Call Me by Your Name is a relatively modern novel released in 2007 by the American writer André Aciman that really blew up when the film adaptation was released in late October 2017.
The story is about a 17-year-old boy, Elio Perlman, the son of a very open-minded and academic father and mother. Elio falls quickly for Oliver, a 24-year-old postdoc teaching at Columbia who has come to Elio’s residence on the Italian Rivera for six weeks during the summer holidays to work on his manuscripts. The story is based in the mid-1980’s which gives the novel a more unpredictable and riskier presentiment as we know that LGBTQ+ relationships were not as widely accepted, and people were not as open and welcoming towards homosexual relationships.
Call Me by Your Name is a story that follows a powerful romance that blossoms between the two characters and what makes it even more gripping is that we get to see how Elio’s mind develops and how he discovers more about himself and his needs. We get to see how he acts with both boys and girls and are shown how indecisive he is during his first love.
Although Elio is an adolescent, he is an extremely emotional character with depth which is shown through André’s powerful writing. He feels love powerfully, if not even more intense than most people nowadays. Oliver is an extraordinarily academic and developed adult, and for me one of the best parts of the text happens when he begins to talk to Elio after showing a lack of interest and attraction initially towards him. We can easily say that the relationship between the two boys at the beginning of the text can be compared to the relationship between Romeo and Rosaline in the well-known Shakespearean play ‘Romeo and Juliet’ – which is also known as unrequited love.
The story is extraordinary, André Aciman really took the world by surprise with this beautifully written novel. It is truly a book that everyone should read at one point during their lives. It is brave, brutal and tender at the same time. Call Me by Your Name is one of those books that makes you look at life in a different way.