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Undermajordomo Minor: A Novel by Patrick…
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Undermajordomo Minor: A Novel (edition 2016)

by Patrick deWitt (Author)

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3542630,811 (3.7)35
Member:adamtyoung
Title:Undermajordomo Minor: A Novel
Authors:Patrick deWitt (Author)
Info:Ecco (2016), Edition: Reprint, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
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Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick deWitt

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» See also 35 mentions

English (25)  Piratical (1)  All (26)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Disappointing. Loved the Sister's Brothers, this one isn't in the same league at all. A quirky fairy tale of weird unlovable characters. ( )
  NicolaCT | Jan 2, 2017 |
Incredibly enjoyable. ( )
  jantz | Jan 1, 2017 |
Patrick DeWitt's previous novel, The Sisters Brothers, was one of my all-time favorites. This one mimics a lot of the writing style, dry humor, and structuring devices of that novel, but it lacks the unifying voice of our kind-hearted anti-hero Eli Sisters. Lucien "Lucy" Minor is a disarming character who we grow to like as he muddles through his small and odd adventures, but everything in Bury and the Castle remains two dimensional. It's a fable, a fableaux really, and it's a fun original read, but it's not quite a grown-up novel. ( )
  Virginia-A | Dec 21, 2016 |
This is an odd book. Dewitt tells the story of Lucien (Lucy) Minor, who gets a job at a castle as an apprentice majordomo (undermajordomo).
Parts of the story are sweet, such as his romance with a local woman. Parts make very little sense. Parts are downright disgusting, and almost seem to have been inserted from another book. I kept trying to make sense of the plot, but then the book ended. Definitely going into the "donate" pile! ( )
  joyceclark | Oct 25, 2016 |
Throughout reading this book, I kept changing my mind about whether I was enjoying or not. There are moments where it is charming, funny, and even tender despite the dark humor. But then there are moments that are just so far out of left field that I wasn't even sure what to make of them, and moments that are downright sickening. I would have enjoyed it more if I felt like the overall story had a point, but it didn't really. I don't regret reading it, but I don't think I would have missed anything if I hadn't read it.

I listened to the audiobook, read by Simon Prebble, one of my favorite narrators. ( )
  Gwendydd | Jul 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
DeWitt’s narrative doesn’t quite have that nimbleness. About two-thirds of the way in, the reader’s alarm bells should go off. Closing a book, the baroness says to Lucy, “I for one find it an annoyance when a story doesn’t do what it’s meant to do. . . . Would you not find yourself resentful at the promise of an entertainment unfulfilled?”Is this the author coaching us as to what’s not coming? Maybe. By the end, there is death and rebirth, more death and the opening of a quest, but also a striking lack of consequence. I think the events do indeed shape Lucy, but his emotional core becomes too inaccessible to judge. More than one important thread vanishes without a gesture toward resolution. The story ends with a beautiful epitaph seemingly meant to bookend the Walser epigraph, but that doesn’t quite fulfill the story we’ve just read.That said, the world deWitt gives us is generous, and the protagonist is someone we’re happy to follow. The novel proposes somewhat gently that the pursuit of a painful thing might just be the point, rather than the moment the quest is over — and deWitt illustrates that sweetly. The trip then might be enough for us: funny, sad, violent and illuminated by a minor light.
 
From its pitch-perfect opening onwards, it's clear from the unusual atmosphere and droll narration that deWitt has created a unique fictional universe....This novel is funny but it won't necessarily make you laugh out loud. Instead, suppressed mirth ripples through deWitt's prose....he challenge for the reader is to resist the temptation to devour a novel which should be savoured.
 
The Canadian writer Patrick deWitt has nerve. In the much-loved Booker-shortlisted The Sisters Brothers, he memorably reinvented the western in a poignant comic drama of greed, grit and ruthlessness starring a pair of contract killers. In Undermajordomo Minor, his rickety, occasionally shambolic but engaging new flight of fancy, he riffs on the folk tale, transporting the reader into a gothic Europe which, like its California-set predecessor, is not only free of morals and moralising but positively allergic to the very thought of them. DeWitt’s characters are never either truly good or fully bad. Instead, and more interestingly, they are specimens of flawed but game humanity, baffled souls struggling in a Petri dish, oddly touching to watch.....if Undermajordomo Minor occasionally lacks the heft and panache of The Sisters Brothers, it only proves the rule that great acts are murderously hard to follow.
 
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Epigraph
“It is a very painful thing, having to part company with what torments you. And how mute the world is!”
 
ROBERT WALSER
Dedication
For Gustavo
First words
Lucien Minor's mother had not wept, had not come close to weeping at their parting.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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From the backcover of the book : From the bestselling, Man Booker–short-listed 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 bestselling 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 being 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 for whose love he must compete 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 humanity 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.
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