Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Book Review: Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver book cover and review
I have really enjoyed every Kingsolver book I've read, but Demon Copperhead just didn't do it for me. And to be perfectly honest, I skipped part of it.

From the blurb: 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. 

Kingsolver writes well. Her text is interesting. But this book was such a downer. For the first 1/3, I slogged through and then was so happy that things were looking up for Demon. But there was a lot of book to go, so as I continued, at about 60% I realized things were going to get depressing again. I went to the reviews. There are many stunningly glowing reviews. Maybe because this is supposed to be a modern retelling of David Copperfield. (I've never read it.) But when I looked at the more harsh reviews, I realized many people felt the way I did. People who were Kingsolver fans. But I did see that the book's ending was worth reading. So I skipped ahead and read the last few chapters.

I was able to glean pretty much what had happened in the part that I skipped. And, as I suspected, it was horrifying. The book is TOO LONG. It just goes on and on. Same stuff over and over. Same complaints. Same hardships. Lots of substance-abuse-related deaths.

Demon Copperhead wasn't for me. Maybe if you are prepped and in the right frame of mind, you will love it, as many others did. 

Published by Harper, October 18, 2022
eARC obtained from Edelweiss+
370/560 pages

Rating: 3/5

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  1. Having not read David Copperfield, I honestly had little desire to read this in the first place. After your review, I think I'll stick to skipping it haha.

  2. Oh no! I want to love this book. I wonder if she tried to make it as long as David Copperfield? That was a long one, too!

  3. Oh dear. I was a bit worried about this and it's why I haven't gotten a copy yet. I so loved her early book (through Prodigal Summer), but have had trouble with the later ones.


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