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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
I had to read this book for a class and it was okay. I downloaded an audio recording along with it so that I could just listen and follow along and that made the book more... Read morePublished 10 days ago by Amazon Customer
When I picked up The Reivers, William Faulkner's final novel, published in 1962, I had a couple of questions. First of all, what is a reiver? Read morePublished 2 months ago by Paul Mastin
I read this book first as a tattered library book and then bought this handsome hard cover edition and read it again. Read morePublished 3 months ago by jenny o'flaherty
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 7 months ago by Bill
A truly great read. I was pleasantly surprised and thoroughly entertained.Published 14 months ago by John W. Drescher