As he proved with his earlier book, The Sisters Brothers, (the story of the last assignment of the pair of killers-for-hire), Patrick deWitt’s genius is in presenting flawed and quirky characters in stark, unsentimental relief, to hilarious effect. On the order of The Grand Budapest Hotel or The Princess Bride, deWitt takes readers to a place where sense of time, manners,and location are suspended. Undermajordomo Minor is a grand quest/adventure story with Gothic tinges, a touch of magical realism, and a boatload of dark humor. Our hero, slacker Lucien (Lucy) Minor sets out from his home in Bury, spurred on by a mysterious figure in burlap, to make something happen. And many things do happen, and involve a deliciously creepy castle, inscrutable servants, a mad baron, a fair maiden, honorable thieves, mysterious armies who fight for fighting’s sake, a puppy, and a romantic rivalry. As in many quest stories, Lucy experiences a spiritual death and rebirth during which he sets off into the darkness of the renowned great, deep hole and transcends it through his wit and new found bravery. deWitt is a crafty, literary writer. His dialogue is often slapstick funny, and the whole story begs to be translated to film. Meanwhile, for a rollicking good time,visit the extraordinary world of Undermajordomo Minor.