The Reivers is a zany tale of a none-too-innocent rural Mississippi childhood related by Lucius Priest to his grandson.
At age 11, Lucius and two pals who work at the family’s freight business borrow his grandfather’s automobile and drive up to Memphis from Jefferson, Mississippi, no mean feat in 1905.
While Boon and Lucius eat supper at a brothel where Boon’s girl friend works, Ned trades the car for a horse. Ned plans to race the horse, bet heavily, collect a pile, and get the car back when the horse wins.
Unfortunately, the horse hates to run unless there’s another horse ahead of him.
Ned has to enlist Boon and Lucius to help.
William Faulkner’s narrator tells the story in a wheezy, cracker barrel manner, letting readers deduce what actually happened—if that is possible. The yarn may be only a few facts embroidered by an old man’s fancy, the characters might be just enhanced wisps of Lucius’ memory.
The charm of the story is believing there was once a time when people who cared about one another might have had exciting adventures together and never come to any harm.The Reivers: A Reminiscence William Faulkner Random House, 1962 305 pages 1962 Bestseller #10 My grade: B
© 2012 Linda Gorton Aragoni
Photo credit: Black Antique car uploaded by Still