I Started reading Call Me By Your Name on the “YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO READ THIS” type of suggestion of a good friend.
I’ve never been a fan of romantic books, full of needy bitches who live clichè lives and spend their time pretending they were “so not expecting to fall in love at this time”, but then simply met THE perfect guy anyone could wish for. And I can’t really say that Call Me By Your Name is of any difference to these either, as it kicks off with a 20-page long description of how Elio (the main chap) falls in love with this American guy who’s spending his summer working on a book he’s writing at his house in the Italian Riviera. Reading through really detailed descriptions of his guest’s apricot-shaped butt and long digressions on his plans to forget about him, Elio gives away within the first 50 pages what we’ve suspected from the start: he ain’t gonna forget him, ever. So far, nothing exciting.
There is a difference, however, between this book and any previous romantic books I’ve read, and that is Andrè Aciman. A genius. From page 1 to page 248 his book is a turmoil of emotions that grabs the reader by the nuts and pulls them through the pages with little to no breath. Carefully maneuvering your balls in his hands, Aciman mixes gentle caresses with hurtful squeezes and yet makes the reader helplessly beg for more. On the swing of feelings, Aciman sharpens his knife and slices through the heart when love becomes sublime and passion fills each vein of their sexual interactions. While you enjoy the warm feeling of love on your balls, Aciman is preparing the next grip, which, you realise, is nicer than ever. You are enjoying it, you are almost turned on, no wait, what am I saying, you are turned on, you are as hard as rock! In the last 50 pages, you get that butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling that tells you nothing can stop love, that love always wins. You feel cuddled by the gentle hand of his writing, you want to come, but Aciman strikes again, this time a hammer crashes on your gentle balls: “…that this was the last night they would ever make love again”. The hit comes right in and you don’t realise it’s happening until the adrenaline of the moment fades out.
There you are now, crying your eyes out, not for the pain, not for the love story, but for that, you cannot feel anything. The last few pages go by, but all you are left with are ghosts. It’s like reading a blank-paged book. You power through because you know this can’t be true. Old love wounds crack open as if you are living your worst heartbreaks all over again, while your whole body feels crushed under the ruins of the entire Roman Empire. Words, words, and words fill the last pages of the book, meaninglessly and hopelessly.
The worst book I’ve ever read, yet the most pleasuring, tasteful, well-written book in my life.