I’m currently reading the book ‘Call Me by Your Name’ by Andre Aciman. I was first drawn to this book by the actors in the film adaptation and their previous works. Knowing that the director was Luca Guadagnino, and the interesting works he had been a part of, was even more of a push to see this movie.
Unlike most, I had been avoiding seeing this movie as I knew it was going to be an emotionally magnetic film and I needed to be ready to truly experience it. I needed to appreciate this film for exactly what it was without any external influences. Sitting at the kitchen table flicking through the channels I stumbled upon 8 minutes of this movie; I was unsure as to what was actually taking place story-wise but those 8 minutes were charged with an electricity of longing, passion, young musings. These 8 minutes were an artwork in themselves, I needed to watch this film ASAP.
Immediately I ran into a problem, I first needed to read the book. Some people prefer to read the book beforehand, I’m indifferent. This once, for some unknown reason, I felt the need to discover this story in the original way it was presented. Waiting for my book to arrive was unbearable, I called the book store 3 times to verify its delivery. Finally, after an eternity it was safe in my hold.
I read this book in the bath, hours at a time. Similarly to waking from a nap with a dark sky, I exit the tub not knowing how long I’ve been lost to the story. Every time I put the book down I exhale as I’ve just undergone the pains and joys of the protagonists. The story itself is beautiful and written in the honest way anyone lives through an unanticipated love story.
Call Me by Your Name takes place in picturesque Northern Italy in the summer of 1983. An Italian family takes in Oliver, an American 24-year old graduate student, to live with them and work on his academic paperwork, with the assistance of the university professor father. The son, Elio, a carefree and thoughtful 17-year-old boy, spends his summer swimming, playing tennis, practicing piano and spending time with his new love, Marzia. Unexpectedly so, with what time he had been spent with Oliver, Elio develops feelings for him. The rest of the story is an impeccably written, passionately confusing story of love and its uncertainties.
The way Andre Aciman writes of the reflections of a thoughtful 17-year-old boy in the throes of romance will leave the reader reminiscent of their own romantic encounters. The book is a song sung to love and the true way it is felt. You’ll be left longing to turn the pages of this book and frustrated, all the same, you’ll smile and cringe with shortlived discomfort and you may even cry at how this book mirrors your own past sentiments.
I implore you to read this book and experience it for what it truly is, a work of art.