Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick deWitt

25089757“What do you want from your life, Lucy?”

Lucien (Lucy) Minor wants something to happen in his life.  He is without friends or love, and is an unambitious boy overall.  He is not taken seriously by the people around him and even his parents don’t have any kind of affection for him.  He receives an offer of employment at Castle Von Aux, for the position of undermajordomo.  He deems this an opportunity to remake himself in a new place and start anew.  A fresh beginning.  But his new home is not what he expected, filled with mysterious happenings and odd behaviour.

Undermajordomo Minor is unique, bizarre and wonderfully original. Because it is so unique, makes it a worthy read all on its own, but what makes it so special is the excellent writing and inspiring dialogue.  I found myself smiling throughout many of the exchanges between characters.

“He claims not to have been spying, Mewe.”

“Oh?  And what would he call it, then?”

“Passing by, is how he describes it.”

Yet more murmuring.  Mewe said, “Ask him for us, please, if he believes one must be in motion to be passing?”

Lucy admitted that yes, he supposed one did have to be, and Memel restated this.

“Well, then,” Mewe continued, “how does he explain the fact of his being stationary at my window?”

Memel raised his eyebrows. “Were you stationary, Lucy?”

“Perhaps I lingered for a moment.”

“Now he is calling it a momentary lingering,” Memel said.

Along with the dialogue I found the story itself captivating.  Lucy is an interesting boy who is prone to lying, but there is something quite likeable about him.  The fact that he is a lone soul searching for love and a place to call home makes him an endearing character.  One that you can’t help but root for. Undermajordomo Minor is a novel that’s weird, different and truly stands on its own.

Favourite quote: “… his face bespoke an exhilaration, for how curious life was, how unfathomably novel, and occasionally wonderful.”

Book trailer for Undermajordomo Minor:

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