Title: Call Me By Your Name
Author: Andre Aciman
Status: Stand alone
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 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.
Unforgettable, it was.
I’ll be honest, this review is a negative review.
Call Me By Your Name had been getting a LOT of praise. The movie, especially. I’m not really a person who watches a lot of movies, but I do read a lot of books so I thought I’ll read the book.
Initially, the plan was to buddy read with a friend of mine. It didn’t work out but both of us ended up reading at the same time and I’m so glad for that because I NEEDED someone to rant with!
GUYS LISTEN I’m so frustrated with this book, I do not know what to say!
It’s a love story between a 17 year old boy and a summer guest in his early twenties.
Okay I’m sorry I can NOT write a proper review about this. I’m literally holding my head in my hands not understanding how to explain my frustration while still telling you about the story.
The book is about infatuation and how it might look like love, but it’s not. To me, it was just overwhelming lust. The book is told in the point of view of Elio, the 17 year old who lives in that house where guests come over for summer. And I HATED reading from his point of view.
Then there’s Oliver, the summer guest, who I THOUGHT was normal. I thought he’d fall in love and be normal BUT NO.
The plot is supposed to be this tragic story that rips your heart out after an intense start to their story but I just found it creepy.
Okay so the peach scene??????????????????????????????
I was so disgusted. At that point I THREW MY PHONE on the bed away from me, left the room and didn’t come back until I was calm. I almost left the book but I thought it would get better so I continued, and I’m sorry I did. I know that it’s supposed to mean something like them accepting everything about each other, even if it’s dirty and sick, but.. just no.
(END OF SPOILERS)
ELIO. Oh goodness, Elio.
He’s so damn obsessed and infatuated with Oliver, it’s NOT cute or endearing. In fact, the things he does is C R E E P Y. I was creeped out.
(Spoilers coming but I feel like y’all should read this one.)
And he’s bisexual, which is fine. BUT. He actually also has relations with a girl WHILE Oliver is reciprocating?????
He literally has sex with both of them in a single day, and the other two have absolutely no idea.
Is this book about Elio exploring things? Because I totally do NOT understand why he does all of this if he’s “in love.” I’m sorry but I don’t see it as a love story.
(End of spoilers)
Then there’s Oliver. I kind of liked him in the beginning but half-through the book I turned around saying NOPE.
The book is so centered around Elio and Oliver that they didn’t feel like three dimensional characters. We saw next-to-nothing about other characters and their relationship with others.
Near the end there is this one, pretty nice, monologue of a supporting character but that’s it. And by that point I didn’t even care about that character and I was overall so darn frustrated about the book that the monologue made no impression on me.
The Writing Style
Half the reason I hated the book was because of Elio, the other half was because of the writing style.
It’s so detached and unfeeling that I couldn’t make myself care.
Around the time I started hating the characters, I became glad for the detached writing style. Because otherwise, I would have hated it all more, probably.
I’m so glad I finished the book, I can’t believe I actually sat through it all.
I’m also so glad for my friend who read the book at the same time and shared my opinions. Because I found only ONE negative review about the book, and that’s after scrolling so far down in Goodreads.
Maybe the movie is nice? I don’t know. I feel like the movie would have done things better by toning up the feeling and toning down the lust but I still will NOT watch it. I like Timothee Chamalet, but I just can’t watch the movie.
Rating the book a lonely one star.