A coming-of-age story, a coming-out story, a Proustian meditation on time and desire, a love letter, an invocation and something of an epitaph, Call Me by Your Name is also an open question … In a first novel that abounds in moments of emotional and physical abandon, this may be the most wanton of his moves: his narrative, brazenly, refuses to stay closed. It is as much a story of paradise found as it is of paradise lost … What unwinds the men from each other’s embrace is none of these clichés; instead, Aciman, Proustian to the core, moves them apart, renders their beautiful city Atlantis, with the subtlest, most powerful universal agent: time.
Like so many classic love stories, this one unfolds with the suspense of a thriller. Will Elio's passion ever be reciprocated by the one he worships? If it is, will they leap over fear and taboo to consummate their desire? And if they do, will they be exhilarated or repelled by that consummation? They have only six weeks to find out … The book is explicit without ever being prurient, and the feelings the narrator describes are both homoerotic and universal … The beauty of Aciman's writing and the purity of his passions should place this extraordinary first novel within the canon of great romantic love stories for everyone.
The debut novel of the Egyptian-born memoirist and literary scholar Andre Aciman is a coming-of-age story focused not so much on sexual awakening as on a kind of sexual quickening and identity exploration unfurled through poetic ruminations on longing and obsession … Aciman deftly charts a burgeoning relationship that both parties want and fear. Elio's crush blooms quickly, while Oliver seems to toy with his affections, friendly and engaging one moment, indifferent, even hostile the next. But over the course of a short six weeks, a tentative friendship blossoms, and undercurrents of romantic fascination and compulsion gradually evolve into a brief, yet intensely shared intimacy.