Published in 2007
4 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.
The psychological maneuvers that accompany attraction have seldom been more shrewdly captured than in André Aciman’s frank, unsentimental, heartrending elegy to human passion. Call Me by Your Name is clear-eyed, bare-knuckled, and ultimately unforgettable.
I cannot deny, this was a powerful book, as soon as I started reading it I felt the emotion that was poured through the text, and as Oliver got introduced into Elio’s life, my thoughts were definitely put into gear. I’ve heard people refer to this as romantic, yet I didn’t see it completely as romance? I felt, throughout the early stages of the book that Oliver wasn’t communicating much to Elio, and the latter was triggered into thinking all sorts of dark thoughts, like, he thinks of Oliver during every aspect of his day, and gets jealous when Oliver is out with someone else, yet Elio can’t help but continue to think excessively about his father’s house guest!
The start of the book suggested to me what might follow throughout the book, I felt like I was reading a reflection of Elio’s life and Oliver, so this book definitely evoked a sense of sadness in me from the start, and it was definitely exceptionally well crafted, the lack of chapters throughout made me feel like I was reading someone’s journal entry from a particular personal aspect of their lives!
I felt like at times Elio was torturing himself continually about Oliver, and their lack of communication made me wonder of it was pure love or lust or I don’t even know what?! There were some particularly graphic scenes throughout that definitely made me uncomfortable, and I didn’t wholly think they were necessary, and I don’t think they added a lot to the story, and I could picture everything! It was definitely disturbing and I found myself turning away from the book during those moments!
I feel at a loss for words still, having finished the book, I feel like I won’t read anything like this again and it will definitely stick in my mind for some time! The ending especially was so bittersweet and kinda floored me, I was so shocked, and definitely a mix of emotions!