Book Review: Call Me By Your Name – André Aciman

The Line:

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. (from GoodReads)

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What I thought:

If there are books that make you literally grope for words (and breath), because you don’t think that anything you’re ever gonna say could truly encompass what they made you feel, this is definitely one of those!

Call Me By Your Name is a prime example of what could be achieved when the author lays his soul bare on paper. And if this is purely fiction, Andre Aciman is truly one of the most brilliant writers around. A first person account of a 17 year old might sound a little trite to the unawares, but Elio’s relentless dialog with his desires, his dreams, his destiny is nothing short of a revelation, both in terms of the matter at hand and the craft. What a great character study too, when you reach into such depths of his personality that authors usually aren’t capable to letting you delve. And there is acumen, oodles of it. The characters all display a heightened sense of perception, a delight! But predominantly it’s Elio and his mind that I fell in love with, if that is even possible!

Before my mind goes off in tangents, a word on the prose too. In a lot of ways, what makes this book special is the language. It’s beautiful, poignant, heart-wrenching – without being overtly dramatic. Most of the sentences that hit you hard are the simple ones. A sea of emotions conveyed at the economy of a few words. So I lingered on each page a little longer, contemplated Elio’s own thoughts as if it were mine own. I wasn’t eager to finish reading his story, yet I couldn’t put the book down.

The final chapter was bittersweet. The movie ended where it did for cinematic purposes, but the book goes a little further and there’s an open ending, joy!

Now excuse me while I go find someone to call them by my name. Later!

Keywords:

Italy, old-world, queer, protagonists who read books, love, sensuality, longing, coming-of-age

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