A passionate portrait of love s contradictory power, in five illuminating stories.Andre Aciman, who has been called the most exciting new fiction writer of the twenty first century New York Magazine , has written a novel in Enigma Variations that charts the life of Paul whose loves remain as consuming and covetous throughout adulthood as they were in adolescence WhetheA passionate portrait of love s contradictory power, in five illuminating stories.Andre Aciman, who has been called the most exciting new fiction writer of the twenty first century New York Magazine , has written a novel in Enigma Variations that charts the life of Paul whose loves remain as consuming and covetous throughout adulthood as they were in adolescence Whether in southern Italy, where as a boy he has a crush on his parents cabinet maker, or on a snowbound campus in New England, where his enduring passion for a girl he ll meet again and again over the years is punctuated by anonymous encounters with men on a tennis court in Central Park, or a sidewalk in early spring New York, his attachments are ungraspable, transient and forever underwritten by raw desire not for just one person s body but, inevitably, for someone else s as well In mapping the most inscrutable corners of desire, Aciman proves to be an unsparing reader of the human psyche and a master stylist of contemporary literature With language at once lyrical, bare knuckled, and unabashedly candid, he casts a sensuous, shimmering light over each facet of desire to probe how we ache, want, and waver, and ultimately how we sometimes falter and let go of those who may want only to offer what we crave from them Behind every step the hero takes, his hopes, denials, fears, and regrets are always ready to lay their traps Yet the dream of love alwa
Enigma Variations A passionate portrait of love s contradictory power in five illuminating stories Andre Aciman who has been called the most exciting new fiction writer of the twenty first century New York Magazine
Andr Aciman s debut novel, Call Me by Your Name, utterly blew me away I remember reading and re reading paragraphs, mesmerized by his poetic language, and at times dissolving into tears from the emotional power of the story While I could never seem to get into his second novel, and didn t know he wrote a third, when I stumbled on his latest novel, Enigma Variations, I thought I d give his writing one try.This book is staggeringly beautiful Powerfully emotional, haunting, frank in its sexuality [...]
I forgot to mention one thing when I wrote this this morning PLEASE TAKE A LOOK AT LARRY S review Its wonderful and he was my inspiration for reading this We make assumptions about how our lives are being charted without knowing that we are making these assumptions which is the beauty of assumptions they anchor us without the slightest clue that what we re doing is trusting that nothing changes We believe that the street we live on will remain the same and bear it s name forever We believe that [...]
2.8 reluctant, conflicted, disappointing stars The Most est Disappointing Read of 2017 Award I really struggled with much of this book.Mr Aciman is an immensely talented writer but has great difficulty in distillation as well as writing a story that I care very much about His writing is occasionally profound and moving but often is overwrought, adolescent, saccharine and at times very dull and or crass.The protagonist is one of the most self centred, miserable, selfish, sonofabitches in modern [...]
This book blew me away, in a way I was not expecting It is told in five vignettes stories, all which took unexpected turns But these were not shocking story twists that would get old, but surprising moves by characters that ended up feeling realistic than most writing The characters get to be complicated Sexuality is not black and white, nor is fidelity or even hope There are statements about the longevity of love and connection, the realities of how some people only work in the short term or i [...]
A beautiful novel that can be read like interconnected short stories on the meaning of love, identity, relationships, and longing Aciman s prose is gorgeous and flows smoothly throughout the book, which makes it both easy to read yet something you want to savor He cuts at the heart of human connection, what sparks relationships, sustains them, and makes them difficult Overall, it s a book full of stories about what it means to be human and the desire to be surrounded by love and companionship Th [...]
andre aciman made me angry, sad, uncomfortable, happy, emotional either way he always made me feel something brilliant writing.
This collection of stories novel is an intimate and raw reflection on love and relationships through one man s eyes Each separately titled portion is centered on a particular love interest Aciman writes with such intimate acuity that the story is alternately passionate and painful At times I was even bored by the unfiltered obsessions of the narrator, but drawn into his worldview, nonetheless Aciman s the main character s observations and revelations are pure and disarming, unsure and yet plague [...]
I remember when I first read Call Me by Your Name by Andr Aciman and couldn t stop crying The book touched me in places I didn t even know existed within me The love of a teenager and an older man had me by the gut and for the longest time I couldn t stop recommending it to people Actually, I still do Good books must always be read by all, even if it means just most people, but read it must be for sure And for a while after I didn t read anything by Aciman, till Enigma Variations was sent to me [...]
4.5 No one writes as elegantly and eloquently about love and desire in all its myriad forms as does Aciman nor does anyone delineate the bisexual life with such seeming accuracy If his latest novel does not quite reach the heights of his debut, Call Me By Your Name, that s only because his earlier effort was or less perfect This presents five linked stories about protagonist Paul Paulo, from his days as a 12 year old suffering a perhaps reciprocated lust for his Italian village s ebanista cabin [...]
I loved Aciman s words, his writing, but I got bored with the person he was writing about For me the first story First Love is 5 star material.Like musical variations, Aciman uses this method of using the same theme in different ways to show us Paul and his playing musical chairs with his lovers I realise that we see Paul in a rather one sided manner because even though we have different stories, different times, the subject matter is still his obsessive thoughts about new love Paul appeared to [...]
I am a huge fan of Aciman, but this just did not work for me The strongest section is the first there is little to tie the five together, so this is really just a loosely bound collection of disparate novellas Plus the fact that the central protagonist is so reprehensibly louche and dissolute that I had not the slightest ounce of empathy at his plight of being unable to find love Moral of the story a dick is a dick.
There was an emotional detachedness to the novel for me Never once did I feel any sort of deep connection to the protagonist, which left me feeling listless the whole way through I guess I expected something along the lines of the sweeping romanticism and longing of Aciman s first novel but expectations and reality didn t coalesce.Paul is a frustrating MC His romantic contradictions and incessant whining threw me off completely At first, I was bored with him Part 1 was a grueling trudge of firs [...]
Andr Aciman attended our gay book club last night As in, it was me, seven other readers, and Dr Aciman in a small circle of chairs I got my book signed It was a treat.Knowing my experience with Call Me By Your Name, I shouldn t have read this one last minute Aciman s writing has a way of irritating me that requires distance before I have a complete opinion Because his speciality is detailing the infinite vacillations of thought and desire And it digs in so close to the damn truth It s unsettling [...]
I cried like it was me the book was talking about And it took me a week to finish this because I kept having to pause after each set of stories and read something else.I think that what got to me the most was how real this read The entire book talks about love in its many shapes and forms and it all spoke to me Enigma Variations is about the shared intimacies in relationships that are unique to each and yet so universal we can all relate to them The flow of falling in and out of love and our ver [...]
The first chapter, in and of itself, is a beautiful story, and contains such delicious language of desire Ultimately, I was disappointed by most of the rest of it The conflicted bisexual type of protagonist that seems to creep up all too often in explorations of sexuality feels like a safety net for the author and the reader After the first chapter, I find Paul, the protagonist narrator, less and less relatable, or even believable It s the same kind of fundamental disconnect that made John Irvin [...]
It is obvious to readers of Aciman s debut novel, Call me by your name , that there are two themes which the author favors over everything else love and memory As he intertwines them in his literary broodings, he carefully places his focus upon how love evolves over time, or upon how our perceptions of it are tinged by our experiences Do we love a person, or the thought of him her How do we construct coherence around our erratic love and loss episodes by musing over them in hindsight Does love a [...]
I really enjoyed this book, but I m definitely left feeling like I m not quite clever enough for Aciman s writing This book follows the life of Paul and all of the people he loves throughout his life The way Aciman writes human emotion is just brilliant and the way he writes about love is so raw and often so relatable I did unfortunately feel a little lost at times trying to keep track of the different people, but I still really enjoyed and would definitely recommend.This book basically had five [...]
Here s a depressing thought women all of whom are heterosexual are left with the diminished pool of gay and or bi sexual men Sappho really never rears her bisexual head but the door to the bird cage was left open and is ruling the roost M Aciman crafts beautiful prose New vocabulary words have been added I have little if any homophobia, but this back and forth business is a bit degoutant The novel, call me by your name was beautifully sappy and that stinging first love gay encounter What s a gir [...]
readers, i cried
Aciman writes beautifully about desire and love and the fluidity of his enigmatic narrator s sexual identity I don t remember if the musical piece Enigma Variations is referred to, but the title certainly fits these linked stories and their puzzling narrator.
At the library checkout lane yesterday, I lifted this off the new 2017 shelves and added it to my book stack an impulse read much like one would grab a nuttier, creamier chocolate candy at a food market checkout line I had never heard of this book, nor of the author, and I read no book jacket blurbs but just dived right in And read the whole thing this morning The opening section entitled First Love is simply stupendous Perfect Gorgeous Heartbreaking Illuminating But near the opening of the seco [...]
Andr Aciman has really spoiled me for other authors I love his writing so much it s hard for me to enjoy anything else He s such an astute and insightful author Enigma Variations possesses all the great insights into motivations, relationships, thought processes, communication, overthinking, and agonies that I would expect from the author of Call Me by Your Name This is a novel to savor, full of beautiful passages to reread I agree with The New York Review of Books when they said that Aciman is [...]
This novel speaks very true to me It s unapologetic in its descriptions of love, lust, obsession, eroticism, temptation and the state of monogamy and relationships in our world today Andre Aciman has been a favorite writer of mine since Call Me By Your Name, which is still one of my favorite novels of all time That novel s affect on me has been profound and I already know that Enigma Variations will stay with me in the same ways in the coming years After a year where I felt very uninspired by fi [...]
I WISH THE FIRST SECTION OF THE NOVEL FIRST LOVE HAD BEEN THE WHOLE NOVEL That section was the most compelling, poetic, and well developed of the sections it felt like its own little novella and I wish that had been developed into a larger work The other sections just couldn t compete with the rawness, melancholy, and electricity of that first section there was a real momentum and tone captured there that made all of the other sections pale in comparison.
You know I first read Aciman like three years ago when someone recommended me his novel Call Me By Your Name One of the things that I found most striking about that book was the beautiful, gorgeous prose It simply evoked emotions in the reader You could almost see the places he was describing, smell the things the characters were smelling, touch, hear, feel It read so painfully real, and yep creepy Because, yeah, at time it was creepy as hell I think remember someone saying that his style was pr [...]
3 5 stars This book followed Paul From his delicate age of twelve where he fell in love with a cabinet maker in a small island in italy, to in his forties fifties chasing tale in NYC Paul has an insatiable urge for love and pleasure and he gets it no matter where, how and when His journey is told through five short stories I thought the thing that stood out was the writing Andre Aciman have a brilliant way with words and he puts us in the mind of his characters to the point where it feels like w [...]
I live for this And if this is all there is, well, this is all there is No one understands and communicates the myriad desires and agonies of the human heart quite like Andre Aciman This series of five connected stories follows the life and loves of a bisexual man named Paul from adolescence to middle age There s the cabinetmaker, his first love his tennis partner, with whom it takes him two years to make a move the college sweetheart who he reunites with every four years but never for longer th [...]
Aciman s Paul is complex, complicated, layered, nuanced, and at his core straight forward He is a man who, as was one said about Hemingway, is good at falling in love but not so good at being married his liaisons, both extramarital and otherwise, are described in lush, but often simple prose, drawing the reader slowly into Paul s world, creating an intricate web in which characters weave in and out The book is slow to start, and at first I thought, Oh, just two stars for sure, this will be a dra [...]
An incredible novel that I didn t want to end It touches upon so many aspects of human nature that many are afraid to confront, whilst simultaneously being sexy, unpredictable and poetic I love the way that Aciman detracts from the importance of sexuality as we all should to hone in on what makes us human, what we find in other people, the inevitability of time and how limited it is to us Regret is how we look forward to things we ve long lost yet never really had Regret is hope without convicti [...]
This was a hardcore hate read