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The Reivers Paperback – September 1, 1992
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Reivers was Faulkner’s final novel, published a few weeks before his death. It is the comic story of the boy Lucius Priest, the crafty old Negro Ned McCaslin and the dimwitted... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Bill
A truly great read. I was pleasantly surprised and thoroughly entertained.Published 8 months ago by John W. Drescher
This is Faulkner's HUCKLEBERRY FINN; I was happily surprised.Published 9 months ago by Michael J. Hamer
No reader should have to learn how to make sense of an author's writing. Nevertheless, after not understanding much of the beginning, finally learning how to read around Faulkner's... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Dale Lund
If Faulkner had been a painter, he might have been a Jackson Pollock whom I don’t like much either. Faulkner’s spelling and punition errors, his ramblings and digressions are... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Bill Allen
Many reviewers, and the author, might consider this story one of the lesser efforts of Faulkner. Maybe so, but many readers will find this to be his most enjoyable book. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Gary H. Goubeau
I can understand why other people love this book, there are scenes in this book which are laugh-out-loud funny, I am just not personally a fan of Faulkner's style. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Kristin B.