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. – Goodreads.com
This is such a tough book to review, not in the sense that I don’t know if it’s good or bad but in the sense that it’s similar to reading Lolita.
For me, this didn’t come off as romantic, as I have seen it so for others. It felt very raw, terrifying in parts, painful, and real. I feel that if there wasn’t so much of an age gap, a man pursuing a child, it wouldn’t have been anywhere near as confronting.
I don’t want to get into the politics of the story, so I’ll just comment on the writing itself.
I can’t fault the prose, from the taste of fresh fruit to feeling the Mediterranean sun on your shoulders, it makes you want to lounge by the pool or dive into the sea. Elio is an unreliable and very self-centred and obsessive narrator, which means we don’t get to know the characters around him as much as we’d like, but it made sense for the story.
Easy to say, this is a novel that will stick with me for a while, and I’m really curious to hear your thoughts about the plot, the age gap, obsession versus passion, etc. So, please drop a (respectful) comment below!