REVIEW: Call Me By Your Name, André Aciman

Monday, 11 December 2017

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.

And the award for Cass’ new favourite book goes to… Call Me By Your Name. Is anyone really surprised? Looking back, I’m starting to think that a part of me recognised that, from the very first moment I saw the initial trailer for its movie adaptation (starring my bae, Timothée Chalamet who I have been keeping tabs on since his fantastic performance in the indie-flick Miss Stevens), that this would be a story that would stay with me forever. And now, after actually reading it and putting those first notions to the test, I am more convinced than ever that my thoughts will always be filled with the intricacies of Call Me By Your Name.
I have been considered whether or not to review this. I mean, of course I want to and rant and rave over how much this book meant to me but, compared to André Aciman, I am a cat bashing at the computer keys. Over and over again I had to pause in my reading just to stop and take in what I had just read, to think about the prose’s elegance and the feelings that it evoked. To speak the word’s aloud because my ears just needed to hear them. I mean, wow - honestly I have no words to conjure that could even begin to describe how I feel about Call Me By Your Name and that is what makes writing this review so difficult. Frankly, I just worship every single world of it and want to cover my skin in tattoos of its quotes.
Not many authors have managed to fully transport me to a time and a place, but I felt the lazy Italian summer heat rolling through each paragraph alongside the frustration and the confusion that Elio so clearly feels. And Elio certainly does feel - he and Oliver are far more human than any characters I have read for a long time, not two-dimensional like a lot of romance characters but living-breathing human beings. Just as Elio imagines Oliver standing on the balcony in his billowy shirt and looking down at him, I can imagine going to that unnamed place on the Rivera and expecting to see him standing there too.
Honestly, it is just incredibly refreshing to see a book that includes gay characters and yet doesn’t feel the need to include rampant homophobia and a coming-out story which, of course, are a real part of many of the LGBT+ community’s everyday lives but when you live the miserable parts of gaynst in your everyday, it is sometimes nice to forget all of the shittiness and fall in love with the idea of two people falling in love.
And, fall in love with it I did. Although it made me question things about whether pain and love are one and the same, just different faces of the same coin, and whether, in some cases, it is fine with love not lasting long-term. These are lines of thought that I went down that made me love Call Me By Your Name even more, for I feel that everyone has felt what Elio feels in regards to his relationship with Oliver: the love, the obsession, the desire, the regret, the loss, the hate - the mess of emotions when you feel everything and nothing all at once.
Just bravo! I’m thinking about getting a display case or maybe even making a shrine to mark the occasion, it deserve a special spot in my bedroom, after all.

Head on over to for this book, as well as all of the others featured in my reviews, complete with the added bonuses of free worldwide shipping and bringing a little joy to my life.

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