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Publisher's Summary

The author of the New York Times best-selling Maze Runner series leads us on a dark journey of generational horror as we visit The House of Tongues.

David Player has spent 30 years trying to forget the traumas of his childhood. The threats, the kidnappings, the murders. The imagined curses of a people born centuries earlier, passed from father to son, mother to daughter, generation to generation. Its climax came in human form, a monster of a man, one of the most notorious serial killers the nation has ever seen: Pee Wee Gaskins. And Gaskins had a particular hatred for the Player family, then for David, himself, who barely escaped those years with his own life intact.

Now David is back, his four children in tow, visiting his parents' home, a place he has learned to cherish despite the evils that haunted his younger days. But no sooner does he return than a stranger visits their doorstep, the son of Pee Wee Gaskins. In a terrifying display, right in front of the kids, the man utters threats until he chokes on his own tongue, sparking a series of events that drag David and his family back into the days of curses and murders, onto a path of unimaginable terror. That path leads to an old gothic tower in the woods, a place David had blocked from his memory, a house of horrors both past and present. The House of Tongues.  

©2021 James Dashner (P)2021 Tantor

What listeners say about The House of Tongues

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Great twist from Dashner!

Exciting, new style from Dashner. Sure to keep you up wanting more.
Highly recommend for horror fans!

1 person found this helpful

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Why though?

This was a YA author' s attempt at mature horror and it felt that way. Too much time spent describing inconsequential details and ABSOLUTELY NO explanation of important details, essential to the plot, like: why this curse exists, or why it requires a pact between these families, or why the curse requires them to kill people and cut their tongues out. What even is the House of Tongues? No explanation there either. Its not even mentioned until the least few chapters and then, its nothing more than some old structure from the Revolution era where the incoherent finale takes place. The words "The Reticence" and "The Awakening" actually mean nothing eventhough the author attempted to give them great connotation and gravity. Is there something supernatural going on or not? Seems like the author wasn't clear on this himself. Are these dudes posessed or are they just making a gravelly Nolan Batman voice? If they're just disguising their voices, why? Why did the author feel like that detail added vslue to the story? If they're indeed possessed, then that was never made clear.
Quoting a bible verse does not constitute a backstory. Its not enough to just say "nobody knows". That's lazy just writing. The AUTHOR who created the story knows and is responsible for explaining such an important detail to the reader, even if the characters in the story never learn.
Also, plot holes are ubiquitous throughout. Who were all these decapitated victims from this small town that nobody missed? There is no character development. None of the children besides wesley were even necessary to what little plot there was too be found. And Wesley himself was barely mentioned until the plot required another character to do a thing to facilitate a transition between acts.
Not sure why this one has such high reviews. Must be fans of Maze Runner who left those. True horror fans should skip this one. It falls WAY short.

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Great Story, But...

...the narration was too mellow, soothing, and low key for this particular tale. I loved the writing, and the style, however the narration style didn't fit the book. Still definitely worth the listen!

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Surprisingly Good!

Story 5/5
Narration 5/5

Wow! What a surprise! This is the best fiction I've read in a long time... and it has an actual, real-life serial killer as a character.

Highly recommended

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Great story

Overall it was a pretty good story. It was a little confusing at the beginning but once I understood what was going on I couldn't stop listening.