Thursday, January 17, 2019

Review: Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman

Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
Release date: January 23, 2007
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
Reading level: Adult
Genre: Contemporary
Source: Purchased
Links: Goodreads Amazon

Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that 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.


CALL ME BY YOUR NAME is easily one of the best books I have ever read. André Aciman is a wonderful writer and the two characters he brings to life in this book are so vivid and memorable. Full disclosure, I saw the film first. When I first got my MoviePass in April I realized some of the Oscar Winners were still out, so I decided to go see which ones I could. I had little to no idea what CALL ME BY YOUR NAME was about, much less that it was based on this book. Hopefully more people realize that and go buy the book if they loved the film like I did! So, I did things a little backwards, but nonetheless this book was incredible. The writing brought a whole new dimension to these characters I had become so attached to on screen and I finished this book in one evening.

I was lucky enough to attend an event here in Washington, DC where André Aciman spoke about the novel and the film and answered audience questions. What a great guy! Andre had such wonderful antidotes about the writing process and if you get a chance to see him speak I highly recommend it. Andre is extremely eloquent and made me realize things about the book I may not have even picked up on. While this is one of the rare occasions that I think a film so perfectly captured the essence of a book, I highly recommend reading this for yourself.

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME follows Elio and Oliver through one passionate summer in the Italian countryside. These two characters were so different, and yet they connected and fell in love. It's not often you read about a relationship like this where you can literally feel every awkward moment and every spark as Elio and Oliver figure out where they fit in each others lives. Both heartbreaking and beautiful, CALL ME BY YOUR NAME will make you think about life, death, love, and so much more. I reread the final pages several times. I'm grateful that the film introduced me to this book and I know that Elio and Oliver's story will stay with me for a long time. 

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