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Call Me by Your Name: A Novel Paperback – October 3, 2017
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. 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
About the Author
André Aciman is the author of Eight White Nights, Out of Egypt, False Papers, Alibis, and Harvard Square, and the editor of The Proust Project (all published by FSG). He teaches comparative literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and lives with his wife in Manhattan.
Top customer reviews
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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.
"Twenty years was yesterday, and yesterday was just earlier this morning, and morning seemed light years away."
Call Me By Your Name is a superlative novel that meticulously and comprehensively looks at the human condition from the folly of youth to the introspective later years. Told almost entirely from the stream of consciousness mind of a seventeen year old Elio, who simultaneously possesses intelligence beyond his years whilst embodying the insouciance of youth and trafficking in the same inane fickleness of the average teen in matters of the heart, and in him Aciman’s crafted a character that is quintessentially relatable.
I was immediately transported back to my own teenage years. I remember being that person, though Elio is leaps and bounds more intelligent at seventeen than I could ever hope to be then or now. The profundity of his insights are staggering and keenly observant. But the games are the same, the angst the same, the intensity the same and, most importantly, the devotion the same.
"There is a law somewhere that says that when one person is thoroughly smitten with the other, the other must unavoidably be smitten as well. […] Love, which exempts no one who’s loved from loving, Francesca’s words in the Inferno. Just wait and be hopeful. I was hopeful, though perhaps this was what I had wanted all along. To wait forever."
First loves are oftentimes the hardest to let go of; they leave an indelible mark. For Elio, Oliver is that person. Oliver, the doctoral student who came to stay with him and his parents one summer in Italy, left a watermark on Elio’s soul. Six unforgettable weeks and an intimacy forged that some have no hope of ever attaining. They lived. They loved. They became a part of each other.
People talk about the “simplicity” of youth but to my mind it was never simple. Elio has never been in love before and when you don’t know a thing it’s hard to know what to do with it, how to care for it, how to keep it. At seventeen he can’t possibly understand the rarity of his connection with Oliver, so he tells himself there will be another and there are, that it was never intended to last and maybe it wasn't, that is was a summer fling, but who's to say that makes it any less seminal?
That’s what Aciman has done so masterfully with this novel; is it or isn’t it? Aciman has crafted his own Mona Lisa with Elio.
"All that remains is dreammaking and strange remembrance."
Life goes on, people drift in and out of our lives; some leave a lasting impression while others are evanescent. Oliver left a space to be certain, but Elio left one too and maybe those spaces are capricious depending on time and space.
"-how we move through time, how time moves through us, how we change and keep changing and come back to the same."
The ebbs and flows of life transmogrify memories; make them sharper at times and less so at others, depending on where one is in life. Again, I think this is the genius of this novel: it’s not a singular experience. I’ve no doubt if I reread it in 5 or 10 yrs I’ll have a different interpretation; a change in perspective and the whole thing looks completely different and I feel like the same can be said of Elio. Will it always come back to Oliver or is that they’re in the same place where so much occurred twenty years ago? That place that meant so much from the berm to Mafalda and his parents to the bookstore to playing the guitar to paradise to afternoon naps and lazy days and nights spent f***ing each other’s brains out. Is it so much Oliver or it is the desire to recapture that place, that time? The romantic in me wants to wallow in the heartbreak and vilify Aciman for countermanding the rules of romancelandia, but to simplify this novel in such a way, to make it solely about loss is a disservice to the narrative. It’s more than that.
"Time makes us sentimental. Perhaps, in the end, it is because of time that we suffer."
The complexities of Call Me By Your Name left me feeling mawkish, clearly, but it also made me contemplative. Maybe I missed the point and it is solely a novel of love and loss with the primary objective being bittersweet heartbreak, but I choose to believe (this time) that Aciman deliberately penned a novel to make every reader take stock and cherish what they have, what they have had and what they will have. There aren’t very many novels I can say the same about.
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!
"Call Me by Your Name" is a fantastically complex love story. I'vd never read such a pure, real romance featuring two men that does justice to the myriad of emotions that comes with any love affair, but especially one's first "forbidden" love. I think any person who gives it a try will appreciate this story, but it was especially poignant for me as a gay man.
I could not put the book down and finished it in just two days. During this time I felt emotions ranging from excitement to genuine heartache. I think this story will stay with me for a long time. I plan to recommend it to many.
I could critique a few small things, but they pale in comparison to all the wonderful aspects of this story.
Most recent customer reviews
I invented my heart for Elio and Oliver. I'm such a mess right now.
One of the best book I have ever read.Read more