For the title this, one of his later works, William Faulkner adopted the term “Reivers,” which is an old name for the bandits who raided along the English-Scots border over many centuries. THE REIVERS is set in Mississippi and in and near Memphis during the early days of the automobile. It begins with Grandfather’s instructions to his 11-year-old grandson concerning the right behavior for an honorable man. There follows a rollicking comic epic of what happens when the grandson, 11, along with a couple of rowdy adult companions, secretly leaves a fictional Mississippi town 80 miles south of west Tennessee and heads off in Granddad’s automobile to Memphis, hell-bent on having a good time. At the end, after many adventures and setbacks, it appears that Grandfather was right after all.
As always, this Faulkner tale is rich in character and revealing as to time and place. There is a pretty good movie version starring Steve McQueen.
The audiobook by audible.com is terrific narration by John H. Mayer. It’s more fun to listen to Mayer’s skillful story-telling style than to read the book yourself.
For our overview of the works of William Faulkner go to 20.00.06.