Demon Copperhead audiobook cover

In this month’s Writer’s Book Club, I review the audiobook version of Barbara Kingsolver’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Demon Copperhead narrated by Charlie Thurston. Demon Copperhead is a modernized version of Charles Dickens’s novel David Copperfield.

The protagonist, Damon Fields, nick-named Demon Copperhead, is born into poverty in Appalachia and struggles throughout the novel trying to not only thrive but survive.


What I liked about Demon Copperhead

It had been several years since I’d read a Kingsolver book. Immediately I was hit by the beautiful writing in this novel. It reminded me why I’ve always been a big fan of her books. For example, here are the opening lines of Demon Copperhead:

First, I got myself born. A decent crowd was on hand to watch, and they’ve always given me that much: the worst of the job was up to me, my mother being let’s just say out of it.


On any other day, they’d of seen her outside on the deck of her trailer home, good neighbors taking notice, pestering the tit of trouble, as they will. All through the dog-breath air of late summer and fall, cast an eye up the mountain and there’d she be, little bleach-blonde smoking her Pall Malls, hanging on that railing like she’s captain of her ship up there and now might be the hour its going down.

Charlie Thurston nails the regional accent and the flow of the language. Listening to him, I felt as if I experiencing the story along with Demon.

Cover of David Copperfield audiobook

Additionally, I’m impressed by the amount of research Kingsolver must have done to create this novel. Not only did she have to be intimately familiar with David Copperfield (a book I’m sorry to say I’ve never read), but she had to learn about and understand Appalachian poverty and the drug culture there. Kingsolver grew up in rural Kentucky and considers Appalachia her home, which, I’m sure, helped when she created this book’s world.


And finally, I generally liked the protagonist, Demon, because, while he didn’t always make the best decisions, he was resilient and had a good soul.



Issues I had with the book

The drug abuse went on too long. I kept thinking, “Enough already. I get it.” When a major secondary character died from a drug overdose, I felt no emotion. I just didn’t care. That’s when I realized that Kingsolver was too heavy-handed with the drug scene, which caused me to lose empathy for the characters.


I wanted more (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing)

While I’ve read five or six of Kingsolver’s books, I now want to read the ones I’ve missed. I want to be immersed in her wonderful prose. I will also look for more books narrated by Thurston.


How this has affected my writing

After completing The Devil Particle Series, I’d like to try writing a literary stand-alone novel, possibly one based on a classic (Pride and Prejudice, perhaps?). I also want to ensure that whatever my message is in my novel, I give it a light but poignant touch.


Demon Copperhead gets 👍🏻 👍🏻 👍🏻 👍🏻 stars for beautiful writing and a creative take on an old classic.


Next month’s Writer’s Book Club

The cover the The Ferry Man

I’m back to reading and reviewing a dystopian novel with Justin Cronin’s newest book, The Ferry Man. I thoroughly enjoyed Cronin’s The Passage Trilogy, so was excited when this book was released.

I’m a third of the way through this novel about a disturbing utopia, and I’m torn between wanting to tear through it and wanting to take my time and relish it. It’s really good.



3-D image of The Devil Particle paperbackGet your copy of The Devil Particle today!

The Devil Particle is a gripping roller coaster of suspense that will leave you questioning the future of humanity. From page one, readers are hurled into a moral dilemma—is it ethical to store all the world’s evil in one person to ensure the survival of mankind? The world Oakley has created is terrifying, believable, and incredibly complex.” – Margaret M. Goss, Award-winning Author of The Uncommitted


Only $4.99 for the eBook and $15.99 for the paperback.

ARC reader Mary Lamphere holding The Devil particleARC reviews

If you’ve received an advanced reader copy of The Devil Particle, it’s not too late to post your review on Amazon. Every review The Devil Particle receives helps boost sales and Amazon’s marketing machine.

Your review can be short and sweet, like this 5-star review from reader Kris Felstehausen,

I was sucked into the action immediately and had a hard time putting it down. The characters are deeply flawed and the action non-stop. It really gets you thinking and ends with an OMG! That ending twist was not what I expected.

You can also submit a photo of you with the book, maybe while you’re lounging on the beach? It’s fun to see where in the world The Devil Particle travels.


Thank you to Kris and everyone who’s submitted a review!




Kristin holding her books


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