Saturday, May 5, 2018

Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman (2007)

I missed this book in 2007, when it was a gay phenomenon.  We saw the movie and came away from it moved to tears, devastated, never wanting to see it again, loving it and living it.  The movie was so lush, so full of ripening sexuality, an ambrosial film, food for the soul.  But the book just did not do that for me.  I didn’t like the narrative style - I’m not a fan of that Virginia Woolf stream of consciousness, and I can’t think of one book I’ve ever read that is written in such a way that I enjoyed.  I did think that Aciman perfectly catches the feelings of that first love that consumes you, and the overwhelmingness of first realizing that as a man,you have sexual feelings and love for another man, the shame of those feelings, the wonder of those of feelings,  the “what the fuck” of those feelings, the eureka of those feelings.  Perfectly captured that.  But I just never could snag on to any string of narrative and pull myself into the story.  I’m glad the film ended where it did; I did not care for the ending of this book at all.  I’m sure I’ve missed something deep or literarily important or whatever.  But I was not a fan of this book.

All my friends on Goodreads who read this loved it.  UGH. I’m going to be an outlier.

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
The film was ambrosia. The book, for me, not so much. Aciman perfectly captures the the obsession of first real love; also, the intense feelings that young gay/bi men experience when they realize they the are attracted to and love other men. But I could never find an opening for me in the narrative to creep in and let the book wash over me and through me (which the film was able to do). I wasn’t bored exactly, but I also just never “got it.” 

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