Thursday, 15 March 2018

books: call me by your name


Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman
Okay so I’m going to start by saying this. If you’ve recently experienced heart-break, do not read this. I haven’t been heart broken and this book left me demolished. It will leave you grieving over the heart break you never had. Literally broken. This book is a fucking axe to the heart which instead of hacking away at your pain will leave you to bleed out slowly. It will grip and suck you into the world of Elio and Oliver, in a quaint Italian town surrounded by fragrant peach trees, hot sun and glistening cobblestones, leaving you disorientated as soon as you stop reading and return to the 'real world'. 

It’s completely consuming and you will often have to put the book down because it’s so uncomfortable how you’re reading Elio’s rawest, inner thoughts and believe that if you read a sentence more you yourself will be crawling into his actual skin. But that’s the beauty of it, this book is a romance, all on love but it skips the cliches. I am aware that anything that is supposedly un-cliched is, in fact, a massive cliche. Aciman explores the real feelings for love, if not obsession for another person. The desire to be with them every moment of the day and if you could, in their mind. It’s somewhat scary to read, if Elio doesn’t speak to Oliver at least once then it’s a concern. He has to continually think about what he’s going to say to him, his speech is curated to the finest degree.

I loved this book. The writing especially. I loved it because it was a book about love that didn't feel like it was a book about love. It skipped the wishy washy plot of two, usually heterosexual people, meeting and going on generic dates and subsequently falling in love. The artistic and literary references really did a) make me feel completely uncultured and stupid but more importantly, b) set the context of the book and the love flourishing between two in the home of intellectuals.

It made me long for summer, more than I ever have done before. Perhaps it's the subconscious thought that I have so many exams to get through or may actually be the writing itself. The descriptions of the lazy mornings by the pool, the billowy shirts and the beads of sweat rolling down your neck before dropping off at the hollow between your shoulder blades. I wanted it all. I became so invested in this book that upon reading the final part, I would literally feel bouts of pain because I knew it was ending soon and the emotions that were running through the text was so high. You're so submerged into the lives of these characters that seeing them split up and move on feels as if it has happened to you directly. The last part of the final page is a real killer, essentially pouring a shit ton of salt on the wounds of the lost love that you thought you'd come to accept. I'll insert it below along with a few other favourite quotes.

“I'm like you,' he said. 'I remember everything.'
I stopped for a second. If you remember everything, I wanted to say, and if you are really like me, then before you leave tomorrow, or when you’re just ready to shut the door of the taxi and have already said goodbye to everyone else and there’s not a thing left to say in this life, then, just this once, turn to me, even in jest, or as an afterthought, which would have meant everything to me when we were together, and, as you did back then, look me in the face, hold my gaze, and call me by your name

“If I could have him like this in my dreams every night of my life, I'd stake my entire life on dreams and be done with the rest.” 

"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 waste!” 

'You are the only person I'd like to say goodbye to when I die, because only then will this thing I call my life make any sense. And if I should hear that you died, my life as I know it, the me who is speaking with you now, will cease to exist.” 

“Time makes us sentimental. Perhaps, in the end, it is because of time that we suffer.” 

"I began, reluctantly, to steal from the present to pay off debts I knew I'd incur in the future."

Wow 

I don't know if I liked the book so much because it had such a high reputation already, was a breath of fresh air after months of reading books on Elizabeth I or was just genuinely an amazing piece of literature. I think it's the latter.

I'm going to watch the film tomorrow in order to fill the void left by the novel and because I want to see how the words transfer onto the screen. I've already watched most interviews with the cast members and the director so now I guess it's finally time to just watch it. I shall keep you updated, I know that I'll be a mess by the end of it- that's a given.

You can buy a copy here (I obviously 10/10 recommend)

Have you read this book? Or have you watched the film?
- Dalal

14 comments:

  1. you convinced me, i'm buying a copy
    -M
    sundaysaresunny.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yay! let me know how it goes, I'm sure you'll love it

      Delete
  2. This books has been on my 'to read' list for ages and now I might just give in a buy it now haha

    franalibi.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's such an amazing book and so well written- keep me updated

      Delete
  3. I've never heard of this book until now and you have definitely convinced me!! I think over the next few months I am going to do the BIGGEST book-binge and just read read read. I'm so fucking excited. Thanks for sharing! <3 and don't even get me started on the way in which words and even the most subtle descriptions can make you craveee a different season, a new environment. It's so crazy how words can do that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm kinda shocked that you hadn't heard about it before because the film has been so huge and in turn, has brought more attention to the book. I kept telling myself that I was going to read all the books I wanted over the summer but realised, why should I wait? what's stopping me from reading what I want right now? time? I'd rather spend my time reading than scrolling aimlessly! GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR BOOK BINGE

      Delete
  4. I finished the book on a long car journey today and reading this made me cry. Rarely am I as affected by a book, for me the ending was the most painful–something you don't quite experience in the film. I can't quite verbalise what it is about the book that was so pure and so beautiful but, like you, it destroyed me. I can't stop thinking about it and feeling overly saddened by those last few pages. Literary genius. I completely agree that its so refreshing to have a romance that skips the cliches and is so internalised, you really experience the complete emotional turmoil. It sounds odd but their passion and connection feels almost godly, like above anything most humans could experience, but not in a 'fantastical, unattainable, doest-really-exist-in-the-real-world' kind of way, because its so pure. Idk, it made me yearn for such a connection and made real life seem very dull. I'm excited to know what you thought of the film x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I finished it home alone and cried my eyes out too, it was just such an anti-climactic ending (in the best way) because I'd begun to imagine that they do end up reconciling etc but it just doesn't happen and it was so bitter to leave it like that but so meaningful as well. I started thinking like imagine if *my* parents had such a big house in Northern Italy with the same graduate scheme, would I have had the same experience or similar? It really does make you think. ah i'll message you

      Delete
  5. I absolutely loved this book, I think Acimans writing is incredible and I can't actually think of any other author whose writing can be compared to his. But it was so much more than just the beautiful writing because the story was so good as well- and no cliches! The book literally broke me though, I read it whilst I was away and was just sitting on a bench one day and couldn't stop crying at the book and it just left me in pain for a few days. I had seen the film before reading the book and I think the film was done amazingly as well- the beauty of the novel wasn't lost in the film at all in my opinion! But oh god because I had watched the film before, all I could see in my head was the last scene (of a certain someone crying) throughout the novel and it just kept making me cry. To be fair I am a cry baby but honestly aha, this book! Is incredible!! (I lent it to my friend to read for a bit and she insulted it, and it actually made me really angry lol) x
    constnatlylibby.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too, I'm definitely going to look into his other novels although I'm not sure anything else can be better than CMBYN. The last section was the most painful for me, I don't really know how to put it into words but it hurt so much seeing the two move on because I was rooting for them SO much. I just watched the film (woo) and love how it was done although I WISH they'd done the last section because it would've been so nice to watch. timmy :'(

      Delete
  6. definitely going out to buy this book this week then because wow wow wow does your review sound incredible. I've been reading a lot more recently, trying to balance it between academic books and literature that is more tailored to my tastes and this sounds like the perfect one. pls do more book reviews on your blog because they are the BEST! You write them in a way that is totally not book review like (if that makes any sense) and they're just so refreshing to read x

    eleanorclaudie.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, do buy and read it, it's so worth it! I bought this book as a post-coursework read because my brain was so frazzled after the months of coursework reading and this was the best book to have chosen. Thank you so much, that honestly means so lot to me haha, I always try to make something as mundane as a book review a little more original. I'm currently waiting for my copy of Eleanor Oliphant to arrive so I'll read and review it soon.

      Delete
  7. This book seems so intense! I didn't even know the film was an adaptation so I guess I'm gonna hold off watching the film and read the book first!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It definitely was but still very worth the read! I only found out about the book through the hype that the movie was getting and also decided to read the book before watching the film in cinema. Let me know your thoughts!

      Delete

stop procrastinating and just comment already
jk
funny comments get extra points