A beautifully written elegy on longing and nostalgia. I don't know how the movie will be (it's coming out this year), but the book is worth the read.
This book tore my heart out, put it back, and then ripped it back out again.
"Call Me by Your Name" by André Aciman was *not* a page-turner. The self-obsessed dysfunctional Elio, figuratively, spent much of the novel pulling out flower petals as he endlessly ponders 'love me...love me not.' The lack of an intriguing...or just an interesting... plot made for a slow read. I'm amazed that I made it to the very end. I'm not entirely certain that this novel wasn't a satire...but I think not. It was ponderous and way too pretentious. Or, at least Elio was.
I say satire because the two poet-in-the-bookstore scenes. First, the odd scene where Elio gets an obscure poet to sign his (the poet's) 'not-released-yet' book in the bookshop in 'B.' for Oliver. And, the second encounter with the poet in Rome at a book-release party in a Roman bookshop that is way over the top. The poet himself seems to be a parody. His poetry seems to be a parody. The gift of the autographed poetry book to Oliver seems to be a parody. All of this 'seems-to-be-parody' leads me to thing that the novel was a satire of some sort. The overall pretention and precociousness of Elio seems to fit a satirical world. And, yet, I think this novel is told straight....well...except for the gay theme!
And, the gay theme is itself disturbing because Oliver seems something of a sexual predator. Oliver is a post-doc student in his mid-twenties. Elio is a 17-year grade 11 high school student. No wonder Elio grows up to be a successful academic but dysfunctional individual, as the final chapter suggests.
I can see a sequel, perhaps not the twenty years after the events as depicted in the final chapter, but thirty years after, where Oliver is finally arrested for the sexual interference of a minor.
'Call Me By Your Name' is not a good read.
The more I read this novel the more I disliked it. It is about a vile bi-sexual scholar who abuses his host's generosity by allowing the host's randy 17 year old son to seduce him and then returns to the USA to resume his sterling straight life. There were so many things about the plot I thought unrealistic. I didn't believe that one could write a scholarly book on an obscure Latin poet while lounging around a pool all day.
One of the HOTTEST books I have ever read, I couldn't put it down!
A bit difficult to follow at times - the narrator fantasizes about what he will say to the other young man, and it's difficult to tell when he's going through things in his mind, and when he's actually talking to the other guy. The last two sections of the book are the best part. The conversation between the narrator and his father had me crying.
Beats your heart with the violence of nostalgia, and with poetry that reminds you of your own longing and desire.
Intense and erotic. This book is almost obsessive in its detail of a teenager's longing. It has the vividness and vitality of a lived experience. Conversely, it has the over intensity of a dream, one you wake sweating from. The setting of a summer in Italy in the eighties is so well realized. The swelter, the langor, the timelessness of the place all contribute to the main character's passions. An evocative read, well worth the time.
Beautiful use of language - it flows seamlessly, except for the ending, which I thought was too sudden and a little out of sync with the rest of the book, stylistically speaking.
The writing is fairly good, smooth and easy to take in -- at moments quite beautiful. In ways the story is romantic, in both the good and bad senses of the word. But to me the ending was extremely disappointing; the sexual freedom and acceptance of a teen boy was inverosimile, and most of the characters were at best 2-dimensional. Still it was an enjoyble 'entertainment' for a couple of afternoons and developed the relationship from a quiet slow beginning to a passionate crescendo.
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