The structure of Aciman’s sequel, Find Me, is likely to disappoint those who’ve been eagerly waiting to find out what has become of Elio, the earnest teenage piano prodigy, and his summer guest ... The first half of the new book concerns neither of these two lovers, and is told entirely from the perspective of Elio’s now-divorced father, Samuel, as he finds himself infatuated with a much younger woman he meets on a train ... it’s hard to read this section without feeling impatient for our leading men to take the stage ... Call Me by Your Name,...offered a visceral depiction of the all-encompassing and transformative properties of falling in love. Find Me, by contrast, turns its focus on the comedown, the second acts. It is a lyrical meditation on being forced to move to another location after the party’s over, on the Sisyphean task of trying to replicate the magic of young passion ... As much as we all may have craved 300 more pages of vivid descriptions of Oliver and Elio, together once more and vacillating between the throes of lust and torment,instead we are given a book that explores what can happen when your life gets away from you, when you realize just how much time you’ve wasted. It may not make for the stuff of glistening cinema, but it strikes an affectingly melancholy chord.
These characters are so unreal—she a wet dream, he a cipher—that any specificity at all becomes embarrassing, as if Aciman were revealing his particular turn-ons ... This points to a bigger problem with the book: since all of the narrators are in love and interact mainly with their lovers, the only opinions we ever hear expressed about these people are sweaty and rapturous. The result is a novel that feels besotted with its characters despite scant evidence of their charms. The sex writing itself is unfortunate ... Never has a whirlwind romance felt so interminable ... The leads in Call Me by Your Name were self-conscious and soulful, but they also scanned as sweet and curious; theirs was the insufferability of youth ... That universality has fled from Find Me, which feels alternately too vague, too offensive, and too ridiculous to do anything but place one’s empathic imagination on a rack until one surrenders to one’s own contempt ... The relationships in Aciman’s novel, be they transient or lasting, are marked by an affinity that tends to deepen through conversation, though it requires no words. It is all the more ironic, then, that this reviewer’s experience of Find Me was one of such profound disattunement. The book wants to be intimate, profound, but it reads as glib and remote, impervious to actual feeling. Indeed, the text seems not to account for an audience. An apter title would be Get Lost.
... thoughtful ... Aciman, a famous Proustian, is clearly interested in the diffusive action of time and the heartaches of temps perdu. His keen sense of what’s lost or missing, even in a happy new relationship, allows Find Me to dodge, at least in part, the sentimental imperative that mars many sequels. Its bittersweetness is welcome ... Unfortunately, the diffuseness necessarily means it lacks the intensity of Call Me by Your Name, whose short-leased summer gave that book its particular kind of tragic suspense. In addition, what was charmingly grandiloquent in the adolescent Elio — a florid style; an expansive frame of reference — is cloying and ostentatious in a cast of adult narrators ... A certain preciousness has some benefits. Aciman’s quiet, label-free presentation of bisexual life represents a minor triumph, respectfully embracing the mystery of the desires of others. Likewise, his refusal to offer easy resolution, which infuses the whole romantic enterprise with a kind of delicious melancholy. There are moments, particularly in the final chapter, that may have readers gazing tearfully into their fireplaces, real or imaginary, just like Timothée Chalamet at the end of Luca Guadagnino’s superlative film of Call Me by Your Name. It can be hard to go home.