I have seen the movie Call Me By your Name by Luca Guadagnino when it came out and I have wanted to read the book ever since. The movie left me so heartbroken that I was a little scared to read the book. A few days ago I finally decided to read it and it was the best decision I ever made. Without further ado, let’s dive into this review! (It rhymes).
Title: Call Me By Your Name
Author: André Aciman
Synopsis: (Goodreads):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 spirits is 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 thing that was particularly striking about this novel, was the writing style. I cannot stress how beautiful it was; not only have I discovered so many new words but there were so many quotes that took my breath away. The way the story was written made me tear up several times, not because the story was particularly sad (though, some parts were), but because of the way Elio addressed Oliver in the story.
“To look up and find you there, Oliver. For the day will come soon enough when I’ll look up and you’ll no longer be there.”
I loved the attention to details and all the little things that went into making Oliver a lovable character; from Mafalda and Anchise calling him “Ulliva” to Elio’s mother calling him “la muvi star”, to Oliver’s friendship with Vimini and all of the people in the area. He was so easy to love.
Elio and Oliver had incredible chemistry. It was very hard to define what they were, but I think we can agree to call them lovers, for lovers they definitely were. I really enjoyed their banter and their conversations. It felt like they completed each other. Like they were one and the same.
“So you won’t tell me?”
“So I won’t tell you.”
“So he won’t tell me,” he repeated, pensively, as if explaining to someone about me.
How I loved the way he repeated what I myself had just repeated. It made me think of a caress, or of a gesture, which happens to be totally accidental the first time but becomes intentional the second time and more so yet the third.
I highly enjoyed diving into Elio’s psyche and the way he narrated the story, alternating between fantasies and real events, thoughts and conversations. I felt like I was Elio. It was very frustrating to see how he misinterpreted Oliver’s actions and looks. He was an unreliable narrator and I hate the fact that they lost so much time to spend together as lovers.
Reading about their stay in Rome and that night, when they listened to poetry, danced, sang, wept and grieved was so beautifully sad. I read the extract while listening to the Neapolitain tune “Fenesca ca lucive” they were hearing and I felt like I was right by their side, singing and listening to it with them. It was bittersweet.
The fourth and last part of the book called “Ghost Spots” was definitely the saddest part and it broke, or rather shattered my heart to pieces. I loved how the part dealt with love and loss, what it meant to live with memories and to grow up. The last page of the book made me cry for 10 minutes straight:
“Just this once, turn to me, even in jest, or as an afterthought, which would have meant everything to me when we were together, and, as you did back then, look me in the face, hold my gaze, and call me by your name,”
I think it is my favourite last page of a book ever. I loved every single character, every single moment, every single page, and every single word.
Thank you for stopping by!