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by Patrick deWitt

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HarperCollins Publishers
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6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)



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.


Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Daniel Handler
…Undermajordomo Minor…is…quick and funny and thoughtful and moving and super…balancing its narrative whimsy and rhetorical flourish with bona fide heart. For every comic digression, there's a breath of quiet stillness; for every bout of old-fashioned frippery, there's a time for authentic and moving introspection, so the entire project of Undermajordomo Minor feels less like a postmodern exploration…and more like the genuine article, a tale that engages us and haunts us just like the best tales of yore…Rising over its self-consciousness, Undermajordomo Minor not only salutes the literature of a bygone era but fully inhabits it, and the result is a novel that offers the same delights as the fairy tales and adventure stories it takes on, while reminding us that in the long game of literature, what lasts is what thrills. My take on Patrick deWitt is that he is a thrilling writer likely to last past our own soon-to-be-bygone time.

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