Reviewer: Alan Chin
Publisher: Picador, 2007
Call Me By Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy, Elio, and a summer guest at his parents’ mansion on the Italian Riviera. It is a story of one boy’s coming out, about a slow and simmering desire, and about how love develops.
This is a simple story, beautifully told. Andre Aciman shows significant talent in his characterizations, plot development and attention to detail. This novel is an excellent coming-of-age story with which many gays and lesbians can likely relate. Every phase of adolescent love unfolds in striking detail—each fear, each ache, each lurch of the heart, every giddy rush of sensation.
The author perfectly captures the voice of a youth; unfortunately, I found that school-boy’s obsessive prattle repetitive to the point of being boring, making the first half of the book a challenge to read. But after that first kiss, the mood and level of anxiety relaxes, and the book becomes a pleasure, page by page, until the end.
The author’s lovely prose and his insights into young love make this a gripping story. It is a well-written, feel-good tale, which makes me want to read all of this author’s other works.