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The Reivers Paperback – September 1, 1992

4 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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From the Publisher

This product is not a traditionally bound book. Many ProQuest UMI products are black-and-white reproductions of original publications produced through the Books On Demand ® program. Alternately, this product may be a photocopy of a dissertation or it may be a collection reproduced on microfiche or microfilm if it is intended for library purchase. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Inside Flap

The Bookcassette® format is a special recording technique developed as a means of condensing the full, unabridged audio text of a book to record it on fewer tapes. In order to listen to these tapes, you will need a cassette player with balance control to adjust left/right speaker output. Special adaptors to allow these tapes to be played on any cassette player are available through the publisher or some US retail electronics stores. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (September 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679741925
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679741923
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: School & Library Binding
When I first tried to read The Reivers about 35 years ago, I found the book hard to get into. I found that happening again this time, but my advice to you is to stick with it. Past the opening scenes, you'll find the story wrapping its gentle tendrils around your mind and enjoyably taking you back to a simpler time when automobiles were new, and people acted in less restrained ways when they had the chance.
The experience of reading this book is like sitting on your grandfather's knee listening to him describe his youth. Sit back, take a deep breath, relax, and settle in for a most entertaining story that should not be hurried.
The book's title is filled with irony. Although ostensibly looking at the temptations that cause people to steal, underlying that surface message is a more subtle one of how people in power use that power to steal dignity and opportunity from others. Before the story ends, everyone in the book is a reiver (an older term for thief) of something or of human dignity.
The book opens with Boon Hogganback losing his temper and trying to shoot a man who insulted him. Fortunately, Boon is a bad shot. That's also the bad news because he wounds a young black girl and shoots out a store window. It will take him a long time to pay the damages.
The story then shifts to Boon's equally impulsive infatuation with the automobile that the narrator's grandfather has purchased, but doesn't intend to drive. Boon craftily overcomes grandfather's reluctance, and the family is soon riding with Boon as the driver.
When the narrator's other grandfather dies, the family leaves town by train for the funeral leaving Boon with an automobile.
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1 Comment 76 of 79 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Some fans of Faulkner have bemoaned the fact that his final novel is not a profound summation of his heftier, more philosophical works (as though Faulkner could have foreseen his own death and owed his readers that much). While it is true that The Reivers is a much lighter (and more comical) work than those commonly regarded as Faulkner's "masterpieces," it is still worthy of attention. For one thing, The Reivers is Faulkner at his most entertaining; unburdened by the need to address the darker symptoms of the human condition, he is free to let his imagination run wild: the trials and triumphs of young Lucius Priest and his travelling companions make for some hilarious scenes and leave the reader feeling far more bouyant at the novel's close that, say, at the end of The Sound and the Fury or Absalom, Absalom!. The Reivers also features two additional benefits: the divine Miss Reba (second only to Granny Millard as Faulkner's most entertaining and resourceful female character); and the much-appreciated absence of that nosy and annoying popinjay Gavin Stevens. While one might read The Reivers as a Bildungsroman (Lucius's growth and awakening to the realities of the world around him are clearly underscored throughout the novel), I prefer to see it as a simple, amusing and satisfying story from a man who, by the end of his life, had done more to explore the human condition than most writers ever attempt - and was content to leave it at that.
2 Comments 37 of 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
While there is little of Faulkner's work that DOESN'T rate five stars, this last of his stories earns them unquestionably and merits every bit of perseverance it might take to read it to the end, and to savor the sly humor, the right-on characterizations, the irony about class, role, virtue, etc., that take the reader from Jefferson, Mississippi, to Memphis and back. As a coming-of-age story, one might compare it to THE BEAR and INTRUDER IN THE DUST. As an adventure in rollicking humor, it's reminiscent of the "Spotted Horses" section of THE HAMLET. Having made those comparisons, it's still important to emphasize that THE REIVERS stands on its own as a last testament to Faulkner's ability to knock you over with his moral vision and his uncanny insight into human beings. If there's a difference from his earlier great works that make profound moral statements, e.g., THE SOUND AND THE FURY and ABSALOM, ABSALOM!, it's that an older man is much gentler and more forgiving about human foibles but is still effective in making his point. P.S. Keep a dictionary with old words in it nearby.....you can't always find "reivers" and "callipygian" in the newer ones.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
William Faulkner had previously won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1949, and the Pulitzer Prize for fiction (in 1955 for "A Fable"). This novel won him a second Pulitzer Prize. It was published in 1962, the year of his death.
The novel is written in the style of an older man reminiscencing about his youth. Some of the individual sentences ramble and digress, as do some parts of the story, put gradually the plot moves forward. Not everyone will like the writing style. I found the beginning of the novel hard to get into; but as the plot progressed it was hard to put down.
It is written as a first person narrative with some dialogue.
The setting is in May 1905. Lucius Priest is an 11-year old boy living in a Mississippi town about 80 miles from Memphis, normally a two day drive over dirt roads if it's not raining and the roads are dry. Boon Hogganbeck, of somewhat unknown ancestry, was more or less inherited by the Priest family and works in the family's livery stable as the night man when he is not acting as the driver of an automobile purchased by Lucius's grandfather, a banker in the town. Ned McCaslin is the black coachman for the family.
When the adults in the family are called away to the Gulf coast for a funeral, Boon, Lucius, and Ned "borrow" the grandfather's automobile to make a trip to Memphis where they stay overnight in a bordello that Boon has visited in the past. Things become complicated when Ned trades the automobile for a stolen racehorse. Ned has a way with animals, and sees potential in the horse (which has previously lost all of its races). The plot has an interesting ending, and Ned is smarter than people may have thought.
Along the way, Lucius learns to drive the automobile, defends a woman's honor, and learns a lot about life that he would never have learned in school.
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