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Eight White Nights

3.17 of 5 stars 3.17  ·  rating details  ·  271 ratings  ·  59 reviews

Eight White Nights is an unforgettable journey through that enchanted terrain where passion and fear and the sheer craving to ask for love and to show love can forever alter who we are. A man in his late twenties goes to a large Christmas party in Manhattan where a woman introduces herself with three words: "I
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published February 2nd 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2010)
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Two words: I. cried.
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Contemporary Romance with Literary Merit
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Community Reviews

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If you love music and sympathize with introspective and intelligent characters who think as much as they act (and often might wish they could act more than their anxieties allow them to), this book is a gem. I've read critiques that find the characters unrealistic -- too elitist, they "think too much," they imbue all sorts of moments with too much significance, and they fixate on tiny details that "no one" would care about. All I can say is these reviewers are not Aciman's people. But make no mi ...more
Every time I thought this book was getting good, something would happen (or more likely not happen) that irritated me. Both of the main characters were unlikeable, and I had no patience for their waffling, their baseless recriminations, and, most of all, their seeming complete lack of real interest in each other. There were some great moments, and some of the prose was very nicely put together, but mostly I just wanted to the characters to shut up and act like grown-ups.

Also, the back cover cop
I finished this book on an airplane and I cried. I recall once years ago finishing something on an airplane and crying. It was John Barth's Chimera, and when the suit next to me looked at me oddly, all I could do was mumble, “It was so beautiful." So, to forestall committing a spoiler, I want say I did not cry because the end was unhappy or happy, but because it was so emotional for me. Which brings us to the characters. The book recounts the relations between a 20-something going on 14 couple f ...more
L.E. Chamberlin
I know this isn't everyone's read. It just isn't. There's much talking. And there's a pathologically passive hero, and a heroine who is as much a fucked-up mess (if not more) than the hero, and a lot of in-the-weeds, nearly stream of consciousness dialogue and imagined dialogue. I can't even properly describe this book. I'm doing a terrible job of it. But it struck me in some strange, tender place and I trusted in André Aciman because he wrote one of my favorite books of all time, C ...more
A character says of the narrator that he’s the most exasperating person she knows. True. The problem for me is that the novel also becomes exasperating, when not frustrating or simply alienating. Still, the novel has wonderful vivid moments and insights about desire and loss. My guess is that Aciman wrote precisely the book he intended to write, but this is not the book I wanted to read.

This book was a cerebral, interesting version of a love story (potential?)for the current times. Well written, and a page turner for me. I could truly envision New York's white snow in the evenings, and the relationships of the characters.... loved it!
"Eight White Nights" was not the romance novel I anticipated from the title and the dust cover reviews.

Having never read Aciman before his style seemed overreaching and confused during the first few pages of the story. I am pleased, however, that I stuck it out through that first difficult scene.

"Eight White Nights" turned out to be a beautifully painful study of all the anticipation and wished for intimacy of a new relationship. The real and imagined conversations, twisted perceptions and an
How I loved this book. You have to have patience. It's eight days inside the head of a neurotic narrator as he falls in love with an equally neurotic woman and alternately draws her close and pushes her away because he doesn't believe in the possibility of love. It's very poetic, and very insular, and it probably helps to love New York if you want to read it. It's not for everyone, but for the right sort of reader it's a beautiful extended dream.
I never would have read this if my son KC hadn't purchased it while home for Thanksgiving and then decided to leave it for me to read. It's all dialogue but somehow it's compelling to see how a relationship develops over 8 days from a chance meeting at a Christmas Eve party to a New Years eve party.
Christy Stewart
A bit too much rambling; and not the funny hobo kind. If the writing had been a little tighter the book could have effortlessly been 100 pages shorter.

That's all I took away from it.
Jan 26, 2010 Arlene rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Arlene by: Goodreads Giveaway Winner!!
Shelves: romance, read-2010, adult
Andre Aciman dives deep into the budding relationship between an unnamed man in his late twenties and a girl named Clara. This purple prose novel is positioned in a way that will make you feel like a voyeur as it leaves no emotions, feelings or thoughts unrevealed by the narrator.

At times the novel seemed somewhat obsessive as the narrator/protagonist treads repeatedly over the smallest of details including how Clara introduced herself, how she wore her blouse, the exposure of her collarbone, h
Vanessa 'Pixi' Kraus
May 24, 2011 Vanessa 'Pixi' Kraus rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Connoisseurs of introspection
In the interest of full disclosure, I won this book from a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. Up until the very end I thought I would read this book again, and I still might sometime in the future.

When reading this book I attributed so much of it to my own life that I find myself wondering if others who read it will be reading an entirely different story. Or if when I read it again 10 years from now, will the words even hold the same meaning for me?

I am Clara. The insights that Clara has about her
As he did in Call Me By Your Name, Aciman tells a love story that's not a traditional happily ever after romance. In this book, not only is love blind, it is blinding, and that means those involved can't see the what the reader knows from the very first chapter: this is not going to be an easy journey. Supporting characters appear only in the bookended first and last nights, convenient for the purpose of story telling because if they were there through the meat of the book, they'd be undoubtably ...more
De naamloze verteller van Witte nachten ontmoet op kerstavond tijdens een feest Clara. Clara ziet de hoofdpersoon een beetje verstopt achter de kerstboom zitten, loopt naar hem toe en stelt zich voor met de woorden: 'Ik ben Clara'. De hoofdpersoon, toch al niet op zijn gemak op het feest waar hij niemand kent, wordt daarmee compleet overrompeld. Onmiddellijk trekt hij allerlei conclusies over Clara, die hij allemaal na enige overweging weer verwerpt. Hij weet niet goed hoe hij moet reageren of w ...more
Eigentlich freute ich mich auf die Lektüre von André Acimans "Acht helle Nächte". Sein Buch "Ruf mich bei deinem Namen" fand ich nämlich wirklich toll. Aber bald schon kam die Ernüchterung. Die Geschichte bewegt sich kaum vom Fleck, die Figuren sind unsympathisch und wenn jemand ganze 30 Seiten lang einen einzigen Satz beschreibt, dann schlatet es bei mir ab. 500 Seiten lang will ich mich nicht Clara und ihrem berühmten Satz "Ich bin Clara" herumschlagen. Nein Danke. Ausser Spesen nix gewesen.
Bookmarks Magazine
Aciman's mesmerizing and, at times, maddening pas de deux plunges readers into the dizzying early stages of a new relationship, with mixed results. Most critics appreciated Aciman's nods to various novelists, poets, and composers--particularly Proust and Dostoevsky--but a few found the continuous stream of clever references belabored and affected. Aciman's decision to disengage his characters from the more humdrum realities of 21st-century life (such as unemployment, the economy, and the war in ...more
This book was a huge disappointment. I absolutely loved Aciman's Call Me By Your Name, so I had high hopes for this one, but I just found it incredibly annoying. I did not like the character of Clara from the very beginning, and I kept thinking I would warm to her once I got to know her better, but it never happened--she was way too pretentious, and I could not fathom her mocking cruelty towards the narrator. I almost stopped reading after the first two nights, but I wanted to stick it out. Ther ...more
Emma Slaughter
I can understand that the writer was trying to portray the initial feelings of love and infatuation, what I couldn't relate to was the two characters themselves. There were no redeeming qualities, and the relationship between the two became far too obsessive far too quickly, beyond a simple infatuation. Not to mention that the narrative at times was quite rambling
I was not sure whether I should rate this more highly. It was compelling reading and my eyes flew over the page never aware of reading the words, a feeling I love and a rare achievement. But his characters are just too clever and annoying for me to feel it was a better read. And was half the fun wondering how they were to consummate and end the relationship? A little too much self-absorption and making something out of nothing was my feeling at times and much like Clara, the author blew hot and ...more
I got this book as a goodreads first read. I figured it would be a great book seeing as others have raved over "Call Me by Your Name." I stated it the first night I got it. I cannot seem to get past the first night. This was my first romance novel and I completely disliked the book. I find a great annoyance to the character as he keeps obsessing over the girl he meets. He mentions her name a million times. Trying to convince himself of what "I am Clara" might mean. I handed it off to a friend in ...more
Jan Bergerhoff
Not my cup of tea. Too much big language and not much going on.
a miserable, convoluted read. shemay be clara but boy was i BORED.
Nick Duretta
Oh my. I loved Aciman's last book but this...story of two overeducated neurotics in love made me wonder what happened. We're forced to endure page after page of pseudo-clever wordplay between these two as they try to impress one another with their intellect, fear of commitment (her) and fear of overcommitting (him). In between they watch Eric Rohmer films and invent their own words for things. It's all insufferable and dreary. Too bad because there is some good writing in here screaming to get o ...more
because i adore "call me by your name," i was thrilled to begin this book. however, it's not as riveting, nor as satisfying. i wanted to reach into the book and shake the narrator. angst can only go on so long. there were scenes i loved, and aciman's writing can be superb but i wanted something more. like oskar and clara, it was longing kept me turning the page. longing driving me forward, toward something that just didn't materialize.
Robert Wechsler
A clever tale of a perverse little relationship that literally lasts through a snowy week. It’s a New York novel through and through, not only in terms of place, but also in terms of the characters’ neuroses. The male narrator is so frustratingly weak and obsessed, you want to hit him, and it is this that makes the novel so extraordinary. Without Aciman’s excellent writing, both sentences and structure, I can’t imagine it working.
Barbara Brockhaus
I received this book as a "goodreads" giveaway and was so excited to start the book. This book can not be rushed. Don't try to read it quickly and get on to the next book. The language is amazing but at times the movement of the story is tedious and you forget the beauty of the words just wanting the story to move along. If you have a couple of days where you are snowed in this would be a great novel to start.
Monica Co
Slow and quite boring at the beginning, this novel captured my attention towards the middle, where I found pages that made me feel amazingly vivid emotions.

But, apart from that, the book sounds mannered and artificial, totally detached from social/historical aspects, that I appreciate very much in novels.

Anyway, the best review is here:
Paola Calvetti
Imagined scenes, conversations and intimacies occupy at least as prominent a place in this marvellous novel: some of the most eloquent courtship passages take place in the narrator's mind.
A book for all of love's happy advance notices, for all of its dewy-eyed hype, it's the difficult love unrequited, hard-won, gone wrong that makes for a good story. But… with a happy end!
This is a most annoying book. I guess it is supposed to be a steam of conciousness book, but the man is so limited in his thinking and the woman is strange to an exteme degree that it is almost not possible to continue reading the whole thing! There are a lot of very long sentences. I counted the words in one that was not even the longest and it had 179 words. That is just pretentious.
This is very beautifully written, and full of profound and charming phrases. It describes eight days in the life of a young man who falls in love with a beautiful, dangerous, funny, wicked, clever, musical girl and you cannot help but love her too. But it is revealing, the end is different than you would expect...proustian and Rohmer-esque is what the NYT said.
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André Aciman was born in Alexandria, Egypt and is an American memoirist, essayist, novelist, and scholar of seventeenth-century literature. He has also written many essays and reviews on Marcel Proust. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, The Paris Review, The New Republic, Condé Nast Traveler as well as in many volumes of The Best American Ess ...more
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“I don't always think I'm a good person. But telling people this only makes them want to prove me wrong, and the more they try to prove me wrong, the more I want to push them away, but the more I push them away, the guiltier I get, the nicer I become, the more they think I've changed. It never lasts. In the end I learn to hate both myself and them for things that should have lasted no longer than a few hours.' She reflected on this. 'Maybe a few nights. Inky and I could have stayed friends.'
'This is the most twisted thing you've said so far'
'What, that being kind to people makes me want to hurt them? Or that hurting them makes me want to be kind?”
“The man who'll lay the last stone here isn't even born yet.” 3 likes
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