House of Names

House of Names

eBook - 2017
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Baker & Taylor
Presents a retelling of the story of Clytemnestra and her children, describing how she plots to murder her long-absent husband for his betrayals and infidelities.

Simon and Schuster
* A Washington Post Notable Fiction Book of the Year
* Named a Best Book of 2017 by NPR, The Guardian, The Boston Globe, St. Louis Dispatch


From the thrilling imagination of bestselling, award-winning Colm Tóibín comes a retelling of the story of Clytemnestra and her children—“brilliant…gripping…high drama…made tangible and graphic in Tóibín’s lush prose” (Booklist, starred review).

“I have been acquainted with the smell of death.” So begins Clytemnestra’s tale of her own life in ancient Mycenae, the legendary Greek city from which her husband King Agamemnon left when he set sail with his army for Troy. Clytemnestra rules Mycenae now, along with her new lover Aegisthus, and together they plot the bloody murder of Agamemnon on the day of his return after nine years at war.

Judged, despised, cursed by gods, Clytemnestra reveals the tragic saga that led to these bloody actions: how her husband deceived her eldest daughter Iphigeneia with a promise of marriage to Achilles, only to sacrifice her; how she seduced and collaborated with the prisoner Aegisthus; how Agamemnon came back with a lover himself; and how Clytemnestra finally achieved her vengeance for his stunning betrayal—his quest for victory, greater than his love for his child.

House of Names “is a disturbingly contemporary story of a powerful woman caught between the demands of her ambition and the constraints on her gender…Never before has Tóibín demonstrated such range,” (The Washington Post). He brings a modern sensibility and language to an ancient classic, and gives this extraordinary character new life, so that we not only believe Clytemnestra’s thirst for revenge, but applaud it. Told in four parts, this is a fiercely dramatic portrait of a murderess, who will herself be murdered by her own son, Orestes. It is Orestes’s story, too: his capture by the forces of his mother’s lover Aegisthus, his escape and his exile. And it is the story of the vengeful Electra, who watches over her mother and Aegisthus with cold anger and slow calculation, until, on the return of her brother, she has the fates of both of them in her hands.

Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2017
ISBN: 9781501140235
Branch Call Number: eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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r
rlar31
Jan 22, 2018

First rate, another hit for Mr. T.

f
finn75
Jan 05, 2018

You do not have to be familiar with Greek mythology to enjoy this book. It explores the motivations and experiences of individual family members after the sacrifice of one of their own to the Gods. Betrayal, murder and love. It is all here in this book.

f
FVReader
Nov 18, 2017

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I'm not familiar with the original legend. This story is full of revenge, deception, murders, isolation. It all blends together for an intriguing story.
The character of Clytemnestra was the strongest portrayed. At first, her motivations seemed fueled in revenge & rage. But then........
The ancient Gods are waning in power, the World is new again; the ways unknown.
A fun story and well told.

h
Highlandpatty
Oct 26, 2017

An amazing beginning, a good concept, a disappointing conclusion. Why does Toibin continue to disappoint?

Nicr Aug 06, 2017

The ancient story of Clytemnestra, as told by the exultant, avenging murderess herself. Bloody, eloquent and strange.

c
Candaceb108
May 16, 2017

A wonderful book, Colm Toibin has a way of writing that immediately draws you in. In what seems like a moment you are a hundred pages in and living his words.

b
becker
Apr 19, 2017

A modern retelling of an ancient Greek Classic. A story filled with tragedy and revenge. What's not to like? I really enjoyed this.

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