From infatuation to obsession
Enigma Variations is a beautifully written novel from Andre Aciman (of Call Me by your Name fame) that charts the loves and losses of one man, Paul. What begins with boyish infatuation becomes sheer idolatry and vivid obsession as the novel moves through the key relationships that come to define his identity.
Paul is an interesting and well crafted character best understood as an adolescent but as he grows up into a young man and then into middle age his obsessions become ever more self indulgent.
Beyond the first part, set on a stunning Italian island, this is a glacially slow novel with ‘variations’ that lack rhythm and cadence. The subtlety that Aciman uses in places is as gorgeous as in Call Me By Your Name but Enigma Variations ultimately leaves you longing for more. Luckily we don't have long to wait for Elio and Oliver's return in the Call Me By Your Name sequal 3
Enigma Variations by Andre Aciman published Faber and Faber 288 pages