Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction, LGBTQIA+
Publication: October 3rd 2017 by Picador (first published January 23rd 2007)
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 248 pages
Format: Movie Tie-in Paperback from National Bookstore, Audiobook Program from Macmillan Audio
Andre Aciman’s 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’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. Each is unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, when, during the restless summer weeks, unrelenting currents of obsession, fascination, and desire intensify their passion and test the charged ground between them. Recklessly, the two verge toward the one thing both fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy. It is an instant classic and one of the great love stories of our time.
Huge thanks to my friends from Macmillan Audio for sending me the Audiobook Program of this title in exchange for an honest review. This did not, in any way, affect my overall opinion of the book and/or the story.
My wanting to read the book and listen to the audiobook of Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman started out as an initial step towards wanting to watch it’s movie adaptation starring Armie Hammer & Timothée Chalamet. I first heard about this from Miel of Bookish and Awesome, who also happens to be a great friend of mine, and I trust most, if not all of his book and movie recommendations, and so I easily gave in to the hype and grabbed a copy of this book from National Bookstore afterwards.
From the first page to the last heart-wrenching line, Aciman’s writing techniques had me so, undeniably obsessed. Albeit Elio’s sentiments were fairly long and quite excessive, I find the overall writing style to be lyrical, creative, and just plain impressive. There were times that I felt like certain scenes dragged on, but I still appreciated it due to the fact that I absolutely savored each and every word of the story. I was very much intrigued at how well Elio showed how much he wanted to know himself in terms of sexuality, and I rooted for him right from the start, which wasn’t really that hard, if I’m being honest.
I also appreciated the fact that the settings seemed to be very well researched, and I know next to nothing about the details’ accuracy, but everything just contributed to make the story so well-written. From sunny Italy, to vibrant Rome, Elio and Oliver’s story takes readers on a summer vacation unlike any other. The atmosphere was so vividly written, and it’s as if I was also with the characters while they went biking into town, even if I’ve never been to Italy nor Rome in the past. I love how easily I was able to imagine everything and this helped me visualize the story even better, hence giving me a blissful reading experience.
And the most important and quite possibly my most favorite aspect of this book was how the story was able to elicit all kinds of emotions from me. From pity, to disappointment, to obsession, and desperation, I honestly think I felt it all. Reading this was quite literally like riding a roller coaster, and towards the ending, you’ll all find that you’ll need lots of tissues handy because you’re in for quite an excruciatingly painful ride. Don’t get me wrong, though. I enjoyed every single moment of it, and if you’ll ask me if I want to ride this roller coaster again, I will in a heartbeat.
Armie Hammer’s narration in the audiobook is so, incredibly spot on. I enjoyed listening to every single chapter more because of how well-voiced out Elio’s story was thanks to the program, and I couldn’t have finished reading this in less than a week thanks to this. I listened to it during my lunch break, I listened to it before going to bed, and I even listened to it during my commute to and from work. That’s how addicted and deeply invested I am in this novel. (Although, if you’re going to listen to it at the office, I highly suggest that you avoid using speakers and go with earphones. Trust me on this one.) The only problem I had with this one was due to the fact that Armie Hammer played Oliver in the movie, I sometimes felt like he was the one who was telling this story.
“Call Me By Your Name is a wonderfully moving work of art that defies common gender norms and explores human sexuality through the voices of Elio and Oliver. With so much heart, it heavily talks about, desire, passion, love, and longing all within 248 pages. Even though Elio and Oliver’s relationship wasn’t always healthy, I find that their intimacy and overall chemistry was something that gripped me right from the start, allowing me a warm-hearted, and overall enjoyable reading experience.”
Have YOU read or watched Call Me By Your Name? How was it for you? Tell me all about it via the comments section below!
André Aciman was born in Alexandria, Egypt and is an American memoirist, essayist, novelist, and scholar of seventeenth-century literature. He has also written many essays and reviews on Marcel Proust. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, The Paris Review, The New Republic, Condé Nast Traveler as well as in many volumes of The Best American Essays. Aciman received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University, has taught at Princeton and Bard and is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at The CUNY Graduate Center. He is currently chair of the Ph. D. Program in Comparative Literature and founder and director of The Writers’ Institute at the Graduate Center.
Aciman is the author of the Whiting Award-winning memoir Out of Egypt (1995), an account of his childhood as a Jew growing up in post-colonial Egypt. Aciman has published two other books: False Papers: Essays in Exile and Memory (2001), and a novel Call Me By Your Name (2007), which was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and won the Lambda Literary Award for Men’s Fiction (2008). His forthcoming novel Eight White Nights (FSG) will be published on February 14, 2010
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