Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Undermajordomo Minor (Jan 1)
It has been a few months since I posted one of these Friday meme combos, but it’s a new year and it’s time to get started with this again. My choice of book this week is one that I received for Christmas last week – Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick deWitt. I’m more than two thirds of the way through the book and am thoroughly enjoying it so far. It’s a very funny book and has been hard to put down at times. If you read and enjoyed deWitt’s The Sisters Brothers then you’ll love this one as well.
GoodReads has the following description:
Lucy Minor is the resident odd duck in the hamlet of Bury. He is a compulsive liar, a sickly weakling in a town famous for begetting brutish giants. Then Lucy accepts employment assisting the majordomo of the remote, foreboding Castle Von Aux. While tending to his new post as undermajordomo, he soon discovers the place harbours many dark secrets, not least of which is the whereabouts of the castle’s master, Baron Von Aux. Thus begins a tale of polite theft, bitter heartbreak, domestic mystery, and cold-blooded murder.
Undermajordomo Minor is an ink-black comedy of manners, an adventure, and a mystery, and a searing portrayal of rural Alpine bad behaviour, but above all it is a love story. And Lucy must be careful, for love is a violent thing.
Now for this week’s excerpts:
Book Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post. If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’
The beginning of Undermajordomo Minor:
Lucien Minor’s mother had not wept, had not come close to weeping at their parting. All that day he’d felt a catch in his throat and his every movement was achieved in chary degrees, as though swift activity would cause a breach of emotion.
This might not seem like an exciting beginning, but it sets the scene well for what follows.
It’s that simple.
From page 56 of Undermajordomo Minor:
Mr Olderglough stared at his hand with what Lucy took for regret. “No, not an accident,” he answered, and now he lay his left hand atop his injured right and began to stroke it consolingly, which summoned in Lucy a revulsion he couldn’t put words to.
This book is filled with a number of interesting and unusual characters, one of whom is Olderglough. I’m hoping to get the book finished either tonight or tomorrow, as I’m keen to see how it all pans out.