"Demon Copperhead" by Barbara Kingsolver

Converses75 Books Challenge for 2023

Afegeix-te a LibraryThing per participar.

"Demon Copperhead" by Barbara Kingsolver

març 2, 8:34 pm

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

I think there are a few of us reading this gem right now, so the fields wide open!

març 2, 8:35 pm

I've got my copy and I am on Chapter 2. : )

març 2, 8:45 pm

I will be starting it this weekend, Kimmers. Hope I will catch up quickly enough.

I have the same cover version by the way!

març 3, 12:17 am

Welcome!! I hope to devote some time to it this weekend, too.

març 3, 7:48 am

Added this one to the group wiki and group announcements thread. Have fun!

març 3, 10:23 am

I'm well into it, and it's equal parts brilliance and darkness. So well done.

març 3, 9:21 pm

>5 drneutron: Thank you (as always!) Jim. : )

>6 laytonwoman3rd: Encouraging words! Can't wait to get a little further in....

març 3, 9:52 pm

I have three books on the go:

Purple Hibiscus
My Family and Other Animals

Demon Copperhead

Frankly I am loving all three! Hope to have them all done this weekend.

Editat: març 5, 11:55 am

A library hold on a Grisham novel just came through, unexpectedly quickly. No renewals, as the hold list is long, so I'm putting Copperhead aside, reluctantly, for a day or so. Shouldn't be long 'til I'm back to it.

març 4, 6:17 pm

Stalking. Will be reading later, but likely to read David Copperfield first so I can enjoy their relationship. Looking forward to reading what you’all think on this thread!

març 6, 1:46 pm

I'll be joining in, too.

The first several hundred pages were so bleak and sad that I almost quit reading it. :(

març 7, 6:43 pm

I love the talk about nicknames and how Damon got his, Demon Copperhead. Only about 50 pages in. : )

març 9, 12:21 am

I love Demon’s voice.

març 9, 9:51 am

>13 BLBera: Me too. That's what keeps me reading, because the story is otherwise so grim... His voice somehow gives me hope that something good may happen for him eventually.

Editat: març 9, 2:58 pm

>13 BLBera: Agreed! Here's my latest example of that: When Demon was forced to do hard labor in foster care. Tobacco. p. 100. Even in this really grim passage I like his fierceness and grit. His FU get your sh__ together attitude. He refuses to be broken.

"So in October you're in the field all day every day, cutting for the life of you. Picking up the next stick, stabbing the ground. Chopping a plant, lifting, slamming it on. Stab-chop-lift-slam times six, and move on, forever amen and God help you. One loaded stick of plants weighs thirty or forty pounds, and you'll lift hundreds of them before a day is done. You do the math, because I've already done the job."

març 9, 3:00 pm

>14 laytonwoman3rd: I am counting on a happy ending! Otherwise, yeah, this is a tough life. I am so mad at his mom and her atrocious husband. And the sad thing is so many people have a life like this and there is no good outcome. : (

març 9, 9:26 pm

Stolen from Ellen's (EBT1002) thread: "it is both nothing like David Copperfield and absolutely like it. Demon is a compelling main character and the exploration of the stereotyped thinking about folks who live in Appalachia, our society's continued neglect of children from poor communities, and the impact of the opioid crisis on working class communities was all stellar. I think it's one of Kingsolver's best novels. And that is saying something because I'm a long-time fan of her work. "

Editat: març 9, 10:58 pm

I'm loving what Kingsolver has done with the names, to suggest the Dickens characters. Peggot from Peggoty; Miss Barks from Barkis; McCobb from Micawber; Woodall from Trotwood. But Mr. Dick is still Mr. Dick!

març 9, 11:23 pm

I picked up on Demon and Miss Barks, but I'm not far enough in for some of the other ones. Fun!!

març 10, 2:33 pm

I going to interrupt this sizzling discussion to reveal...uh...uh...uh. I'm in. I'll start reading this weekend. I do have three other books going, but I expect to finish Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats this evening. I expect to finish When We Cease to Understand the World Sunday. Dubliners is a short-story collection that I am reading at a one-a-day pace, so that shouldn't be an impediment.

Good times, here I come!

març 10, 5:14 pm

Your interruption is very welcome. : )

març 10, 5:18 pm

I continue to be dismayed by the people in this book who take kids in only to get a hold of the monthly stipends. I know this happens in real life today, and I wish more and better people would volunteer for foster care so that the social service agencies could have real choices.

març 12, 7:20 am

>18 laytonwoman3rd: >19 Berly: and don't forget U-Haul/Uriah Heep

Editat: març 12, 5:35 pm

>23 streamsong: Yes! I got to that one shortly after I posted my list.

març 12, 11:54 am

The first chapter didn't turn me away. It IS all of 5 pages. But I have it started.

març 12, 5:26 pm

I'm in, but haven't posted yet. I'm enjoying the book but it is heartbreaking. Getting me through is the knowledge that David Copperfield isn't fundamentally a depressing book.

>18 laytonwoman3rd: And more great names: Stoner from Murdstone, Crickson/Creaky from Creakle, Tommy Waddles from Tommy Traddles. I presume Emmy is from Little Emly.

Editat: març 14, 12:03 pm

Just swinging by to see how the conversation is going.

>17 Berly: Thanks for posting for me, Kim!!!

Editat: març 15, 2:55 am

Okay, I'm about halfway. I am glad he got to meet his grandmother, but stunned that she wouldn't keep him. Demon has just entered a new household and I am hoping things lighten up for him a little.

març 15, 2:53 am

>23 streamsong: >24 laytonwoman3rd: >26 AnneDC: You guys are good! LOL.

>25 weird_O: Way to go Bill!

>27 EBT1002: Anytime, Ellen. : )

Editat: març 16, 12:27 pm

I finished the novel last night. Very impressive. And after all Demon suffered and endured, it was the last few pages that really got to me. A book hasn't made me tear up in a long time, but this one did it. (And knowing David Copperfield fairly well, it wasn't by any means a surprise ending.)

My copy had a short bit in the front where Kingsolver told how the idea for this book came to her. Very interesting. It seems to be billed as a Barnes & Noble "exclusive", so I don't know if it's in other editions than theirs.

març 16, 12:40 pm

>30 laytonwoman3rd: That's encouraging. I have only read a few chapters; slow going. I think it's other activities that are limiting my reading and not the subject or its presentation.

març 16, 2:10 pm

I'm way behind but have just picked up the book. The caul took me straight back to reading DC in school aged about 15. I'm not sure why we spent so long talking about it (in my memory) - maybe it was just the start of the book so everyone had read that bit?

març 16, 2:33 pm

I read David Copperfield in high school and have only the barest memories of it. But is doesn't matter. As Barbara Kingsolver says in her letter to her readers at the front of the book, "...If you read it (David Copperfield) so long ago you've mostly forgotten, you will have the advantage of suspense, with no forewarning of the plot's many twists and surprise ending. On the other hand, if you're reading the novel with that other one in mind, you'll be let in on countless little puns and private jokes between Mr. Dickens and me. I have no preference -- come to this book however you like -- I'm just glad you're here."

març 16, 2:50 pm

>32 charl08: Or maybe your teacher felt the caul was something that needed a lot of explaining to high school students of your place and time?

març 16, 5:44 pm

>32 charl08: I think it's important to note because babies born with a caul in folklore are considered to be lucky and protected from harm, especially drowning:


So it sets the stage for whether we (and David) will view David's life as lucky/protected or unlucky/in harm's way.

març 17, 5:05 am

>34 laytonwoman3rd: >35 kac522: Both sound like good reasons. I'm finding I remember more about David Copperfield than I thought as I read through. Good read!

març 19, 2:43 pm

Before picking up Demon Copperhead, I rewatched the (BBC?) production of David Copperfield with Maggie Smith as Aunt Betsy Trotwood. It's an excellent version. I mean, Dame Maggie Smith? Always. And watching it helped me remember some of the storyline and the character names. Of course, as is true with any film version, it was abridged.

març 19, 8:15 pm

I'm a quarter through Demon Copperhead, not really ripping through it, but reading steadily. Full disclosure: I consulted WikiPedia to refresh my memory of David Copperfield, which...um um hmmm...I read in February 2016. My sister, with whom I chatted just yesterday, has to read it for her book club—deadline mid-April. I told her to just remember that it's David Copperfield, that bad stuff happens but DC didn't end in tragedy and sorrow. Of course, I don't know that about Demon, because I haven't finished the book and haven't peeked at any spoilers either. Maybe Stoner comes back and chops Demon into irregular little pieces. I don't know. I don't.


març 19, 8:50 pm

>38 weird_O: No comment.


març 19, 10:19 pm

>38 weird_O:, >39 EBT1002: We'll never tell, right Ellen?

març 20, 9:07 am

I finished (just in time to return the book to the library without a fine, phew, 20p saved.)

I really enjoyed the read, Demon's voice was a memorable one. Reading the final sections I remembered how convenient Dora's death seemed for Copperfield, despite the sadness.