Nominated by:

The State Library of South Australia, Adelaide

Publisher of nominated edition:

Ecco Press, USA

Undermajordomo Minor

Patrick deWitt    

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.

(from publisher)

About the Author

Patrick deWitt is the author of the critically acclaimed Ablutions: Notes for a Novel, as well as The Sisters Brothers, which was short-listed for the Booker Prize. Born in British Columbia, he has also lived in California and Washington, and now resides in Portland, Oregon.

Librarian’s Comments

A very droll folk take, set somewhere in gothic fairytale Europe, with castles full of crazy Barons, and villages with quirky peasants, all surrounded by wild forests. We couldn’t put this down it was so amusing, and all written in a slightly old fashioned way in terms of words and phrases and speech patterns that made the reader feel like they were in another time. A time when there was a lot of wood-chopping. Chapter headings were very imaginative, reflective of the book itself. Highly recommended to you all.

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