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Demon Copperhead

af Barbara Kingsolver

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2,9751264,580 (4.34)1 / 261
The teenage son of an Appalachian single mother who dies when he is eleven uses his good looks, wit, and instincts to survive foster care, child labor, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses.
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Viser 1-5 af 125 (næste | vis alle)
On the surface, this is a retelling of David Copperfield in late twentieth century Appalachia, but it is so much more than that. Kingsolver tackles so many problems that plague rural America with deep care and compassion for the people who live it. I thought this was a wonderful book. ( )
  fuzzy_patters | Feb 26, 2024 |
"Kingsolver returns to her home region to write what she aims to be The Great Appalachian Novel. She seeks to challenge the popular stereotypes of “hillbillies” and “trailer trash” as being fundamentally anti-working class and undermining the remnants of communal traditions among the small–town and rural poor.

Kingsolver considers who benefits from upholding these stereotypes and rips into the capitalist class. This includes the industrialists and governments responsible for causing mass unemployment across the region."
(https://socialistworker.co.uk/reviews-and-culture/demon-copperhead-by-barbara-kingsolver-review-you-wont-use-hillbilly-again/)

“I wrote this book for my people because we are so invisible to the rest of the world and so persistently misrepresented,” Kingsolver said. ( )
  lelandleslie | Feb 24, 2024 |
Following in the steps of "David Copperfield", Kingsolver tells Demon's story of poverty, physical abuse, drug addiction... in an impoverished land. ( )
  ben_r47 | Feb 22, 2024 |
A true masterpiece of a novel! ( )
  c.archer | Feb 22, 2024 |
Wow! Barbara Kingsolver gets you by the heart from the beginning and never lets you go. And the depiction of the opiod crisis in the Appalachia region is eye-opening. The story is an updated version of David Copperfield by Charles Dickens which just proves that poverty and orphans have always been with us.

Damon was born to his teenage single mother in a the bathroom of the trailer home she rented from the Peggott family. One of the few pieces of good luck for Damon was that Mrs. Peggott stopped in to check on his mother because she hadn't seen her outside that day. His mom was passed out in the bathroom with Damon still in his birth caul between her legs. The Peggotts called an ambulance and got them both to the hospital. Mrs. Peggott told Damon that being born with the caul still around him meant that he would never drown. His mom really loved Damon and entered rehab so that he wouldn't be taken away from her. His father had died before he was born but Damon was the spitting image of him, including his red hair which gave him the name of Copper head. Damon and his mother survived in their little trailer home, living on her wages from Walmart and the generosity of the Peggotts. Their grandson, the same age as Damon, was living with them so the two spent their younger years exploring the woods and going fishing with Mr. Peggott. Maggott, as he was nicknamed, had to live with his grandparents because his mother was in jail for slicing up her abusive boyfriend and his father was somewhere in Texas. Throughout this book Damon meets many children who are orphans or have at least one dead or missing parent. Before Damon is 12 he is in foster care because his mother is using again and her boyfriend is abusive to both Damon and his mother. His foster care placements are horrific; one is with an old farmer who uses boys from the foster care system to work his farm; another is an actual family with two parents and four kids but they are only fostering for the money because their own finances are so precarious. Damon gets introduced to using drugs at the farm but it's not just foster care kids who are using drugs. The pharmaceutical companies have determined that this area of the USA is ripe for getting all ages of people hooked on opiods. Damon's own mother overdosed on oxy when Damon was away in foster care. Damon manages to stay off the opiods until he wrecks his knee in a high school football game. The team's doctor prescribes high doses of opiods and soon Damon is another addict. It probably doesn't help that his girlfriend is another user that raids her father's prescriptions because he doesn't need all that he is prescribed. Damon does have some good influences in his life: Maggot's Aunt June was a nurse practitioner who was well versed in dealing with addicts and reached out to Damon, the high school art teacher recognized Damon's talent and gave him extra tutoring; the football coach's daughter, Angus, was smart and just a few years older than Damon so served as a confidant; Tommy, one of the other kids from Damon's first foster care placement got a job after school in the newspaper office and started running Damon's comic strips; even his father's mother and uncle in Tennessee tried to keep an eye on Damon. Still, it was an extremely rough coming of age for Damon and the fact he survived it was due in part to good luck.

I have a feeling this book will become a classic just as David Copperfield did in its time. It's been many years since I read David Copperfield so I looked at the Wikipedia entry for the book. It was then I realized how many of the characters were named similarly to the characters in the Dickens' novel. I especially liked the name of U-Haul, the assistant for the football coach, who is modelled on Uriah Heap. ( )
  gypsysmom | Feb 17, 2024 |
Viser 1-5 af 125 (næste | vis alle)
Equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking, this is the story of an irrepressible boy nobody wants, but readers will love. Damon is the only child of a teenage alcoholic — “an expert at rehab” — in southwest Virginia.... In a feat of literary alchemy, Kingsolver uses the fire of that boy’s spirit to illuminate — and singe — the darkest recesses of our country....From the moment Demon starts talking to us, his story is already a boulder rolling down the Appalachian Mountains, faster and faster, stopping for nothing. ...Kingsolver has effectively reignited the moral indignation of the great Victorian novelist to dramatize the horrors of child poverty in the late 20th century.
 
In echoing Dickens, Barbara Kingsolver has written a social justice novel all her own, one only she could write, for our time and for the ages.Master storyteller Kingsolver has given the world a book that will have a ripple effect through the generations...Like all stories that stick with you, this one is both universal and decidedly personal. If you’ve lived near the Appalachians, you'll recognize these characters as well as their voice. They may even remind you of family members—those who’ve made it through, made it out, or made it back. If you haven’t, it will touch your heart anyway....That Kingsolver has shone a light on them as only she can, is a leap in understanding the hurting of a forgotten, often misunderstood and ridiculed people. Next time you see such a person, be kind, open your mind, and stop making fun of their accent.
 
“Demon Copperhead” reimagines Dickens’s story in a modern-day rural America contending with poverty and opioid addiction... Of course Barbara Kingsolver would retell Dickens. He has always been her ancestor. Like Dickens, she is unblushingly political and works on a sprawling scale, animating her pages with the presence of seemingly every creeping thing that has ever crept upon the earth.....Kingsolver’s prose is often splendid....And so, caught between polemic and fairy tale, Kingsolver is stuck with an anticlimax. .
 
With its bold reversals of fate and flamboyant cast, this is storytelling on a grand scale – Dickensian, you might say, and Kingsolver does indeed describe Demon Copperhead as a contemporary adaptation of David Copperfield....And what a story it is: acute, impassioned, heartbreakingly evocative, told by a narrator who’s a product of multiple failed systems, yes, but also of a deep rural landscape with its own sustaining traditions.
 

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The teenage son of an Appalachian single mother who dies when he is eleven uses his good looks, wit, and instincts to survive foster care, child labor, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses.

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