House of Names is a grim book, as any retelling of Aeschylus’s Oresteia is bound to be. It is a tale to harrow up your soul, to make your two eyes start from their spheres – or at least, it is until ten pages before the end, when Elektra cracks the book’s first joke and the tone becomes a touch mellower.
Robert Dessaix is a broadcaster, essayist, and memoirist. His most recent book is The Pleasures of Leisure (2017). He is also the author of several other books including the autobiography A Mother’s Disgrace (1994), the novels Night Letters (1996) and Corfu (2001), and the travel memoirs Twilight of Love (2004) and Arabesques (2008).