Call Me by Your Name: A Novel Paperback – October 3, 2017
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An Amazon Book with Buzz: "Sweet Sorrow" by David Nicholls
"With fully fleshed-out characters, terrific dialogue, bountiful humor, and genuinely affecting scenes, this is really the full package of a rewarding, romantic read."—Booklist Learn more
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"The book is incredible. My wife [Elizabeth Chambers] calls it the sexiest book she’s ever read. It humanises love in a really powerful, beautiful way.”―Armie Hammer, Time Out (London)
“I loved the movie…and the book completely blew me away!”―Marc Jacobs on Instagram
“I finally read André Aciman’s deeply moving novel Call Me by Your Name, racing to do so before I saw Luca Guadagnino’s (sublime) movie adaptation with its sensitive screenplay by James Ivory―and I adored it.”―Hamish Bowles, Vogue.com (Best Books We Read All Year)
“Superb...The beauty of Aciman's writing and the purity of his passions should place this extraordinary first novel within the canon of great romantic love stories for everyone.”―Charles Kaiser, The Washington Post Book World
“An extraordinary examination of longing and the complicated ways in which we negotiate the experience of attraction....It's startling that a novel so bracingly unsentimental―alert to the ways we manipulate, second-guess, forestall, and finally reach stumblingly toward one another―concludes with such emotional depths.”―Mark Doty, O, The Oprah Magazine
“This novel is hot...a love letter, an invocation, and something of an epitaph....An exceptionally beautiful book.”―Stacey D'Erasmo, The New York Times Book Review
“If you are prepared to take a hard punch in your gut, and like brave, acute, elated, naked, brutal, tender, humane, and beautiful prose, then you've come to the right place.”―Nicole Krauss, author of The History of Love
“A great love story...every phrase, every ache, every giddy rush of sensation in this beautiful novel rings true.”―Michael Upchurch, The Seattle Times
“The novel is richly, sensuously detailed...luminous....Aciman deftly charts a burgeoning relationship that both parties want and fear.”―Karen Campbell, The Boston Globe
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Much of the first half of Call Me By Your Name has a “stream of consciousness” feeling to it as Elio, a very precocious and intelligent but shy young man, defies his better intuitions and finds himself more and more attracted to Oliver. Oliver, in turn, appears aloof, enigmatic, or simply unresponsive to the younger man’s growingly obvious infatuation. Aciman beautifully captures the multiple emotions: doubts, worries, hopes, and despair of an apparently one-sided attraction and romance to which any reader, regardless of their sexual orientation, most likely will be able to relate. Elio’s situation and Aicman’s characters and dialogue are all very true to life. Aicman’s references to the Italian setting, its culture, and historic figures (especially artists) add color to his tale without becoming a distraction or principal focus.
By time both Elio and the reader are aware of Oliver’s true feelings toward the younger man, a new sense of urgency, an even greater feeling of sensuality and eroticism, and a more intense atmosphere of anxiety and impending doom enters the story—all of it exquisitely captured by Aciman’s exquisitely accomplished writing.
The minor characters in Call Me by Your Name are portrayed as lovingly and precisely as the two leads. Elio’s father and a younger female friend who is dying of leukemia, in particular, are given scenes of appealing tenderness and geniality. Both are people readers would like to know and embrace. Call Me By Your Name is filled with psychological insight, beauty, realism, poignancy, melancholy, regret, smiles, wonder, joy and celebration, and pathos. If it is possible for a novel to contain a genuine reflection of what it is like to be a human being, Call Me by Your Name is that novel.
The conclusion of Oliver’s six weeks with Elio and his family and the circle of friends he makes while in Italy before returning to the United States ends the way readers know it must, but it is not the conclusion of the novel. In the final chapter entitled “Ghost Spots,” Aciman benevolently gives readers further, later scenes depicting the lives of both Elio and Oliver. The scenes are like the rest of the novel: authentic and discerning with memories both sad and joyous while tinged with an aching, unforgettable bitter sweetness. Upon finishing the novel one can only conclude that Call Me By Your Name is a modern classic.
Story line: Being an older gay man I’ve yearned for such talented writers touching on this topic. What was once considered taboo is now accepted. If the roles were reversed to “straight” characters ( like Summer of 42) it wouldn’t be considered taboo. Bravo for being brave and showing how love is love.
THE TEARS! My eyes are so sore. Oh wow! The book, the movie, the soundtrack, the characters and actors... unimaginably captivating. I have never cried while reading a book, but I sure did with this one. I assume it is because this story resinates with me so well that I could feel the love, friendship, hope and loss -- plus more through the storyline. Each page you turn or read is even better than the next.
If you want to read a book that will captivate you the way it has captivated numerous others (myself included), please read this book.
I want to applaud the author for this unforgettable store!
Let me preface my praises of this book by saying that I had a difficult, love-hate relationship with Elio (protagonist and narrator). His obsessive reading, re-reading, over-reading, over-re-reading into every little look, word, silence, and lack of look, borders on the hysterical if not out-right insane and nearly drives this book's readers (or me, at least) insane right along with him. Not to mention that it nearly breaks the taut string suspending the reader's disbelief because honestly, what teenage even speaks let alone THINKS like this? But after reaching the second act, it's quite clear that this obsessiveness is what has isolated him from his peers and why he searches to be so completely understood by someone like Oliver, who speaks his same coded language of gestures and unspoken words - even though they're often not on the same wave length.
Elio's fevered imaginings also make him an almost delightfully unreliable narrator, where something he narrates early on as fact (e.g. the cold, death-glares he'd receive from Oliver) turn out to be misguided by his prejudices and not true at all. It lends a tender, nostalgic quality to the whole thing (which is already close to bursting with nostalgia), knowing that all the events are not as they were but merely as he remembers them.
I came to realize that the story was painful to read because it was a painfully exact replica of what it is to be a teenager, and not because it was poorly written or ill-conceived. It intentionally takes its readers back to a time when your insides were on your outsides, all your feelings exposed, leaving you raw and vulnerable, so that every glance, every snide remark, especially from the person you're infatuated with, is like hot knives on your bare flesh. The reason I was so infuriated with Elio was because I was infuriated with myself, when I was a teenager, and felt and behaved the exact same way. Elio, despite his staggering intellect for a seventeen-year-old, is a profound idiot just like I was a profound idiot.
The meat of the story is the romance between our leads, slow and painful in its engineering (like a roller-coaster going up), terrifying, rocketing, elating, wonderful when it's happening (the roller-coaster plummeting), that leaves you aching, dizzy, and nauseous in its denouement (the end of the ride). You spend so much time worshiping Oliver through Elio's eyes that when he turns out to be the coward, you refuse to believe it, until you're dragged unwillingly to the book's end are slapped in the face with the reality that yes, Oliver was the coward all along.
This is probably one of the most erotic reads of the 21st century, thanks in no small part to the breathless suspense leading up to their first encounter together, but also because the author understands how sensuality is enhanced by disgust. Even though the book sometimes crosses the thin line between sexy gross and full blown gross-out (by the end of the book ALL of the bodily fluids have been prominently featured), it leaves the burning, frenzied sensuality at its core stronger for it.
I am confident that the movie adaptation (which I'll be watching soon) will be a perfect companion to this book, as it likely won't suffer from the book's flaws, such as being overly verbose, and its slow pacing on screen will probably feel more like sexual tension than having your nails being summarily torn from your fingers. Nonetheless, the novel contains some of the most stellar, quotable lines you'll ever encounter, and such gut-wrenching realism surrounding its heartbreak that you'll feel it as a hot knife across your raw skin.
If I could say one thing to this novel it would be: I'll die if you stop.
Top international reviews
"It is the first thing I remember about him, and I can hear it still today. Later! I shut my eyes, say the word, and I'm back in Italy, so many years ago, walking down the tree-lined driveway, watching him step out of the cab, billowy blue shirt, wide-open collar, sunglasses, straw hat, skin everywhere. Suddenly he's shaking my hand, handing me his backpack, removing his suitcase from the trunk of the cab, asking if my father is home."
Den ganzen Roman bestimmt von Anfang an ein melancholisch-sehnsüchtiger Grundton, der sich bis zum Ende hält und sich eher noch steigert. Ein Sehnen, das nie zu Ende geht. Das ganze Leben lang. Letztlich geht es hier um die Wirkung der Zeit auf die Menschen und ihre Gefühle und darum, dass ein Paradies nur in der Erinnerung aufrechterhalten werden kann. Darum, wie immer wieder Teile der Persönlichkeit herausgerissen und immer neue Schichten darübergelegt wurden, wie bei einer sehr alten Kirche. Darum wie man sich dabei oberflächlich verändert oder die äußeren Bedingungen, aber vielleicht tief unter den neuen Schichten noch einen Rest Ihrer Liebe von damals entdeckt werden kann. Etwas, was sie geprägt hat, auf der sie sich alles gründet.
Time makes us sentimental. Perhaps, in the end, it is because of time that we suffer.
Das Buch ist in vier Kapitel eingeteilt und die Geschichte der beiden Männer wird aus subjektiver Sicht Elios erzählt im Rückblick 20 Jahre später.
Im ersten trifft Elio (17) auf Oliver (24), den amerikanischen Doktoranden, der über sechs Wochen in Ihrem Haus in Italien verbringen soll, um dort zu arbeiten. Vom ersten Moment an richtet sich eine fast obsessive Aufmerksamkeit auf Oliver. Jeder Schritt, jede Aussage, jedes Verhalten Olivers wird analysiert und interpretiert, jede Stelle seines Körpers gescannt. Wir sind in Elios Kopf. Aber Oliver ist abweisend. Elio hasst ihn dafür aber im nächsten Moment verfällt er ihm wieder, sobald er von dem anderen etwas Aufmerksamkeit oder Zuspruch erfährt.
Im zweiten und längsten Kapitel gesteht Elio nach ca. zwei Wochen der Qualen Oliver seine Empfindungen. Trotz Zögerns seitens Olivers beginnt eine erst sehr vorsichtige Annäherung, die noch über weitere zwei Wochen andauert bis auch bei Ihm alle Schranken fallen.
Im dritten Kapitel verbringen beide gemeinsam Olivers letzte Tage in Rom, wo sie das erste mal außerhalb des paradiesischen elterlichen Hauses sind, fern von Elios Familie.
Im letzten Kapitel beschreibt Elio Treffen der beiden 15 und 20 Jahre später und wie er versucht herauszufinden, was von Ihrer Liebe noch überlebt hat. Dieser Teil ist der melancholischste, dichteste und schönste und fehlt im Film fast vollständig. So viele der poetischen Sätze in diesem Kapitel könnte man einrahmen und an die Wand hängen.
Die Sprache ist dicht, intensiv und sehr erotisch, dabei aber wunderschön und nie pornografisch.. Emotional aber nicht kitschig. Die Sätze sind teilweise sehr lang und verwunden:
…It would finally dawn on us both that he was more me than I had ever been myself, because when he became me and I became him in bed so many years ago, he was and would forever remain, long after every forked road in life had done its work, my brother, my friend, my father, my son, my husband, my lover, myself.
Dieser Satz beschreibt auch gefühlvoll die Essenz dieser Liebe, die vielleicht weit über eine Beziehung hinausgeht. Sie finden sich jeweils selbst durch den anderen. "Call me by Your name and I'll call You by mine". Alles was ein Mann für Elio sein kann, war vereinigt in Oliver. Allumfassend und total, bis hin zum Verschmelzen zu einem gemeinsamen Wesen. Hier werden Vorstellungen aus der Antike wieder erweckt.
Von solchen wunderschönen sinnlichen Sätzen gibt es so viele in diesem Buch, hier noch ein Beispiel:
From this moment on, I thought, from this moment on – I had , as I'd never before in my life, the distinct feeling of arriving somewhere very dear, of wanting it forever, of being me, me, me, me and no one else, just me, of finding in each shiver that ran down my arms something totally alien and yet by no means unfamiliar, as if all this had been part of me all my life and I'd misplaced it and he helped me find it.
Der Autor arbeitet auch mit der Vorstellung von gespiegelten Liebhabern, die den jeweils anderen bei dem eigenen Namen nennen, Das Symbol Ihrer Verbundenheit und Einheit (und Gleichheit), wobei die Spiegelung auch ein eindeutig queeres Element der Geschichte bildet. Auch die beiden Namen sind bewusst gewählt: Wenn man das V und das R aus OLIVER entfernt, bleibt OLIE übrig, aus dem man ELIO bilden kann. Oliver ist in Elios Augen die vollkommenere und bessere Version von sich selbst. Er schaut zu ihm auf, vergöttert ihn, will zugleich bei ihm sein und er sein. Man kann das im wahren Leben bei den sogenannten „Boyfriend Twins“ beobachten.
Auch der Austausch von Körperflüssigkeiten wird hier zu einem philosophischen Akt:
I believe with every cell in my body that every cell in yours must not, must never, die, and if it does have to die, let it die inside my body.
Wichtig ist hier auch, dass die Pfirsichszene, über die alle sprechen, die den Film gesehen haben, hier wirklich eine starke Symbolkraft hat und hier auf etwas andere Art stattfindet. Ein Grund mehr, das Buch zu lesen.
Diese Liebesgeschichte ist sicherlich für alle verständlich und auch nachfühlbar, wenn man nicht gänzlich homophob ist (erste Liebe, Sehnsucht und Verlust und Schmerz). Ich finde, dass jeder sie lesen sollte. Und doch finde ich „universell“ („Coming - Of- Age- Liebesgeschichte“) etwas zu allgemein formuliert. Das wird immer gerne gesagt, um eine Geschichte aufwerten zu wollen und meint, damit ein größeres Publikum ansprechen zu können. Es ist aber auch eindeutig eine queere Geschichte und ersetzte man eine Figur durch eine Frau, würde alles gar keinen Sinn ergeben, z.B. die Spiegelung. Die Poesie dieser Geschichte wäre dahin. Verheimlichen müssen die Jungs Ihre Beziehung. Scham spielt eine Rolle, sowohl bei Elio nach dem ersten Sex mit Oliver als auch bei diesem wegen seiner Eltern, die ihn in eine Anstalt gesteckt hätten, hätten sie davon erfahren. Wenn beide sich küssen wollen, nur dann wenn keiner hinsieht. Ihre Liebe lebt gleichsam nur in einem Arkadien. Elio erzählt seinen Eltern einmal am Frühstückstisch, dass er beinahe mit einem Mädchen Sex gehabt hätte, hier spielt Scham keine Rolle.
Ich finde es ganz außerordentlich, wie ein heterosexueller Autor mann-männliches Begehren, Phantasien und Sehnsüchte in derart intensiver und erotischer Weise in Worte gefasst hat, dass ich sämtliche Gefühlszustände durchlebt habe.
We had found the stars, you and I. And this is given once only.
The film is a lovely condensing of the love story and captures some of the rapture and desire of the book.
Thought provoking in its unchallenged freedom - let there be more of this.
This was different, whilst Elio ticks the seemingly required introverted, nerd on cusp of adulthood box; he has a genuine appreciation of the adults in his life and their wisdom. Yet he has the selfish wants of a teen, and this forms much of his inner dialogue. It does meander on at times and this is my reason for 4 rather than 5 stars.
When Oliver arrives to spend the summer with Elio's family he finds himself captivated by the older and (to Elio) sophisticated man. I think many reviewers have missed the subtlety of Elio's sexuality - he is sometimes confused about how he can engage in sex with a man and woman but it is his emotional attachment to Oliver that he finds hardest to rationalise.
I believe the author is showing us no matter how precocious Elio is, hormones and sex can make intelligence take a firm back seat. But he doesn't ruin his life or prospects, he simply falls in love for the first time. And to me that's the crux of the story, it's so rare to spend your life with the first person you fall for - but they also stay with you inside.
Maybe if Oliver had been braver their story would have had a different outcome, but I felt this story was truer to real life and much the better for it. I thought the ending was quite beautiful, and for me invoked the strongest emotional response.
This was a treat and painful to read but oh my so so good. Although this is a gay love story, it is just so much more than that - it is a truely beautiful story about two people who are drawn together in a lov so deep it hurts.
Bravo Mr Aciman Bravo - this will be one of my top ten reads of all time.
Seriously though, if youve ever loved and lost, you need to read this. The best love stories are tragedies because there is no happily every after and there is no joining, and the love is lived on memories and snatched remembrances.
I REALLY WISH I had read the book before seeing the film - my mind kept thinking of the films’ lead characters and I wanted to read it to form my own version in my imagination rather than have someone else’s version imprinted on me first. The film is excellent and it’s Oscar for “Best Adaptation” thoroughly deserved. Yes, some parts are directly lifted from the book but there are subtle differences between the Directors’ cut and the authors’ version of the same story. Other reviews question the authors’ style; indeed this book can be verbose, introspective and meandering at times, (especially if you’ve seen the film already) but the last chapter is pure literary magic to me and it’s because it’s not in the film and I have my own unadulterated version. I was going to give it four stars but the last chapter propelled its score to five. I was left with a nostalgic sadness, an unmovable lump in my throat - very few books I have read had this kind of profound affect. This book won’t be to everyone’s taste but to me it was beautiful. Officially this is a fictional book written by a heterosexual male, but it’s so emotionally accurate and poignant that I find this hard to believe
Unlike others, though, this one did not put me back together again at the end. And yet, I cannot find it in me to be angry about it. Quite the opposite. This book has become my security blanket.
Reading Call Me By Your Name was like taking a plunge underwater and not coming up for air till the very end. Seeing the world through Elio’s eyes and his thoughts has been an exquisite and deeply intimate experience.
People will say it’s a love story and it is that, of course. And while many authors tell love stories with as much grace, beauty, and emotion as André Aciman does, it is not the main reason that made this book so special to me. I think the book jacket said it best: it’s a story of intimacy. CMBYN feels like it was cut out of my soul. Aciman puts into words feelings that I couldn’t even begin to describe and he does it seemingly effortlessly. There’s an ease and flow to his language that is so gentle and stunningly captivating.
It’ll stay with you long after you put it down. Much like the characters that can’t stay out of each other’s orbit.
SPOILER ALERTS SPOILER ALERTS
So, the story: handsome, athletic, popular, charming, sexy guy arrives at a large house in the countryside ostensibly to finish his own thesis, but also help the incumbent professor with research. The family are all intelligent, artistic and talented in different ways. The son is a clever teenage boy whose knowledge all comes from reading and not from life experiences and so, as he says later in the film "he knows nothing" . He is unsure of his emotional feelings, is very immature, some would say precocious and doesn't know where his sexual orientation lies. These are pretty common experiences for an adolescent as far as I remember, although that was a very, very long time ago!!. He is obviously attracted to the American visitor, but then so is everyone else, quite understandably!
Before continuing with the story, why do they converse with each other in different languages? French. german, italian? The boy even speaks french on and off with his female italian friend. Why exactly? I found it very tedious.
My view of the relationship between the two varies considerably from other viewers. For me, the 20+ American seems to be 'grooming' the boy...drawing him in and pushing him away, but each time drawing him closer. The boy is very unsure about his sexuality and embarks on a sexual relationship with a female friend...to check things out. Oliver, the American, eventually has sex with Elio after a fumbled attempt by Elio whilst they are out cycling together (he grabs Oliver's crotch). Is it love? Well, in my opinion it wasn't, but obviously that's just my opinion.
When Oliver has to return to the US at the end of the summer, the two head off together to spend some time alone with each other. One night Elio get very drunk and sick, meanwhile Oliver is dancing with a lady who happens to be listening to a song which Oliver knows. The two part at the railway station with the usual "I'll never forget you" speech and Elio returns home saddened by the loss of the man who gave him his first homosexual encounter.
Forward to winter. The family have returned to their country residence. Oliver phones and speaks to Elio's parents first. He is then handed over to Elio and in the space of no time at all, announces that he is getting engaged in the spring! So, the love he had for Elio was so real that 4 months later he tell him he is about to marry. Well that's love for you!
For the final scene, which in my view, is the best piece of acting in the film, Elio stares into the fire and says nothing, but his face speaks volumes.
After watching the film I had to read the book just to see what I had missed. In the book it appeared to me that Elio was 'stalking' Oliver. He is especially jealous when Oliver disappears regularly at night time. For Elio, this can only mean one thing. Oliver is having sexual encounters with pretty much everyone and anyone. At one point he even imagines him having sex with their handyman.
The latter part of the book is very different from the film. The pair head off to Rome. They have been treated to a beautiful room in a posh hotel, courtesy of Elio's father. Quite different from the pensione in the film. Here Elio has a 'road to Damascus' experience. The beauty of Rome, the friendship of Oliver's fiends, the acceptance of their relationship, the freedom to be free. Yes, Elio, does get very drunk and yes he is sick. However, the scene where Oliver dances with a stranger? It doesn't happen. Why was that added when so much of importance was left out? Obviously to make a film based entirely on the book would made it far too long, I appreciate that. However, I felt that some parts were added/removed/altered quite unnecessarily.
For me, "God's Own Country" was a far, far superior film. The cinematography in that was just as good as in CMBYN. Totally different of course, but it captured the feel of winter in the wilds of Yorkshire perfectly for me. The acting was much better as was the storyline.
It tells the story of 17-year-old Italian Elio and 24-year-old Oliver who is American. Elio’s father is a Professor who invites a student to live with him and his family every summer at their house in Italy. The student helps with academic paperwork and uses the rest of their time in Italy to work on their book manuscript. In the summer of 1983 it is Oliver who comes to stay and it is during this summer that love blossoms between he and Elio.
Firstly, I really enjoyed reading a book set in the 1980s. It isn’t that it is full of cultural and pop culture references to 1983, it is more that the notable absence of technology meant that the love story and relationships seemed to be able to develop in a more languid and realistic way. There is a gradual deepening of understanding and friendship between Elio and Oliver which leads to this extraordinary love affair. The summer haze and lazy days spent near the pool or having a siesta gave the prose an almost other worldly quality which combined with the looking back to 1983 created an almost whimsical quality. I quite liked the snapshot of life in 1983 (the book is predominately set over a 6 week period) and I was easily transported back in time eating a peach next to the swimming pool.
The love story is powerful, all-consuming and compelling if a little repetitive at times. It took a while for things to get going and I seemed to read pages and pages of Elio gazing adoringly at Oliver whilst he lay by the pool reading. Aside from that some parts were decidedly odd and uncomfortable to read and, if I am honest, felt like they were there to shock rather than communicate the power of feeling and connection that Elio and Oliver felt for one another. It felt incongruous (to me), especially considering how exquisite and beautiful the writing is and how, at times, it was highly emotive.
André Aciman writes about obsessive, powerful love; the kind that makes you do odd and extraordinary things. I found it interesting that it is purely from Elio’s perspective as this teen viewpoint made some of his actions ‘acceptable’ as they could be explained away by his immaturity. I would have liked to have seen Oliver’s point of view and understand his mentality – was he disturbed by the age gap and the power difference between the two of them? What were his thoughts about some of the things that Elio did? Was he so blinded by the love and connection that it didn’t matter?
I really liked how well drawn Elio was. He is a teenager and the war between his emotional immaturity and his high intelligence was fascinating. He is a curious person – talented and smart, able to hold his own amongst his peers and those who are far older and more accomplished yet he treats some people terribly. He has a tendency to use and let go of people and doesn’t consider their feelings or emotions. I think that this was possibly the teenager in him as at 17 he is a man-child.
I wouldn’t say Call Me By Your Name is an easy read, in fact, at times it was a slog. There are lots of references to books, poetry and culture that went right over my head and it made me feel really stupid. It all felt a little too knowing and a bit too ‘oh, look how clever I am’ which made my eyes roll. It was kind of like that guy at a party who can’t wait to tell you how clever and how well-read he is and just comes across as a dull bore. It put me outside of the narrative and I was at times tempted to give up but there was something about the book that made me keep going.
Overall, I found it a bit hit and miss. At times I loved it, at others I loathed it but overall it was OK. I wouldn’t recommend it for everybody and I think it is definitely an acquired taste. The thing is, I feel I missed something quite big – not in the plot necessarily but in the symbolism and metaphors. It is perhaps a book best read at a book club or as part of studies. I feel that further discussion and analysing would maybe allow some further depth to be reached and I may have got more from it.
Après avoir vu le film (que j'ai particulièrement aimé, d'ailleurs) , je me suis jetée sur le livre.
J'aurais sans doute dû laisser passer quelques mois car au tout début, j'ai retrouvé quasiment phrase pour phrase les dialogues du film.
Du coup, j'ai eu une impression de déjà-vu.
Mais cela ne m'a pas empêché d'en savourer la poésie à chaque page. L'écriture est à la fois simple et élégante. Il nous donne une impression de pudeur en même temps qu'il nous bouscule... comme l'est Elio, le personnage de 17 ans.
Dans le roman, la différence d'âge (qui m'a quelque peu mise mal à l'aise au début dans le film entre Thimotée Chalamet et Armie Hammer) ne se ressent pas autant.
Les sens sont en éveil dans cette Italie rêvée du début des années 80 et on n'est focalisé -tout comme Elio qui connait son premier amour - que sur cet amour sensuel naissant. L'auteur ne nous replace pas durement dans un contexte de début de l'épidémie de SIDA ce qui nous conforte dans cette douceur / violence sentimentale mais éloignée des préoccupations extérieures.
Mais ce que j'ai adoré dans ce roman c'est - étonnamment - la partie non exploitée par le film: l'après. Alors que je me disais que c'était une bien jolie histoire d'amour, j'ai été cueillie par l’émotion qui ressort de sa suite. Je ne veux pas gâcher le plaisir du lecteur (j'en ai déjà trop dit!) mais Andre Aciman sait faire vibrer la corde que vous sentiez apaisée. J'ai versé ma larme, j'avoue.
Et la tirade du père à son jeune fils (que vous trouvez également dans le film et qui l'a incroyablement magnifié) sur l'amour, le regard des autres, la douleur, le chérissement de cette douleur pour ressentir quelque chose et se sentir vivant, le vieillissement du corps... l'urgence de profiter!) est à faire lire à tous les parents à qui il manque les mots pour parler à leur adolescent - garçon comme fille.
A lire en anglais bien sûr si vous avez la chance de maîtriser cette langue mais même sans être bilingue (juste "je me débrouille"), l'effort vaut le coup.
It took a little while to get used to the writing style of this book for me, but once I got into the flow of it I was hooked. Oliver arrives at the villa in Italy for his summer trip, staying with Elio and his family. The relationship between the two boys swings a lot at first, between cold and distant, friendly, crushing on each other, and back to cold and distant. Elio lives on a constant rollercoaster of emotions, unsure what his feelings for Oliver mean, unsure how or if he should act on them.
So well written, this book can be an almost nostalgic read for some - Tackling summer romances, infatuation, sexual exploration, and the trials and tribulations of heartbreak. I'm sure I wasn't the only one simultaneously reading it and comparing it to my own past experiences! It certainly isn't a fluffy love story, giving a much more realistic experience of the ups and downs of a fresh romance, and showing it's not always the 'happily ever after' ending we all wish we could have.