Call Me by your Name

Call Me by your Name

Book - 2007
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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. Unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, at first each feigns indifference. But during the restless summer weeks that follow, unrelenting buried currents of obsession and fear, fascination and desire, intensify their passion as they test the charged ground between them. What grows from the depths of their spiritsis a romance of scarcely six weeks' duration and an experience that marks them for a lifetime. For what the two discover on the Riviera and during a sultry evening in Rome is the one thing both already fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy.   The psychological maneuvers that accompany attraction have seldom been more shrewdly captured than in André Aciman's frank, unsentimental, heartrending elegy to human passion. Call Me by Your Name is clear-eyed, bare-knuckled, and ultimately unforgettable.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780374299217
Branch Call Number: FIC ACIMAN 2007
Characteristics: 248 pages ; 22 cm


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VaughanPLDavidB Sep 25, 2019

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.

Jul 22, 2019

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.

Mar 07, 2019

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.

Jan 02, 2019

Beautifully written novel is powerful ode to love and everything that comes with it: infatuation, obsession, exhilaration, passion, doubt, regrets and etc.

EmilyC_KCMO Aug 28, 2018

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.

Aug 08, 2018

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

SFPL_StaffPicks Jul 19, 2018

Film based on this book, 2018 SAG Award Nominated Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor, Timothee Chalamet

SkokieStaff_Steven Jun 27, 2018

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.

Jun 11, 2018

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.

Apr 12, 2018

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.

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