Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Freebie: Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick deWitt

Congratulations to Jerri Bell, winner of last week’s Friday Freebie contest: Above the Waterfall and Something Rich and Strange: Selected Stories by Ron Rash and Darkness the Color of Snow by Thomas Cobb.

This week’s book giveaway is Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick deWitt. A thousand fans of The Sisters Brothers just stood up in unison, like meerkats, sniffing the wind. Yes, it’s true: the Man Booker Prize shortlister is back with a new book and one lucky reader will be enjoying it a couple of weeks from now. What’s Undermajordomo Minor all about, you ask? Read on for more information about the novel.

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 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.

Here’s what some smart folks are saying about the book:

Undermajordomo Minor wears a fairytale cloak, but at its wondrous and fantastical heart lies an unexpectedly moving story about love, home, and the difficulty of finding one’s place in the world. Elegant, beautifully strange, and utterly superb.”  (Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven)

“An electrifying adventure, both tender and profane. Nervy, hilarious and utterly unpredictable, Patrick deWitt has served up another dazzler.”  (Maria Semple, author of Where'd You Go, Bernadette?)

Undermajordomo Minor is brutal, brilliant, sly, absurd, and poignant. It’s both gripping tale and hilarious subversion. Once again Patrick deWitt proves his wild, original talent, generous wit, and exquisite control.”  (Sam Lipsyte, author of The Ask)

If you’d like a chance at winning Undermajordomo Minor simply email your name and mailing address to

Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line.  One entry per person, please.  Despite its name, the Friday Freebie runs all week long and remains open to entries until midnight on Sept. 3, at which time I’ll draw the winning name.  I’ll announce the lucky reader on Sept. 4.  If you’d like to join the mailing list for the once-a-week newsletter, simply add the words “Sign me up for the newsletter” in the body of your email.  Your email address and other personal information will never be sold or given to a third party (except in those instances where the publisher requires a mailing address for sending Friday Freebie winners copies of the book).

Want to double your odds of winning?  Get an extra entry in the contest by posting a link to this webpage on your blog, your Facebook wall or by tweeting it on Twitter.  Once you’ve done any of those things, send me an additional e-mail saying “I’ve shared” and I’ll put your name in the hat twice.

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