House of Names, by Colm Tóibín #BookReview

ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

When an author of the stature of Colm Tóibín decides to rewrite an ancient myth, it must be because he feels he has something new to say about it, but I have to confess that I read quite a bit of this book thinking that it was a mere retelling.  Written in beautiful words, but held captive to a plot that could only be reworked in insignificant ways.  And worse – am I really writing this about Colm Tóibín? – I felt that the master of empathy had failed utterly to create a convincing portrait of Clytemnestra. It was only in the last third of the book when Tóibín began telling the story of Electra and Orestes, that I felt the author’s voice wrestling with the issue of vengeance versus justice, and what separates the two…

For those unacquainted with the story, here is the blurb:

Judged, despised, cursed by gods she…

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