Reviews

  • Part of Toibin's success comes down to <b>the power of his writing</b>: an almost unfaultable combination of <b>artful restraint and wonderfully observed detail . . . Unforgettable</b>

    New York Times
  • <b>A giant amongst storytellers, </b>Toibin has thrown down the gauntlet with his latest novel .<b> </b>. .<b> And it is a masterpiece</b>

    Daily Telegraph
  • A gorgeous stylist, Tóibín captures the subtle flutterings of consciousness better than any writer alive . . .<b> Never before has Tóibín demonstrated such range, not just in tone but in action.</b> He creates the arresting, hushed scenes for which he's so well known just as effectively as he whips up murders that compete, pint for spilled pint, with those immortal Greek playwrights

    Washington Post
  • Brilliant retelling of a Greek Tragedy... This is a novel that is a celebration of what novels can do.

    Observer
  • Considerable <i>Game of Thrones </i>appeal...instead of cheap narrative tricks and resolutions we're left with images of desolation and thwarted love

    Financial Times
  • A devastatingly human story...savage, sordid and hauntingly believable

    Guardian
  • Colm Tóibín turns Greek Myths into flesh and blood..The writing is characteristically elegant, spare and subtle. ..The scenes between Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus darkly sexy

    The Times
  • An extraordinarily sympathetic and intimate portrait

    Literary Review
  • In Toibin's careful hands, the story of Clytemnestra, who avenges her daughter after her husband Agamemnon sacrifices her to secure safe passage from Troy, is told with such a vivid grasp of the emotional pulse that even those who know the story well will be transfixed.

    Daily Mail
  • What is truly miraculous, though, is how Tóibín has made us sympathize with people who do terrible, unthinkable things

    Boston Globe
  • A dramatic, intimate chronicle of a family implosion set in unsettling times

    Publishers' Weekly
  • This is a novel about the way the members of a family keep secrets from one another, tell lies and make mistakes.. .

    Literary Review
  • Tóibín's retelling is governed by compassion and responsibility, and focuses on the horrors that led Clytemnestra to her terrible vengeance. Her sympathetic first-person narrative makes even murder, for a moment, seem reasonable (...) Tóibín's prose is precise and unadorned, the novel's moments of violence told with brutal simplicity. But its greatest achievement is as a page-turner. In a tale that has ended the same way for thousands of years, Tóibín makes us hope for a different outcome

    The Economist
  • [An] intense, thought-provoking and original novel . . . Toibin's book transforms this ancient story into a lyrical, melancholy meditation on closeted desire, which implicitly comments on the aftermath of the Irish Troubles'

    TLS
  • Graphic, vicious, beautiful retelling of ancient myths.... Ultimately the book is a stark, timeless and brilliantly rendered tale of power in a world, as ever, riven by conflict.

    'I' Newspaper
  • In a novel describing one of the Western world's oldest legends, in which the gods are conspicuous by their absence, Tóibín achieves a paradoxical richness of characterisation and a humanisation of the mythological, marking House Of Names as the superbly realised work of an author at the top of his game.

    Daily Express
  • A spellbinding adaptation of the Clytemnestra myth, House of Names considers the Mycenaen queen in all her guises: grieving mother, seductress, ruthless leader - and victim of the ultimate betrayal.

    Vogue
  • A haunting story, largely because Tóibín tells it in spare, resonant prose...

    New Statesman
  • A Greek <i>House of Cards</i>... Just like Heaney at the end of his Mycenae lookout, Toibin's novel augurs an era of renewal that comes directly from the cessation of hostilities.

    Irish Times
  • The book's mastery of pacing and tone affirm the writer as one of our finest at work today.

    Irish Independent
  • A daring, and triumphant return, to the Oresteia... bleakly beautiful twilight of the Gods.

    The Arts Desk
  • It couldn't have been done better

    Scotsman
  • A visceral reworking of <i>Oresteia</i>

    Observer
  • The escalation of violence and desire for revenge has deliberate echoes of the Irish Troubles

    Observer Books of the Year