Barbara Kingsolver’s ‘Demon Copperhead’

Ron Charles at The Washington Post:

It’s barely Halloween. The ball won’t drop in Times Square for another two full months, and more good books will surely appear before the year ends. But I already know: My favorite novel of 2022 is Barbara Kingsolver’s “Demon Copperhead.”

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. He becomes aware of his status early, around the same time he gets the nickname Demon. “I was a lowlife,” he says, “born in the mobile home, so that’s like the Eagle Scout of trailer trash.” The more he grasps the connotations of words like “hick” and “redneck,” the more discouraged he becomes. “This is what I would say if I could, to all the smart people of the world with their dumb hillbilly jokes. … We can actually hear you.”

more here.