_“He came. He left. Nothing else had changed. I had not changed. The world hadn’t changed. Yet nothing would be the same. All that remains is dreammaking and strange remembrance.”_
This book has been on my tbr list for a couple of years now, and I’ve heard so much about how good it is. I guess my expectations were brought up a bit too high, resulting the lack of enthusiasm I feel towards the relationship between Elio and Oliver.
Call Me By Your Name is a summer romance, but honestly not the type of book that I’d fall in love with. It’s more of a prose than a novel since it didn’t strictly follow any of the writing elements which annoyed me for some reason (I’m weird), and I’m not that into the mass amount of soliloquy introspection from Elio’s pov throughout.
AND I’m not gonna talk about the peach scene. AT ALL! That is just…i don’t even know how to react to that.
I can totally understand why so many people said this book is absolutely amazing. There’s no denying that Call Me By Your Name tells a beautiful, intense, intoxicating and heartbreaking love story. I did I enjoyed Part I of the story, If Not Later, When?. The agonizing process of Elio’s unrequited love for Oliver builds up the anticipation for something, anything to happen later on, and the intense and innermost desires Elio had towards Oliver both sexually and emotionally is depicted so vividly sometimes it makes me want to look away. For the first quarter of the book, I was truly amazed by how Aciman was able to capture the painful emotion of the lust and need from one individual for another so perfectly.
However, maybe it’s because I never truly connected with Elio, but as the story continues, the page long introspections became somewhat overwhelming for me, there are even sections of the book where I found myself disliking the character altogether. :/ There are so many scenes that could’ve been more well-rounded with a touch of dialogue or a closeup description that ended up being a long paragraph of Elio’s feelings or some atmospheric built up. And it really bothered me that less and less of Elio’s emotions are so displayed as before while the couple’s relationship becomes more and more intimate. Throughout the book, Oliver didn’t seem real to me. Maybe that’s what Aciman was going for? The dreamy and mysterious figure? There could’ve been so much more detailed description of the character after the two experienced their true intimacy. I wanted to learn more about him, and get to know what he’s really like, instead the character development pretty much stopped after the firs two weeks of his arrival. It’s almost like Elio stopped looking him after they got “together” (i mean you’ve got to change the way you look at someone after they shared that much of themselves with you right? how can the intense staring just stop????), to me, Oliver just seemed kind of…flat.
When I got to the last part of the book, Ghost Spots, where so many of my friends cried and weeped about…I didn’t feel much of anything at all, and I even got a little bored at the very end. The only part where I found interesting was what Elio’s father said “We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything—what a waster!” True, and it certainly touched deep. A life lesson I guess?
I feel kind of sad for how this turned out. I really wanted to like this book before I started reading. :/ Criticism aside, Andre Aciman’s writing is beautiful and atmospheric (even though sometimes the sentences are really really really long, breathe!). I still have high hopes for the movie and will definitely go check it out soon since a lot of the emotions and detail depiction may seem smoother in a movie, and it might even solve the lack of dialogue problem.