I listened to Call Me by Your Name by AndrĂ© Aciman and narrated by Armie Hammer because I absolutely loved the film. The film was incredibly beautiful and heartbreaking. I suggest you watch it if you haven't already. Chalamet delivers a raw and powerful performance. Since I loved the movie so much, I took the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: to try audiobooks and to read the book. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy the experience.

I love reading and the ritual of reading - sitting somewhere, holding a book and focusing on it for hours. I love seeing the words and touching them - that sounds weird. Armie Hammer has a lovely voice that brings the story to life, but I couldn't get into it; words went in one ear and out the other. The story becomes filtered when it's read aloud, and the words don't have the same impact as if you were to read them yourself. That's another thing I love about reading; you can read a profound sentence that moves you and forces you to pause and think. Listening to the audiobook version also felt like I was experiencing the story through someone else's interpretation and bias. Armie Hammer's narration is influenced by the novel's effect on him, and how he perceives the characters. Readers can have different perspectives on the same book. Also, I couldn't differentiate which character was speaking because I can't see the quotation marks. The final reason why I don't like audiobooks: they're too long. Listening to one person talk for 7+ hours?! I have a minuscule attention span.

Aciman beautifully captures young love: the mystery, the uncertainty, the pureness, the passion, and the pain. It's crazy how one person can become your obsession, your world and leave such an impact on you. They're perfect in your memories, and you compare everyone subsequent to them. And because you love them so much, they can hurt you the most. Aciman also wonderfully captures someone discovering and coming to terms with their sexuality. (Now that I think of it, he doesn't discuss sexuality. He just writes about Elio's experience with one man that changed him.) He enriches his story with allusions, history, art, languages, and literature-a smart novel. The Italian summer setting adds warmth and even more romance to the story. 

My main issue with the novel is the simile after the peach scene, "The bruised and damaged peach, like a rape victim, lay on its side on my desk, shamed, loyal, aching, and confused, struggling not to spill what I'd left inside." After hearing that, I took a break from the novel and continued it with disdain. I also had an issue with how Elio treats Marzia like an object-he uses her for sex and discards her when he doesn't need her. He uses her as a distraction from Oliver, and he doesn't care for her. The book party in Rome didn't add too much to the story. The "Clementi Syndrome(?)" illustrates gender and sexual fluidity, I think, which sort of parallels Elio's experience, but it's still rambling. Oliver's departure lacked fluidity. When he left, I felt like I missed a scene where they said goodbye at the train station. Also, the ending was not satisfying: Elio doesn't mature. He's stuck in the past, static, and selfish. I know it's his first love and that you don't forget your first love, but you need to move on. 


  1. Woah that's a really weird simile to use...
    I like the idea of audio books but I think I too wouldn't be very satisfied once I start listening to them. I already have a hard time listening carefully to recorded lectures xD
    Kanra Khan

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    1. I know right! He could've written anything and he chose to write that! I quite like listening to lectures because I can go back whenever.

  2. Um yeah...that's a really strange simile, and super triggering! I can't believe he wrote that...

    I completely understand what you mean with audiobooks. The first couple I tried listening to, they just didn't click. Like you, I couldn't discern with speaking and thinking. It gets a lot better, and now I really like listening to them! But I completely understand why it's not for you. :)

    I'm still going to read this one. I actually requested it early today from my library! I absolutely loved the film, and I'm hoping I'll like the book just as much. But I will keep in mind that Elio doesn't mature that much!

    1. I'd love to know your thoughts and discuss the novel with you. I hope you like the book too!


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