The Reivers by William Faulkner: Hardcover Book (Hardcover)
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The Reivers: A Reminiscence, published in 1962, is the last novel by the American author William Faulkner. The bestselling novel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1963. Faulkner previously won this award for his book A Fable, making him one of only four authors to be awarded it more than once. Unlike many of his earlier works, it is a straightforward narration and eschews the complicated literary techniques of his more well known works. It is a picaresque novel, and as such may seem uncharacteristically lighthearted given its subject matter. For these reasons, The Reivers is often ignored by Faulkner scholars or dismissed as a lesser work.
In the early 20th century, an 11-year-old boy named Lucius Priest (a distant cousin of the McCaslin/Edmonds family Faulkner wrote about in Go Down, Moses) somewhat unwittingly gets embroiled in a plot to go to Memphis with dimwitted family friend and manservant Boon Hogganbeck. Boon steals (reives, thereby becoming a reiver) Lucius' grandfather's car, one of the first cars in Yoknapatawpha County. They discover that Ned McCaslin, a black man who works with Boon at Lucius' grandfather's stables, has stowed away with them (Ned is also a blood cousin of the Priests).
When they reach Memphis, Boon and Lucius stay in a boarding-house (brothel). Miss Reba, the madam, and Miss Corrie, Boon's favorite girl, are appalled to see that Boon has brought a child. In fact, Corrie's nephew Otis, an ill-mannered and off-putting boy about Lucius' age, is already staying there. In the evening, Otis reveals that Corrie (whose real name is Everbe Corinthia) used to prostitute herself in their old town, and he would charge men to watch her through a peephole. Outraged at his conduct, Lucius fights Otis, who cuts his hand with a pocketknife. Boon breaks up the fight but Everbe is so moved by Lucius' chivalry that she decides to stop whoring. Later, Ned returns to the boarding-house and reveals he traded the car for a supposedly lame racehorse.
Corrie, Reba, Ned, Boon and Lucius hatch a scheme to smuggle the horse by rail to a nearby town, Parsham, to race a horse it has lost to twice already. Ned figures that everyone in town will bet against the horse and he can win enough money to buy back the car; he claims to have a secret ability to make the horse run. Corrie uses another client who works for the railroad, Sam, to get them and the horse on a night train. In town, Ned takes Lucius to stay with a black family while they practice for the horse race. Unfortunately, the local lawman named Butch finds them out and attempts to extort sexual favors from Corrie to look the other way. Reba is able to send him away by claiming she will reveal to the town that he intentionally ordered two prostitutes, angering his constituency.