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Call Me By Your Name is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. It takes place in Italy following a boy named Elio as he falls helplessly in love with the graduate-student assistant his family took in for the summer. Call Me By Your Name is love, hate and hurt all in one creating the most beautiful book. André Aciman is a genuinely extraordinary author who makes you feel as though you are one of the characters. There is never a boring moment in this book as it takes you to a whole other little world. This book is fairly mature and I would recommend it to ages 14+. Call Me By Your Name is truly one of a kind. I would totally recommend this book to anyone. Especially if you love a good romance, a sweet romance and want something a little different. I rate this book a 4.5/5 I really enjoyed reading it. @goodie06 of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library
Set in 1980’s northern Italy, this is a great love story, but it is much more than that. The author uses the lives and experiences of the characters to provide an explanation for greater concepts, like the passage of time and the malleability of life. I found it to be very well written, with many references to other literary or artistic works.
This book had such a beautiful way of showing the raw emotions of a delicate and captivating relationship.
Recommend for ages 15/16+, as it does talk about pedophilia and is very controversial.
Beautifully written novel. This book was an emotional roller coaster that I couldn’t put down. If you’ve seen the movie, I would recommend reading the book and then re-watching the movie. The book is better than the movie, but the book also makes the movie more enjoyable.
This is book is so raw and emotional. It shows love in a deep true form. The book is complex and beautiful. I highly recommend to teenagers (not under high school). Yes, there is the aspect of pedophilia, but ignore the ages and this book will leave you sobbing.
Call Me By Your Name is Andre Aciman’s first novel and it’s a book that tells the story of Elio, a seventeen year old Italian boy who falls helplessly in love with his family’s summer guest, Oliver. Andre Aciman did an excellent job depicting the thought train of a teenager as Elio tends to overthink about how he should act in front of Oliver but most of the time ends up being very shy and somewhat awkward which I found humorous considering I’m like this too. The one thing I especially loved is how this is a book about two men in love where the environment is a peaceful one as there isn’t anyone who tries to come between the two because they don’t agree with their sexuality whereas in other novels there is some form of conflict, even Elio’s parents support the relationship as their truly just want their son Elio to be happy. I also enjoyed the rawness of this novel, no detail gets left out. 5 stars
@Celine of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board
Our book group didn't love, didn't hate, this book; we were puzzled by the numerous fabulous reviews from prestigious papers. The setting is an old family villa on the Italian coast, a cook, chauffeur, gardener, erudite visitors at meals, lots of sun and food and drink, tennis and swimming. The plot is a lustful, erotic relationship between the 17 year old son of the family and their 24 year old scholar house guest. Recommended as a mirror for readers going through a similar awakening.
DNF. I really wanted to like this book. The writing is so good. But I found myself not looking forward to reading more. It’s very Lady Chatterly’s Lover in terms of forbidden romance. Aciman very accurately captures what it feels like to be infatuated/in love with someone, but it just didn't pull me in like I was hoping.
Call Me By Your Name is a poetic yet controversial novel. The use of rich imagery and flowery language immediately drew me in. The descriptive language used to describe the Italian setting painted such an accurate description I felt like I was there. Oh wait, I actually was in Italy while reading this book and thus I know how accurate the environment was. The story was fascinating and compelling, constantly forcing me to read just one more page, until I was up late into the night. My biggest issue with this book was the central relationship between an adult and a minor. The main character of the book, Elio, is only 17 when he gets into a relationship with a 24 year old. The fact that this is taboo is discussed a bit at the beginning of the book but is then brushed off later on, despite how toxic and unbalanced the relationship is. This age gap made me incredibly uncomfortable, so during the course of reading the book I imagined the characters to be much closer in age, so I could finish reading. Without the predatory age gap, this book would have been phenomenal, however no amount of pretending can take away how awful that aspect of the book was. I would recommend reading this book on a vacation but would caution it against anyone who is triggered by pedophilia. 2.5/5
@nickreads of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library
is this a paraphilia situation in which an adult desires or engages in sexual relations with a child. The book and the movie is promoting Pedophilia. I knew this would be next. soon children will be able to marry grown men.
This book is undoubtedly flawed, but I think that’s what makes it so beautiful. In the first parts of the book, we see the raw romance blossoming between Elio and Oliver. I understand how many may find this repulsive, as their love for each other is so unrelenting that it may seem gross at times. However, with further thought, I think it just goes to show the complexity of the affection the two characters hold for each other. It shows how real passion works, how many, not even Elio’s own mother and father, could achieve meaningful intensity in their relationship. While I think the first parts are lovely, I think the last part of the book is where I saw Elio and Oliver’s love for each other the most. We see how their relationship ceases to dissolve, even in as far as two decades after their last day together in Italy. The development of the ending was absolutely astonishing. This is one reason why I would prefer the book over the film adaptation. I think seeing how Oliver and Elio still remember every detail of their time together two decades after the fact strengthens the relationship we see, as readers, between them. It literally brought tears to my eyes. While the film does give us a sad ending (spoiler alert) finishing with a phone call from Oliver to bring news of his engagement, I feel that seeing how the characters moved on with their lives after they had met the other brings a much more melancholic feeling of facing the reality of a love that could never be. All in all, I thought the book was rough, raw, and a perpetually beautiful piece of literature.
DNF. About nine years ago, I read what I thought was the worst book I had ever laid eyes on: The Sentimentalists by Johanna Skibsrud. Well move over Johanna, you've just been replaced. I forced myself to finish Part 1 of Call My By Your Name, and I have to say that it was 63 pages of the most annoying drivel I have ever read. As I read this dreary narration of a love-struck teenager, I found myself repeatedly saying out loud, "You're pathetic." I couldn't persuade myself to read one more word from this character. What I really wanted to do was jump into the book and give him a couple of good hard slaps and tell him to pull himself together and find some self-respect. I would say that my taste in novels doesn't run outside the mainstream, but I honestly can't imagine how this book could be so well-reviewed.
Every moment is beautifully captured. The last third of the book especially encapsulates the quaint, nostalgic feeling of warm summer nights running through the streets of Rome. Absolutely excellent.
What is André Aciman doing with Elio? Is he a naïve youth exploring different aspects of his feelings and personalities? Or is he a self-deluding narcicist who sees everything the the unreliable lenses of his shifting passions? I suppose he is both, which, for me, makes him a bit difficult to relate to. I want to shake him up and say, come on, you’re a smart kid, intellectual, talented, sensuous, feeling. Why are you wallowing in this overblown romanticism? Either jump the guy or move on, but don’t mope endlessly.
And there’s the problem, I suppose. Elio is a romantic teenager, exploring his identity and trying to come to terms with his desires, both emotional and sexual. In his relationship with Marzia, he learns something about love and willingly sharing his psychic being with another person. In his relationship with Oliver, he goes farther, and wants to become Oliver when he says, Call me by your name. Communication is a repeated theme in the novel, with successful and unsuccessful communications that range from the hinted and unspoken messages that Elio wants to read in a glance and that extend to to his desire for total intimacy and shared knowledge. But communication is the last thing that any of the characters find here when they are so often speaking at cross-purposes and avoiding what they want to say. And perhaps that’s the point.
Aciman parallels Elio’s two relationships when he joins them in the gift of the book, Se l’amore, If love. But the relationship with Marzia is a brief and simple one that Elio quickly abandons. The relationship with Oliver is complex and layered, which Elio (and I) hoped would prove to be more lasting. (This is a little ironic, as the European sensibility is portrayed here as more sophisticated and complex, while the American Oliver is brash and straightforward.) Aciman also mocks the literature of love in the pretentions and artifice of the poetry reading in Rome, which Elio sees through but still enjoys.
But of course, this is a summer love and even Elio knows that Oliver is leaving at the end of a few weeks. So he ends the summer heartbroken but wiser for having experienced a deep connection to Oliver. This is so familiar that it’s a cliché, even if it’s one that a reader can enjoy.
But then, there’s the conversation with Elio’s father, in which his father hints that he gave up (repressed) his homosexuality and married, ending up in a distant relationship with his wife. He tells Elio not to make the same mistake, not that Elio seems likely to. Elio does, however, show some casual homophobia in his self-loathing after his first sexual experience with Oliver, when he compares it the next morning with his experience with Marzia. Since the story seems to be set in about the 1970s or ’80s, that’s probably common enough for some young men, particular given Elio’s ambivalence. This adds a sociological line to the story that seems out of tone with the exaggerated romanticism of the rest of the story.
There’s another layer of complication here. The story is in the first person, in Elio’s voice, but apparently as a recollection of a distant past. A contemporary narrator occasionally makes an appearance reflecting on Elio’s story. And Elio himself re-connects briefly with the married Oliver later in life, and still finds a bond of unspoken communication. Is this story the naïve voice of Elio the younger or the mocking voice of Elio the mature exaggerating the naivety of his youth? In fact, there were several times, before the appearance of the narrator, where I wondered if this story was a satire of romantic self-absorbed youth. Perhaps this is how to take the story of the peach, so sensuous and yet so ridiculous.
So is this an exploration of the formation of the identity of a young gay man in the 1980s, or is it a satirical reflection on the comical exaggerations of romantic love? I’ll be interested to read what other readers comment on the novel.
Beautifully written novel is powerful ode to love and everything that comes with it: infatuation, obsession, exhilaration, passion, doubt, regrets and etc.
Thoughtful, introspective narration and a heartwrenching story. If you're looking for a coming-of-age gay romance and a good cry: this is your book.
This book speaks about falling in love, sexuality, finding existence in another person's
presence, facing your truth and living with regret while still leaning on what is causing
this regret.....moving and beautiful
Film based on this book, 2018 SAG Award Nominated Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor, Timothee Chalamet
The movie definitely did an amazing adaptation of this book, but books are almost always better. This book has a rawness and pain that couldn't quite get to the screen. I love both. Aciman captures disquieting youthful obsessions, the tendency to feel absolutely everything, and the self absorbed self conscious fantasies that can take over a young mind in the midst of young love. I found this book so engrossing that I actually stopped reading other things until I finished it.
Andre Aciman’s “Call Me by Your Name” is a beautifully written, sometimes graphic, keenly felt novel of young man’s romantic awakening that left me deeply exasperated. Our young hero Elio lives in a kind of a paradise on the Italian coast where attractive, talented young intellectuals lounge about the pool all day, where professors have country villas complete with servants, where an American postdoc publishes a scholarly book on Heraclitus at the ridiculously tender age of 24, where a teenage Italian boy can easily identify a quotation from Montaigne in French, and where sexually active bisexual men are apparently unconcerned about AIDS even though they are living in the 1980s. This is a novel that takes the Italian concept of “sprezzatura” to an extreme: none of the characters apparently works very hard, makes sacrifices, or faces any real worries or challenges, yet intellectual, professional, and sexual rewards simply come their way because they are superior people. Aciman does a fine job of capturing the pleasures and pains of young love. I wish he could have made his characters more believable or relatable.
After I indulged in languorous caress of the film (my most favorite in 2017), wish la dolce vita never end, to relive in the book.
I intentionally slowed down the reading pace, more sittings than usual to prolong...the comedic effects provoked in film are in full disclosure in Elio’s monologue. Moreover layers of inner turmoils thrashed them and me up and down, till final chapter - Ghost Spots, to epic level, which had not experienced in the film.
Oliver became mysterious in the book.
Vimini, an omitted character in the film, transmitted messages between two lovers, as well as the now and future.
Roman night of The San Clemente Syndrome, appeared to be a distraction(is bohemian style the essence to impress?) to me, though the plot had intention to illuminate. But I hate to be in disagreement with them on their best time together.
To say, it’s the most beautiful romance I’ve ever read, doesn’t do its justice.
A magical and enduring love story. I liked the book even more than the movie. I only wish I had read the book first. I don't think I've ever came across a writer who can so poignantly entice you into viewing the transition of two character's lives.