Undermajordomo Minor – Patrick deWitt

This is the second of the two deWitt novels I found in my brothers room. He is one of my best friends favourite authors, hence I had to explore his writing. This is a comedic novel embracing European gothic tradition, whilst exploring modern humour, sexuality and morality. To compare this to the previous deWitt novel I have read, Ablutions, would be unfair, as they are so different. The reader is given no true indication of the setting, deWitt has invented a generic European country. This adds to the general intrigue of the novel; what is actually going on? The over26215466riding feeling I got was of bewilderment, how could deWitt have written such a drastically different novel to Ablutions?

I can only describe this book as weird; it took a while for me to even realise the main character was a male named Lucy. I can see the obvious influence of traditional fairy tales; the castle, the village beauty, the servant boy, however each are presented in a modern way, twisted into modern characters relatable despite their existence in a seemingly medieval setting. Lucy moves from his home village to a castle, from which he observes a series of battles, the local village and the oddities of castle life.

Despite not being one of the best novels I have read recently I was certainly enthralled by it. It is hard to put down, it has twists, it is amusing and it is very readable.

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