HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Undermajordomo Minor

by Patrick deWitt

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7114026,071 (3.66)52
"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" --… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 52 mentions

English (38)  Piratical (1)  All languages (39)
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
Loved the quaint language, but the plot... ( )
  georgeybataille | Jun 1, 2021 |
I am not giving it any stars because I actually never finished listening to it, I simply let it go... And I don't intend to ever pick it up again, as life is too short.
  RosanaDR | Apr 15, 2021 |
Patrick DeWitt's 2015 novel “ Undermajordomo Minor” suits its title. It's cute, charming, unconventional and fun. Except for the train that passes through the novel regularly, the story could take place at any time in the past thousand years or so. It all feels like a fable or fairy tale, like something from the Dark Ages.

Lucien Minor, called Lucy, is a young man who feels out of place in his own hometown, so he accepts a position at a baron's castle as an undermajordomo, without having a clue about what the job entails.

It turns out that the baron is quite mad, given to roaming the castle at night and eating live rats. Yet each day he writes a love letter to the baroness, who left him, and it becomes Lucy's job to hand that letter to the engineer as the train flies by each morning. That is, until one day the engineer carries a reply: the baroness is returning home. That means restoring both the castle and its baron to dignity and respectability.

Meanwhile Lucy finds his own true love, Klara, a lovely girl who also happens to be pursued by a giant warrior, whose own true love happens to be fighting a nonsensical, never-ending war. When separated from Klara. Lucy begins to understand what happens to the baron when the baroness is away.

Hardly anyone in the story can talk in a straight line, which becomes frustrating for Lucy but delightful for the reader. The conversations are great fun even if they often go nowhere. Lucy witnesses an orgy, confronts the giant and falls into a Very Large Hole. Anyone who loves “The Princess Bride,” which is just about everybody, should love DeWitt's novel. ( )
  hardlyhardy | Apr 9, 2021 |
(Slightly) humorous. ( )
  Paul_S | Dec 23, 2020 |
What a beautiful tale. And I defy you not to be at least somewhat moved by the ending. ( )
  ChristopherSwann | May 15, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (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.
 

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patrick deWittprimary authorall editionscalculated
Aronson, EmmanuelleTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Aronson, PhilippeTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Publisher Series

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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.
Quotations
What a violent thing love is.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

"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" --

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.66)
0.5 1
1 2
1.5
2 10
2.5 5
3 61
3.5 19
4 91
4.5 11
5 25

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 171,759,294 books! | Top bar: Always visible