The plot of Tampa, a debut novel by Alissa Nutting, is simple: Celeste Price – 26 years old, married, affluent, gorgeous – has just been hired as. Alissa Nutting’s publisher has borrowed from the same playbook to promote her first novel, “Tampa”: a black cover with bold red letters. A novel based on the true story of a teacher seducing a schoolboy has less to it than meets the eye, argues Duncan White.

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The nuttinh becomes a media circus, and Celeste publicly plays the role of a young, innocent woman desperate for affection. Jack is enthralled and in awe of his teacher, and, most important, willing to accept Celeste’s terms for a secret relationship—car rides after school; rendezvous at Jack’s house while his single father works late; body-slamming encounters in Celeste’s empty classroom between periods.

The two embark in painful, unsatisfying anal sex. Moreover the explicitness of sex scenes could have mellowed down a bit in order to reach albeit shocking but an acceptable level of reality since in some instances the line of fantasy is stretched too far considering the involvement of teenage boys or is it just another trick on part of our unreliable narrator?

Because beneath the surface of graphic sex and an entirely deplorable main character, there lies excellent and provocative writing not to aliissa a brilliantly provocative cover.

Tampa by Alissa Nutting, review

Not even a highly public trial and an exposure to the world as a sexual deviant of the most abominable type, cures her of her perversions.

Reminiscent of American Beauty and Lolita — the tale of ultimate taboo finds a balancing counterpart with a vicious wit. Celeste ignores them, distracted by fantasies about Jack. She fabricates a story that she accidentally saw him when she was driving home after visiting a friend in the area.

But aside from the creation nnutting this marvellously despicable character I don’t spot any other achievement in Nutting’s novel. This is one of those books that’s almost impossible to rate.


Tampa by Alissa Nutting, review – Telegraph

The damn woman has no soul. Retrieved 5 October For most of this book, Jack is fourteen years old nutfing he is fascinated and even claims to nktting in love with the heroine.

She lets him keep the photo with the intention of taking his phone when he isn’t looking and deleting it later.

A bold debut with solid writing and disturbing, lewd, graphic, uncomfortable content. I expected it to a point, but the theoretical backlash I imagined felt far more digestible tampz me than the real thing when it actually happened. She also continues her relationship with Jack, keeping both boys in the dark about each other. But overall, it shined a light on a real issue that is playing out in classrooms all over America.

Even when she has to impart something disagreeable, she has a way of softening the blow: Nov 04, Kelly and the Book Boar rated it it was amazing Aljssa If we take a moment to consider the plot and the innovation it involves, then the result will be far from satisfactory.

Well, she fantasizes about banging 8th graders. Jul 23, Steve Lowe rated it really liked it.

In order to achieve satire, a writer must also be funny. This, my friends, is the power of good writing. No details are spared here: One husband beater does not balance out the billion wife beaters on the planet. Alssa 06, Jenn ifer rated it did not like it Shelves: And Celeste Price makes Humbert Humbert look like a fine gentleman deserving of a special award for decency instead of jail time.

She constantly brought up how in, in the future, her body will lose its beauty. This book is truly disturbing in its nature. Does Celeste Price have a precursor? Would love to discuss! Like Humbert Humbert and his nymphets, Celeste has a type.

Thanks for telling us about the problem.

Well, that and a sociopathology so grossly inflated that she starts to become surprisingly comical. As unpleasant as it is to read, I feel the lewd, lascivious tone is warranted.


Told in first person, we take an inside look at the workings of Celeste’s mind. Lacking any other saving stylistic or satirical grace, the novel ends up as fixated on sex with children as its protagonist. Police arrive and take Celeste in for questioning. You can learn a bit about what elements need to come together in order for the perfect storm of means, motive, opportunity and desire to take place.

Our bedroom looks like a tacky cologne commercial now.

Q&A with ‘Tampa’ Author Alissa Nutting

Can you talk a little bit about unveiling the book, so tanpa speak? Want to Read Currently Reading Read. The climax appears to be written in a rushed manner and struggles to find a strong base to stand on amidst some superficial factors forced upon it. Unfortunately, that one thing is to expertly describe sex between a teenager and an adult.

There is, but comparing it to men is like counting the number of houses in your neighborhood to nuttng number of stars in the whole entire universe.

After finishing this book yesterday, I watched part of an interview with its seeming inspiration, Debra Lafave, expecting it to be sort of like that prison interview with Richard Kuklinski: She grabs a knife and runs outside after him, naked and covered in Boyd’s blood. She is one of the nuttnig incredible authors I have ever had the pleasure of reading from.

So, this is not an easy sell, but it does work on a number of levels beyond the novelty of the thing. The actual number of female sex offenders out there is way higher than most people are aware of. By the way, I still stand by everything I said in this review.