I had not read Call Me by Your Name by Andre Aciman before I started reading this one. I had heard a lot about the former title; hence this one piqued my interest and I can happily say that I was not disappointed by this one. Though a lot of reviewers on various sites have thrashed it beyond belief, I for one thought that it was penned well. It is a normal story (or is it?) about a man and a woman meeting at a New York party and how they meet over the next seven snowy nights (Dostoevskian? But of course) at the cinema.
She is very different from him – Clara is bold, whimsical, complicated, and tricky, can be mean, darts with her words and takes them back again. He on the other hand – a fan of Rohmer, over-observes, and over-thinks even though things could be simple enough and bare in front of him. He but obviously falls madly in love with him and the rest of the book is the waiting – the waiting for the words to be uttered. Over eight magically snowy nights between Christmas Eve and New Years, their romance plays out, like the day in that Ethan Hawke movie Before Sunset, only way longer.
The characters transform while reading the book, they find their moments and layers of intimacy within the stagnation of the prose (sometimes). Aciman no doubt has written some beautiful passages in the book. The characters come to life with their eccentricities but only for the writing. Yes there were times when the writing was getting tedious and I was almost about to give up reading the book, but Thank God I did not, because I loved it.
The pangs of love, the madness of a new relationship were evident throughout. The dizzying almost giddy steps of a new love were apparent and this will speak to almost everyone who reads this book. It is universal in its concept of love and madness. It is real life but after all. Doesn’t art imitate life at some point?
Eight White Nights; Aciman, Andre; Picador; $15.00