really love Barbara Kingsolver's books, so this was just the book for me, a modern version of my favourite Dickens book, "David Copperfield".

I am not necessarily a fan of rewritten classics. I always say, authors should have their own idea for a story and not pick up that of another one. However, this is just a story that deserves to be picked up and looked upon with fresh eyes. It's easy to say that was so long ago and isn't part of our lives anymore. But what if it is?

Barbara Kingsolver managed it perfectly to transform the story into the 21st century. We follow Demon aka David through his sad life where he slides from one problematic situation to the next - or is pushed.

So, even if you know "David Copperfield" inside out and know exactly what must be coming next, it still is a highly suspenseful novel, or maybe even because of that. You know what is coming but you wonder how she transformed the story. Brilliant.

I think this gives us a good view about today's problems, even in so-called first world countries, and a lot to think about. Something that Barbara Kingsolver does so well.

This might even become my favourite book of the year.

From the back cover:

"Demon's story begins with his traumatic birth to a single mother in a single-wide trailer, looking 'like a little blue prizefighter.' For the life ahead of him he would need all of that fighting spirit, along with buckets of charm, a quick wit, and some unexpected talents, legal and otherwise.

In the southern Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, poverty isn't an idea, it's as natural as the grass grows. For a generation growing up in this world, at the heart of the modern opioid crisis, addiction isn't an abstraction, it's neighbours, parents, and friends. 'Family' could mean love, or reluctant foster care. For Demon, born on the wrong side of luck, the affection and safety he craves is as remote as the ocean he dreams of seeing one day. The wonder is in how far he's willing to travel to try and get there.

Suffused with truth, anger and compassion,
Demon Copperhead is an epic tale of love, loss and everything in between."


  1. She is a brilliant author, I have read and loved many books by her. But a friend of mine talked to me about it, and it sounds too depressing for me at this point. I'm glad you enjoyed it

    1. Same here, she is definitely one of my favourite authors.
      It is quite a sad story, that's true. So, if you are not in for that, you should better wait a little. Did you ever read David Copperfield?

  2. I've heard only good things about this book.

    1. I'm not surprised, Lark. She is a brilliant author and has done this perfectly.

  3. I've never read Kingsolver before, but this sounds interesting -- especially the move to Appalachia.

    1. She is one of my favourite authors, Stephen. I hope you like her as much as I do.