Listen free for 30 days

House of Names

Length: 8 hrs and 46 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4 out of 5 stars (70 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

On the day of his daughter's wedding, Agamemnon orders her sacrifice. His daughter is led to her death, and Agamemnon leads his army into battle, where he is rewarded with glorious victory. Three years later he returns home, and his murderous action has set the entire family - mother, brother, sister - on a path of intimate violence as they enter a world of hushed commands and soundless journeys through the palace's dungeons and bedchambers. As his wife seeks his death, his daughter, Electra, is the silent observer of the family's game of innocence while his son, Orestes, is sent into bewildering, frightening exile where survival is far from certain. Out of their desolating loss, Electra and Orestes must find a way to right these wrongs of the past even if it means committing themselves to a terrible, barbarous act.

©2017 Colm Tóibín (P)2017 Penguin Books Ltd.

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    31
  • 4 Stars
    20
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    40
  • 4 Stars
    17
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    28
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Compulsive listen!

Loved this book! The portrayal of the central characters of The Oresteia made vivid and accessible in Colm Toibin's beautiful prose - sympathetically narrated by Juliet Stevenson, Charlie Anson and Pippa Nixon.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Introspective

Written by three characters in the first person, differing aspects of the latter days of the Atreid story are told.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A lost plot

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

It started so well. Early events described through Clytemenstra's monologues. Then it was as if the author did not know where he wanted to go with the plot. It started to meander and it was hard to remain interested in the book. The language is rather childish. Maybe, a novella like testament of Mary might have worked. Shame as it is such a great story.

What will your next listen be?

Rachel Joyce- The Music shop

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Juliet Stevenson was excellent

What character would you cut from House of Names?

A lot of Orestes and all of Leander.

Any additional comments?

It is sad, but I wouldn't try this author again.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A strong listen.

I love Greek mythology and last year I read Madeline Miller's Song of Achilles, which I absolutely love. This is really fun and captivating. It doesn't quite reach the heights of SoA for me, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

aofarrell

a story with relevance to present day unrest and inter faction scheming and tragedy. very moving. likely to stay in my thoughts for a long time.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A tale that slowly draws you in

I enjoyed this book so much that I came back to listen to it a second time. I'd previously read novels by Colm Toibin, but didn't appreciate how well suited his writing style is to audio as it gradually draws you in.

I liked how they use a different reader for each section narrated by a different character. Fortunately, this didn't feel disjointed due to the length of each section.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Very strange

If you are looking for a Greek Epic or at least a part of one don't procede any further. I wanted exactly that; a Greek story of myth and legend which inspires and engages instead I got a lack lustre story which goes nowhere in particular via disinterest with random story lines which have only tenuous relationships with each other for no apparent purpose. Nothing really happens apart from Arestes being used then the whole thing strangly ends mid sentence. No sense of conclusion, not even the merest breath of one. Decidedly strange.

3 people found this helpful