The Reivers: A Reminiscence
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The Reivers: A Reminiscence

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  3,603 ratings  ·  214 reviews
One of Faulkner's comic masterpieces, The Reivers is a picaresque that tells of three unlikely car thieves from rural Mississippi. Eleven-year-old Lucius Priest is persuaded by Boon Hogganbeck, one of his family's retainers, to steal his grandfather's car and make a trip to Memphis. The Priests' black coachman, Ned McCaslin, stows away, and the three of them are off on a h...more
Paperback, First Vintage International Edition, 320 pages
Published September 1st 1992 by Vintage International (first published 1962)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Jan 23, 2013 Jeffrey Keeten rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jeffrey by: On the Southern Literary Trail
“It was too late. Maybe yesterday, while I was still a child, but not now. I knew too much, had seen too much, I was a child no longer now; innocence and childhood were forever lost, forever gone from me.”

Lucius Priest is almost proud of his innocence, an innocence that is easy to maintain as long as he stays in Yoknapatawpha County Mississippi, but when two family retainers by the name of Boon Hogganbeck and Ned McCaslin decide to go on an adventure and convince him to be a part of their ludic...more
Mike
Jan 24, 2013 Mike rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Mike by: Miss Maxine Lustig, Lustig's Bookstore
The Reivers: William Faulkner's Final Gift

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William Faulkner, The last dust-jacket photo

"Your outside is just what you live in, sleep in, and has little connection with who you are and even less with what you do.”


The Reivers is a Grandfather tale. So I beg the reader's patience while I write about mine for a bit. I promise there is a point to it.

Any boy who ever hopes to amount to anything must learn to become a man. It is a task I cannot think of accomplishing without the right teacher. The ri...more
Algernon
"Sometimes you have to say goodbye to the things you know and hello to the things you don't!"
I confess I knew what to expect before starting the book and was really looking forward to reading the text the 1969 movie was based on. The quote above is from this Steve McQueen movie, one of my all-time favorites despite McQueen's apparent disappointment in his role.

The book surpassed my expectations. I have read Faulkner before, but never was I moved to laugh out loud like here. A grandfather recount...more
Sue
Some initial thoughts---the often matter-of-fact relations between black and white in trying situations, when they (in this case men) sit together and actually talk some things out. Not equal but as co-conspirators on this earth.

Women--sacred or profane, little seen or altogether too much present. I want to read so much more and see more Faulkner women.

The young---of body (Lucius) or mind (Boon) certainly led us on a wonderful chase but without the wiles of Ned (the fool?) there would have been...more
Mike Moore
An imagined meeting between William Faulkner and Random House marketing executive James Inge:

James Inge: Bertie! Great to see you my man. Congratulations on finishing up your big trilogy. Boy, those Snopeses, am I right? Pull up a seat.

William Faulkner: Hello James, thanks. I want to talk with you about my next book. There's something that's been bothering me.

JI: Is it the pressure of history, the force of a host of ancestors or past decisions like vengeful furies breaking into the present and...more
Algernon
At my high school, they introduced us to Faulkner with SANCTUARY. I never returned to him until this summer, when somewhere or other I picked up a copy of this, Faulkner's last novel, published a month before he died in 1962. The following year, it won a Pulitzer, yet it is one of his least-known works.

I am convinced this is the novel with which to introduce readers to Faulkner. It is set in the fictitious Yoknapatawpha County that is the setting of several of his novels, a landscape with a ric...more
Erik
The first 50+ pages was like listening to someone tell a story with so many tangents and sentences so long that I forget where it was even headed to being with. I understand the style was part of the story, but I don't like hearing a story told in that manner in real life, so it lost its novelty quickly. I laughed out loud once, but the rest of the humor never even got a smile. The only reason I can see this won a Pulitzer is because of the year it was published and the racial commentary (not a...more
K.M. Weiland
I find it interesting so many people found this book incomprehensible. This easily the *most* comprehensible of any of Faulkner's writings. It's also the most likable, the most charming, and the only one of his books I can say I honestly enjoyed all the way through. It's not as self-conscious, artsy, or convoluted as most of his other works, and because of that very thing, I'd say it offers more depth than even his "deep" books. Here, we actually find a cast of primarily likable characters whose...more
Justin
This was my fourth and final Faulkner novel for the month of March. I have to admit that I have a bit of Faulkner fatigue which in all transparency could have impacted my rating. This is Faulkner's most accessible novel - a Huck Finn style coming of age story that is fun, exciting, and subtle in its commentary on race and manhood. It has almost no resemblance to anything else he has written. It's really quite a tribute to Faulkner's ability that he can write across such diverse genre's while sti...more
terrycojones
I really enjoyed The Reivers. I wasn't expecting to because I'd read in several places that it was a "comic masterpiece" and I didn't really like Faulkner's attempts at humor (e.g., the attempted comic scenes as Soldier's Pay degenerates into farce). But his dark humor - that's another thing altogether, and Faulkner has a deft touch.

He's also a master at the child's-eye-view of proceedings in the adult world. You can see this in many places in Faulkner (e.g., in Barn Burning, in Intruder In The...more
James
The Reivers, written at the end of William Faulkner's life, is a picaresque tale of a young boy's coming of age. There is a certain resemblance to aspects of Huckleberry Finn in the adventures and friendships of young Lucius Priest. Lucius, an eleven year old boy is sensitive and intelligent, but innocent of the rougher side of life and ready for adventure when Boon Hogganbeck, a simple man, and Ned William McCaslin Jefferson Missippi (a Negro referred to as Ned) steal Lucius' grandfather's car...more
Sylvester
3.5* (I may have liked this book more in the way of complete surprise - to find myself reading Faulkner without throwing the book down and stomping on it. If Joe Shmoe had written it, would I be less impressed?) Faulkner is a superb writer whose way of telling a story (backwards, forwards, fits and starts, parentheses within parentheses, switchbacks and a whole lotta beating around the bush) is bewildering and exasperating for the most part beyond bearing. When, however, he decides to tell a sto...more
Mike
A kinder, gentler Faulkner.
Matt
I had some trouble to fight my way through this novel.

The story is actually quite interesting and amusing: The three heroes, 11 yo Lucius, Boon Hogganbeck and "Uncle" Ned pilfer the car of Lucius' grandfather and want to travel for four days to the "big city". You have to understand that at the time in which the story takes place only very few cars (that were called automobiles back then) were seen on the so-called roads in the Southern U.S. and a journey this long represents a considerable chal...more
Chris
Many people refer to this book as a coming of age story about Lucius, an 11 year old boy who takes an trip with two of his father’s employees without his family’s knowledge. Along the way the young man is exposed to car thievery, whores, horse theft and smuggling, gambling and other family values. Others say that the book is about the coming of the automobile, and the adjustment that American’s were faced with. Both of these ideas are equally important themes to this book, as they parallel each...more
Arthur
This is a book that can be read over and over again, as a matter of fact, this copy purchased over 25 years ago finally fell apart in my hands after being read countless times. The Reivers is the story Boon, who took the 11 yr old son of his employer, Lucius, on a weeklong joy ride to a memphis boarding house for women in his bosses car. Ned, a stowaway in the car, trades the car for a horse, to race the horse against one it has lost to twice already in order to win both the money from the race...more
Steve Howes
The Reivers is a great story that takes place in 1905 Tennessee and Mississippi. It involves an 11-year old boy, a family hired man, and a black man on an ill-advised trip to Memphis in an automobile borrowed, or stolen, depending on your interpretation, from the boy's grandfather. Along the way, they end up in the company of a group of prostitutes and get involved in a country horse race designed to regain possession of the auto which the black man had traded for a racehorse unbeknownst to the...more
Emily
Feb 27, 2014 Emily rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who likes Faulkner
Recommended to Emily by: Faulkner
" ... nightmare vision of our nation's vast and boundless future in which the basic unit of its economy and prosperity would be a small mass-produced cubicle containing four wheels and an engine."

"No epoch of history nor generation of human beings either ever was or is or will be big enough to hold the un-virtue of any given moment, any more than they could contain all the air of any given moment; all they can do is hope to be as little soiled as possible during their passage through it ... Prob...more
Renee Porter
I have always found Faulkner difficult reading, a chore if you will.

This was a bookclub read, so I tackled it with grace and found to my surprise it was a fun read. I consider The Reivers to be 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 and the novel has a great deal of charm.
Lucynell
I read somewhere that William Faulkner fanatics don't very much like The Reivers because it is quite accessible. Awesome. I only read one other of Faulkner's stories -As I Lay Dying- and The Reivers is the easiest to read, and consequently the more enjoyable, though still challenging, especially the beginning and the ending. But the language is beautiful, wholesome and at certain passages plain stunning. The characters have depth, originality and serve perfectly as the author's tribute to indivi...more
Veronica
So sad that this last work of Faulkner’s was not the gem I longed for. I even had doubts about the authenticity of The Reivers during my read. Perhaps I was distracted while simultaneously perusing Colm Toibin’s The Testament of Mary, a fabulous gift from my sister.

A turn of the century road trip gone awry when an odd trio
‘reiv’ a car and head to Memphis, each with their own agenda. What should have been comical was not and the characters were either dull or stereotyped.

Perhaps it would be best...more
Jamie
Whoa, so Faulkner can be sustainedly and riotously hilarious along with all of his other Faulkner-punches? Unfair but also: the best. I loved this.
Becky
Definitely a lot easier to understand and follow than "The Sound and the Fury." Since that was the last Faulkner book I'd read, I wasn't quite sure what to expect; I was pleasantly surprised! The book is written in such a way that, if you don't know anything about it, you have no idea where it's going when it begins. This makes you want to keep on reading until before you know it, the book's finished! It's basically a 'coming-of-age' story and you see the main character learn and grow throughout...more
Rachel
Am I the only one who doesn't get Faulkner?
Cathryn Conroy
The former rector of our church recently died. She was a longtime William Faulkner lover and just couldn't stand the thought that she had read all his books. So she saved this one--his last, written in 1962 and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize--to read (or have read to her) on her deathbed, whenever that day came. Tragically, she died suddenly of a heart attack and never got to read it. A few of us at our church are reading it "for her." And she would have loved this book! So will you, especially...more
M. Milner
The story of a car theft run amok, The Reivers is Faulkner's final novel. But instead of reading as a capstone to his career, the summation of everything he'd written, it's more of a comic adventure through the rural south. And while it's not one of his major novels, in it's own way, it's an enjoyable, rewarding read.

Set in the spring of 1905, The Reivers follows 11-year old Lucius Priest, Boon Hogganbeck and Ned McCaslin on a road trip up through Yoknapatawpha County to Memphis. Taking advanta...more
Meran
I believe this may be the first Faulkner book I've ever read.

It was hard to get into the story telling; the narrator speaks as the elderly person telling a story from his childhood (which it is) but he rambles a LOT... I had difficulty with the writing style until I realized that >I< probably tell the story pretty much like he did ;) It was a little easier then. Of course, this story takes place a long time ago, when cars were few and roads were uncomfortable for cars, being rutted from ho...more
Anne Nikoline
May 05, 2013 Anne Nikoline rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: most people
Recommended to Anne Nikoline by: my interest in William Faulkner's authorship
Eleven-year-old Lucius Priest, in cooperation with the older Boon Hogganbeck take on an illegal drive with something as sensational as an automobile, in a very complicated way, a racehorse enters the story, and the boys find out what happens at a brothel. This is a tale of youth and manhood, and the transition in order to get there. This is almost a more mature version of "Tom Sawyer" and "Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain set in a different time.

Lucius Priest is an innocent creator that in the w...more
Elham
حرامیان خاطره ایست که لوسیوس پریست 67 ساله از زمان نوجوانی خود، 11 سالگی، برای نوه اش تعریف می کند. داستان دزدیدن اتومبیل پدربزرگ، توسط بون هاگنبنگ و رفتن به ممفیس. در بین سفر متوجه می شوند که ند هم با آنها آمده است و خودش را در ماشین پنهان کرده بوده.

از این سه شخصیت اصلی داستان که بگذریم - یعنی لوسیوس، بون و ند - اتومبیل پدربزرگ و بعدها اسبی به نام لایتنینگ هم نقش خیلی مهمی دارند. و جالب است که طرح روی جلد در برخی از ویرایش ها، عکس یک اتومبیل است و در برخی دیگر عکس یک اسب!

لوسیوس یازده ساله به خ...more
Chip
The description says 'comic masterpiece' but I failed to see the comedy. As with most Faulkner books, I am too close to the setting to understand how Faulkner's world appears to others. On the other hand, reading Faulkner takes me back to a time when characters like his were a daily part of my life - a depression-era American South that no longer exists. That's mainly what I took away from this book - a fine tale of how things used to be. The conflicts are timeless: just as fresh as if they were...more
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On the Southern L...: The Reivers Discussion 40 55 Feb 01, 2013 08:44PM  
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William Cuthbert Faulkner was a Nobel Prize-winning American novelist and short story writer. One of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, his reputation is based mostly on his novels, novellas, and short stories. He was also a published poet and an occasional screenwriter.
The majority of his works are based in his native state of Mississippi. Though his work was published as earl...more
More about William Faulkner...
The Sound and the Fury As I Lay Dying Light in August Absalom, Absalom! A Rose for Emily

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“I will never lie again.” 6 likes
“It was too late. Maybe yesterday, while I was still a child, but not now. I knew too much, had seen too much, I was a child no longer now; innocence and childhood were forever lost, forever gone from me.” 5 likes
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