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The Reivers: A Reminiscence

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  5,280 Ratings  ·  291 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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Henry Avila
An old man, is reciting the unusual, yet true story, to his own grandson, named after him, of long ago, when he, was eleven, Lucius Priest, a comfortable but uninspired life, he led, in the small town of Jefferson, northern Mississippi, with his parents and three younger brothers, the year, 1905. His father makes him work at the family's livery stable, every Saturday, for 10 cents a day, to know the benefits of employment. But the dullness will soon evaporate, Boon Hogganbeck, all six foot 4 in ...more
Jeffrey Keeten
Jun 02, 2015 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jeffrey by: On the Southern Literary Trail
Shelves: southern
“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
Oct 11, 2014 Lawyer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Lawyer by: Miss Maxine Lustig, Lustig's Bookstore
The Reivers: William Faulkner's Final Gift

This novel was a group read for members of On the Southern Literary Trail in January, 2013.

William Faulkner, The last dust-jacket photo. Reviewer's copy.

"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 my own Grandfather a bit. It is a Grandson's tale. There is a point to it.

Any boy who ever
Jul 11, 2013 Algernon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
"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
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
Mike Moore
Jun 14, 2012 Mike Moore rated it really liked it
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
I am annoyed - a bad end to a bad book. I wrote a review and somehow lost it before saving it! Here follows a second try.

Wordy, confusing and boring. Those are the three adjectives I would use to describe this book. Simplistic too.

My biggest complaint is the wordiness. Was Faulkner taking part in a contest to see who could come up with the most synonyms for each word? Someone should count how many times "or" is found in this book. Faulkner begins with an oblique statement, and then it is repea
Aug 17, 2008 Algernon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
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
Mar 17, 2016 Judy rated it really liked it
(Note: I have been making my way through the 1962 list of My Big Fat Reading Project for too long. At the beginning of the year, I committed myself to reading at least one a week from the list. So I hope my readers here are not bored by so many old books. Some of them are still worth reading if you never have read them before.)

The Reivers was the #10 bestseller in 1962 and Faulkner's final novel. In fact, he died that year.

I wasn't too excited about reading it. I have read most of his novels o
Oct 23, 2010 Erik rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
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
Jun 07, 2012 K.M. Weiland rated it really liked it
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
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
Mar 23, 2010 terrycojones rated it really liked it
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
Jim Peterson
If you don’t want to bother with my ramblings, just skip to the last paragraph for my opinion of the book :-)

I live in Europe, and several times in the past when someone discovered I was (and still am) an American, they might go on to talk about some American author and what did I think about him or her. I would either admit I hadn’t read the author in question or pretend as if I had – both of which options would be rather awkward. And so, I’ve decided to remedy that situation and have been spen
Andrea Poulain

Por alguna razón con este libro empecé a leer a Faulkner y no recuerdo exactamente qué me llevó a escogerlo. Creo que porque con este libro ganó un Pulitzer o algo así. El libro es un libro que se trata de coches y carreras de caballos, por lo que hay un montón de conversaciones sobre caballos y cómo hacerlos correr y cómo funcionan las carreras y las apuestas y también hay un montón de cháchara sobre los primeros coches, esos que iban a una velocidad que
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
Mar 24, 2013 Justin rated it liked it
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
Cathryn Conroy
Feb 14, 2014 Cathryn Conroy rated it really liked it
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
John Guffey
May 16, 2016 John Guffey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pulitzer-winners
Faulkner went back to his roots with the last book of his life. The classic dysfunctional group/family goes on a ill advised journey to somewhere they never should've gone. I love "As I Lay Dying" and this book brought me back to that so much. A young boy comes of age in a humorous and unlikely setting while being shaped by some memorable characters.
May 14, 2014 Mike rated it it was amazing
A kinder, gentler Faulkner.
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
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
Jun 29, 2008 Chris rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 15, 2016 Richard rated it liked it
Shelves: pulitzer-fiction
Reading Faulkner is an acquired taste, or more accurately an acquired skill, certainly for those of us trained to digest the literal meaning of a each sentence before moving to the next (often by virtue of our professions or field of study). The Reivers is said to be one of the more "accessible" of Faulkner's works, yet the initially-frustrating style of run-on, semi-stream-of-conscious narration is in full force from the first sentence of the book. Faulkner novices are given the (excellent) adv ...more
May 27, 2008 Arthur rated it it was amazing
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
Renada Thompson
Read for the 2015 Reading Challenge: A Pulitzer Prize winning book.
Faulkner has scared me a bit since American Lit class, and this may be the first full-length work of his I've read. It took a hundred pages or so to get into it, but by the time I got to the horse race I was hooked. In the Editors' Note, Faulkner describes the story as "sort of Huck Finn." It is -- more melancholic but, to me, more satisfying.
Chris Black
Jul 15, 2016 Chris Black rated it really liked it
A little less than I was expecting. Less flourish than any Faulkner that I have read thus far, but also not too much substance. These poles are not necessarily related in a way that means the lack of one implies the presence of the other. However, it was a funnish read and it kept my attention. The musings about lost innocence were semi-interesting, but not very insightful.
Renee Porter
Dec 17, 2010 Renee Porter rated it liked it
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.
Feb 14, 2016 Danee rated it did not like it
Oh, so boring. I wanted to give up on it so many times, but I stuck with it, just so I would never have to read another Faulkner book again. Tried Absalom, Absalom years ago and gave up very soon in to it. Should have done the same with this one. There were a few good lines, but not worth the time.
Kirk Smith
Aug 09, 2015 Kirk Smith rated it really liked it
I had a grin on my face through most of this book, yet never laughed out loud even once. A great story of hijinks and adventure. A little slow in parts, but overall a very good book.
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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 about William Faulkner...

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“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.” 12 likes
“I lied," I said. ...
"I know it," he said.
"Then do something about it. Do anything, just so it's something."
"I cant," he said.
"There aint anything to do? Not anything?"
"I didn't say that," Grandfather said. "I said I couldn't. You can."
"What?" I said. "How can I forget it? Tell me how to."
"You cant," he said. "Nothing is ever forgotten. Nothing is ever lost. It's too valuable."
"Then what can I do?"
"Live with it," Grandfather said.
"Live with it? You mean, forever? For the rest of my life? Not ever to get rid of it? Never? I cant. Dont you see that I cant?"
"Yes you can," he said. "You will. A gentleman always does. A gentleman can live through anything. He faces anything. A gentleman accepts the responsibility of his actions and bears the burden of their consequences, even when he did not himself instigate them but only acquiesced to them, didn't say No though he knew he should.”
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