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The Reivers (1962)

by William Faulkner

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2,036246,159 (3.63)122
Warm, humorous, poignant story about a boy's loss of innocence and a memoir and loving re-creation of turn-of-the-century Dixie.
  1. 00
    Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns (TheDivineOomba)
    TheDivineOomba: The Reivers by William Faulkner has a similar feel as Cold Sassy, with a similar leading character. But the Reivers is a bit more dark and has a more solid story.
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English (23)  Spanish (1)  All languages (24)
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
Fiction
  hpryor | Aug 8, 2021 |
A Book That Takes Place In Your Hometown

Finally, another Pulitzer-Prize winning book I enjoyed. Immensely. The Reivers is, like The Great Gatsby and All The Kings Men, a good story made great by the manner of its telling. Faulkner lets you think this is just the story of Lucius Priest, an eleven year old boy who acquiesces to borrowing his grandfather's automobile to go joy-riding with his father's hired hand Boon. That their eighty mile journey from Jefferson, Mississippi to Memphis will end up nothing more than an entertaining tale laughingly remembered. Then Ned happens. And keeps happening. First appearing as an innocent stowaway who "got just as much right to a trip as [Boon] and Lucius," Ned will embroil them all in a hare-brained scheme involving a "borrowed" horse that doesn't know how to run a race. Over the course of four days, Boon and Ned will, through their personal lives, provide Lucius an introduction to the chaotic adult world of love and lies and compromise and honor.

Written in Faulkner's unmistakable style that is simultaneously educated and everyday, The Reivers is a clash of idiocy and wisdom set in 1905 America, when a car on the road caused people to stop and watch it drive by. You will laugh out loud at the surprises Faulkner springs on you, and shake your head as Ned's attempts to disentangle Lucius, Boon and himself from the mess he has created only lead to more trouble. Through the book's details you appreciate how far we have advanced, both technologically and socially, regardless of how much we can still improve. And in the end Lucius, though still eleven and not a man, will no longer be a child.

A less-serious book than Faulkner's better known works such as The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying, The Reivers is nonetheless equally worth reading. ( )
  skavlanj | Jan 13, 2021 |
comedic tale of men and boys on spree
  ritaer | Jul 5, 2020 |
Faulkner is too indirect for me. meh. ( )
  reg_lt | Feb 7, 2020 |
The English Dictionary describes a ‘reiver’ as a plundering raider. In this comical novel by Faulkner, an eleven-year old boy Lucius Priest, son of a well to do business man from a small town in Tennessee, is looking for adventure and inadvertently becomes a reiver.

We’ve all done things in our childhood we regret. And perhaps back in 1905 the opportunity to get in trouble was not as easily at one’s disposal as today. But I can imagine for children of that era if the occasion presented itself the temptation might be overwhelming. Lucius, along with the black family coachman Ned McCaslin, and Boon Hogganbeck- a half American Indian and chauffeur for Lucius’s grandfather steal Boss’s car and head for Memphis. Grandpa Priest is referred to as Boss by everyone, including Lucius. They figure they have 4 days to enjoy an adventure while Lucius’s parents along with the Boss and Grandma are out of town for a funeral.

There are only 2 cars in the entire town and the roads are merely dirt paths tamped down by horses and buggies, rutted, and overgrown with weeds. But that is all part of the adventure. I will not spoil the plot but will say they do make it to Memphis and are put up at Miss Reba’s house of ill repute. Ned trades the car for a race horse, and plots to win tons of money and then get the car back. Lucius is chosen to be the jockey.

One fiasco leads to another and during the course of the plot Lucius learns way too much about far too many adult activities.

I can’t imagine what audience Faulkner was targeting in "The Reivers". It is certainly not suitable for a young boy to read although that is who would enjoy it the most. It’s a preposterous plot. The dialogue seems quite authentic but the writing style leaves a lot to be desired. Faulkner offers strong character development and plenty of details about the turn of the century customs and attitudes, but much of the information is passé, such as how to dig an automobile out of a river, and the minute details about how a mule and horse think and behave.

"The Reivers" was published in 1962. It won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and was made into a movie a few years later starring Steve McQueen in the award-winning role as Boon. ( )
  LadyLo | Oct 19, 2019 |
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To Victoria, Mark, Paul, William, Burks
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Grandfather said: This is the kind of a man Boon Hogganbeck was.
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Like this: a Republican is a man who made his money; a Liberal is a man who inherited his; a Democrat is a barefooted Liberal in a cross-country race; a Conservative is a Republican who has learned to read and write.
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Warm, humorous, poignant story about a boy's loss of innocence and a memoir and loving re-creation of turn-of-the-century Dixie.

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