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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling, Man Booker-shortlisted author of The Sisters Brothers comes a brilliant and boisterous novel that reimagines the folk tale.

A love story, an adventure story, a fable without a moral, and an ink-black comedy of manners, Undermajordomo Minor is Patrick deWitt's long-awaited follow-up to the internationally best-selling and critically acclaimed novel The Sisters Brothers.

Lucien (Lucy) Minor is the resident odd duck in the bucolic hamlet of Bury. Friendless and loveless, young and aimless, Lucy is a compulsive liar, a sickly weakling in a town famous for producing brutish giants. Then Lucy accepts employment assisting the Majordomo of the remote, foreboding Castle Von Aux.

While tending to his new post as Undermajordomo, Lucy soon discovers the place harbors many dark secrets, not least of which is the whereabouts of the castle's master, Baron Von Aux. He also encounters the colorful people of the local village - thieves, madmen, aristocrats, and Klara, a delicate beauty whose love he must compete for with the exceptionally handsome soldier, Adolphus. Thus begins a tale of polite theft, bitter heartbreak, domestic mystery, and cold-blooded murder in which every aspect of human behavior is laid bare for our hero to observe.

Undermajordomo Minor is an adventure, a mystery, and a searing portrayal of rural Alpine bad behavior, but above all it is a love story, and Lucy must be careful, for love is a violent thing.

©2015 Patrick deWitt (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great yarn and very well read

Superior reading makes this funny bit of magical realism all the more enjoyable. Would make a good intro to the world of audible books

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 09-21-15

Sometimes a train is just a train

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Sometimes a hole is just a hole. Sometimes a book is just meh.

If I were to choose one word for this novel it would be underwhelmed. If I were to choose two words for this novel the second would be cute. Cute works for puppies. It also works for babies. For me, however, cute doesn't work on its own for novels.

Look, I don't want to be too hard on Patrick deWitt. I really liked both 'Ablutions: Notes for a Novel' and 'The Sisters Brothers'. That is why I read the d@mn thing. And there were parts of it I liked. It just seemed a bit too trite, too uneven, boring, and again too cute. Even a candle in @ss (I won't delve deeper to ruin the surprise) in this book seems cute. The debauchery of castle elites just isn't what it used to be. The thrill is gone. The castles are closed. The holes hide no hermits.

So, if you've never read deWitt. Go read 'The Sister Brothers'. It is a better book and keeps the style, but drops the cute.

15 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

meh

I wasn't a fan of any of the characters. The storyline was weak BUT it wasn't long.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

LUST AND LOVE

Human lust and love simmer in “Undermajordomo Minor”. From a male’s point of view, Patrick deWitt has written a fantasy about an ancient time of castles, counts, and countesses reflecting on lust and love through the ages. The story suggests men are liars, and women are enablers; with the sexes meeting in lust and, at least in one case, growing into love.

The main character is a man named Lucy. Listeners meet Lucy as an unloved child nearing death. Lucy is visited on what appears to be his deathbed by a mysterious stranger that asks him what he wants out of life. Lucy says he wants something different. The stranger nods his head and leaves his bedside. The next day Lucy feels better but his father rapidly deteriorates and dies. His mother believes her husband’s death is related to Lucy’s recovery. Never having shown much love to Lucy, she treats Lucy as a tenant more than a son.

Patrick deWitt has written something different in "Undermajordomo Minor". He shows himself to be a skilled teller of tales; an artist suggesting there is more to a supernatural story than entertainment.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Beth Anne
  • Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 11-12-15

sub par

I am going to be honest, i had completely unreachable expectations on this novel due to the pure awesomeness of The Sisters Brothers. i'm not sure it lived up to what i was hoping for, but it was good enough to enjoy.

deWitt is an extremely gifted and clever writer. i find his writing style really easy to read and thoroughly enjoyable. this story, or fable, i should say, is quite a yarn. telling of Lucy's adventures as the "Undermajordomo" of Castle Von Aux. There are strange going ons in this novel...that get even stranger as the story progresses...and i'm not quite sure i jived with the absolute strangeness of it. i'm also not quite sure i understand how this novel ends. it's a little boring, a little underwhelming. i was surprised that i didn't love this book...but the words are so well written i can't give it a negative review.

it's cute and fairy tail-ish and just ok.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful