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Tampa

Tampa

Book rating: 03 Paperback

By (author) Alissa Nutting

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  • Publisher: FABER & FABER
  • Format: Paperback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 135mm x 216mm x 20mm | 308g
  • Publication date: 1 September 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 057130334X
  • ISBN 13: 9780571303342
  • Sales rank: 11,170

Product description

Celeste Price is an eighth-grade English teacher in suburban Tampa. She is attractive. She drives a red Corvette. Her husband, Ford, is rich, square-jawed and devoted to her. But Celeste has a secret. She has a singular sexual obsession - fourteen-year-old boys. It is a craving she pursues with sociopathic meticulousness and forethought. Within weeks of her first term at a new school, Celeste has lured the charmingly modest Jack Patrick into her web - car rides after dark, rendezvous at Jack's house while his single father works the late shift, and body-slamming encounters in Celeste's empty classroom between periods. It is bliss. Celeste must constantly confront the forces threatening their affair - the perpetual risk of exposure, Jack's father's own attraction to her, and the ticking clock as Jack leaves innocent boyhood behind. But the insatiable Celeste is remorseless. She deceives everyone, is close to no one and cares little for anything but her pleasure. With crackling, stampeding, rampantly sexualized prose, Tampa is a grand, satirical, serio-comic examination of desire and a scorching literary debut.

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Author information

Alissa Nutting is an assistant professor of creative writing at John Carroll University. She is the author of the award-winning collection of stories, Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Oprah, Tin House, Fence and Bomb, among others. This is her first novel.

Customer reviews

By Marianne Vincent 13 Sep 2013 5

Tampa is the first novel by American author, Alissa Nutting. Celeste Price is a 26-year-old high-school teacher living in Tampa, Florida. Celeste is married to a cop and is a self-confessed soulless pervert. Her secret perversion is an obsession with fourteen-year-old boys. As an eighth grade English teacher, she has a large arena to choose from, and in her first class at Jefferson Junior High, she chooses Jack Patrick. She manages to juggle her job, her husband and her teenage lover until a complication arises: her lover's father is also attracted to her. Celeste proves to be stunningly selfish, a sexual predator who is all about self-preservation and whose actions will often leave the reader gasping. This is an interesting look at child sexual abuse from the point of view of the offender. Nutting is not afraid to throw herself into this taboo subject, and approaches it with humour, panache and insight. It is perhaps a little slow to get moving, but the pace certainly picks up and manages to hold the reader's interest where the Fifty Shades trilogy just dragged. Some editions of this erotic offering have a delightfully suggestive pink buttonhole cover. While the subject matter and the hot sex scenes may classify this as erotica, readers will find this a novel with a decent plot and some excellent imagery: "She gave the long grunt of a walrus bearing a load of breech pups.." and "The charcoal frizz of her perm hovered above her scalp like a rising cloud of smog" and "...deciding between the two of them was like being asked to pick a dance partner and given the option of a trained choreographer or an epileptic with a wooden leg" are but a few examples of this. Can a novel be both hilarious AND thought-provoking? As long as the reader is prepared for the scorching sexual content, this one is blackly funny but also sharply prescient!

By Priscilla McDonald 31 Aug 2013 1

I bought this book after I read a review in our local paper.
However I must admit I didn't like it when I read it. The actions of the main character, who pursued a career as a teacher to give her access to 14 year old boys, made me feel uneasy the more I read it. Her predatory and compulsive behaviour is quite alarming.
Surely there are checks in place in the education system so that this can't happen? It is only fiction, right?
Even after she was exposed as a pedophile, she just relocated to a different area in order to continue befriending boys.
I like reading erotic fiction, but this was just creepy.

Review quote

Brave and beautifully written; a provocative look at a taboo subject. -- Irvine Welsh Tampa is an instant classic. A dirty, funny, shocking, provocative, Nabokovian scandal-in-waiting that will be read and mis-read and fiercely debated. -- Matt Haig Tampa is a wild ride - sexy, fast, funny, and frightening, the counterpoint to Lolita. Humbert Humbert is tame by comparison. You won't want anyone to know how much you enjoyed reading this book. -- David Vann Tampa charms and seduces you into the mind of its remorseless female protagonist then twists the knife by skating uncomfortably close to your own inner darkness. Lock up your sons. -- Viv Albertine