Review// Enigma Variations by André Aciman

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Author: André Aciman
Series: Standalone
Genre: Fiction
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Book Length: 266 pages 
Publisher: Straus & Giroux
Review: 4/5

My Review:

What I find interesting about my feelings towards this book is that I didn’t entirely love any part of the story or characters, like, at all, yet I could not put it down at certain points due to how lovely the writing was.

This book is about a man named Paul and his love interests throughout his life. I don’t believe it was ever explicitly stated, but from what I gathered, he was in his forties by the end of it. The love interests each had their own section of the book which detailed the relationship Paul had with them respectively.

Though I was intrigued by some stories more than others, especially Star Love, I can’t say that I really felt a connection to either Paul, or any of the men and women who played a significant role in his life at different stages. If anything, I would say that Paul was unlikable. The way he talked about his lovers made me feel like he didn’t care about any of them; he just wanted them around to make him feel good about himself. He would describe each one in such an unhealthy, obsessive manner that quite frankly made me feel uncomfortable at times, and yet he would always be searching for the next best thing. I also felt dissatisfied every time one story ended because I felt things weren’t explicitly clear with regards to how the relationships ended. Regardless, I have to say that I really didn’t care whether Paul found love, or whatever he believed love was. What I did care for, however, was the writing style. André Aciman knows how to write beautiful prose, and for that reason alone, I would definitely consider giving any other books of his a read.

“Our star life, yours with mine. As someone said over dinner once, each of us is given at least nine versions of our lives, some we guzzle, others we take tiny, timid sips from, and some our lips never touch.” Neither of us asked which was our life. We didn’t want to know.

-Catherine

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5 thoughts on “Review// Enigma Variations by André Aciman

  1. So far I’ve only read one book by him, Call me by Your Name, which I LOVED, but I’m not sure if I’m going to read more by him. I feel horrible saying this out loud. 😳

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t feel horrible!! Totally your call 😊 I heard some mixed things about Call Me By Your Name, I think I’d like it more than this one though. I’ve yet to watch the movie either, so I’m completely unspoiled, which also motivates me to give it a try LOL

      Like

      • I was just going to ask if you’ve read Call Me By Your Name! Regardless I’m glad his writing works for you. Sometimes I also find that if the writing is very beautiful it puts the readers at a distance, so I get what you mean. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah I haven’t read it, have you? 🙂 I think I place a lot of my love for a book into how the characters make me feel, but this one surprised me in that I didn’t really feel anything for them, but I did like the writing enough to like the book. And that combination is very rare for me!

        Liked by 1 person

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