Books · Reviews

Book Thoughts: Call Me By Your Name (André Aciman)

★★★★★☆☆

Title: Call Me By Your Name
Author: André Aciman
Genre: Fiction / Romance / LGBTQ+
First published: 2007
Edition: Paperback, published by Atlantic Books in 2017

A romance blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliff-side mansion on the Italian Riviera. Unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, at first each feigns indifference. But during the restless summer weeks that follow, unrelenting buried currents of obsession and fear, fascination and desire, intensify their passion as they test the charged ground between them. What grows from the depths of their spirits is a romance of scarcely six weeks’ duration and an experience that marks them for a lifetime. For what the two discover on the Riviera and during a sultry evening in Rome is the one thing both already fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy.

*

I have only very hesitantly put this novel in the category of romance, because it is not actually a very romantic book. It is about ‘a’ romance, but the way it is presented is not necessarily romantic.

I wanted to read this novel after seeing the movie (which is very good by the way), but I cannot deny that I was slightly hesitant. This appears to be one of those really polarizing books, where people either absolutely adore it, or hate it. As is not unusual, I fall somewhere in between. It is slightly pretentious, but I that is one of the things I happen to like about it. It is pretentious, because our narrator, Elio, is a rather precocious, dramatic seventeen-year-old. It would be weird if it was not pretentious! It made it more believable for me.

Let me start of by saying, despite reviews, there were no scenes in here that made me feel uncomfortable. Yes, there were some rather ‘interesting’ bits, but nothing too offensive or too shocking. I was just slightly bemused at times by the goings-on.

The book is the kind of the stream-of-consciousness novel that I really enjoy, and I am not sure why it did not quite hit the sweet spot (pun possibly intended). I enjoyed the writing, though there were sentences here and that may have caused me to raise an eyebrow. The drawn-out ending was a bit unnecessarily in my honest opion, but it did not bother me too much.

This may be one of those books that gets better on a second reading, so I hope to do that in the future.

5 out of 7 stars

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