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Synopsis

In Alissa Nutting’s novel Tampa, Celeste Price, a smoldering 26-year-old middle-school teacher in Florida, unrepentantly recounts her elaborate and sociopathically determined seduction of a 14-year-old student.
 
Celeste has chosen and lured the charmingly modest Jack Patrick into her web. Jack is enthralled and in awe of his eighth-grade teacher, and, most importantly, willing to accept Celeste’s terms for a secret relationship—car rides after dark, rendezvous at Jack’s house while his single father works the late shift, and body-slamming erotic encounters in Celeste’s empty classroom. In slaking her sexual thirst, Celeste Price is remorseless and deviously free of hesitation, a monstress of pure motivation. She deceives everyone, is close to no one, and cares little for anything but her pleasure.
 
Tampa is a sexually explicit, virtuosically satirical, American Psycho–esque rendering of a monstrously misplaced but undeterrable desire. Laced with black humor and crackling sexualized prose, Alissa Nutting’s Tampa is a grand, seriocomic examination of the want behind student / teacher affairs and a scorching literary debut.

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    I had initially heard about this book from a small feature in Entertainment Weekly magazine and was intrigued with the premise. I had been cautioned by several people that it contained quite graphic and explicit content, but that it would certainly be a conversation starter. Yes, this book is extremely graphic in its descriptions. Celeste is a highly sexual person and she’s quite blatant with what she does or wants done to her. That being said, if you set that part aside, the story itself is quite a compelling one. It’s a touchy subject that has become more prominent in the news; a teacher seducing a younger student. There have been other books that touch upon this idea, such as The Reader by Bernhard Schlink – which has also been turned into a movie starring Kate Winslet. It’s truly an interesting and decent story that gets overshadowed by the shock value of the crass language and explicit content. By far this book will be talked about for how sexual it is and for some it may be hard to look past that and see the actual story that’s there. Yes, there’s a lot of graphic content and at times it may feel gratuitous, like Nutting’s writing that in to shock the masses but you can also attest to that as how Celeste thinks. She’s that perverse that that’s what goes through her mind 24/7 as she narrates the book. Tampa reads like a train wreck that you can’t stop looking at. Celeste is a mess and Nutting does a fine job at writing such a unlikable protagonist. There were moments where you try to feel some sympathy for her but she’s very blatant in her intentions and lack of remorse and so that inkling of sympathy is quickly squashed. It’s not going to be a book for everyone, and it will definitely make some feel uncomfortable but if you’re able to look past that, it’s a good read.

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    Pretty good

    This book was written well. It kept me I'm suspense through your the whole novel! It could have had a better ending though.

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    Disturbing, clever, and I think a really important book for its unapologetic portrayal of female desire. I was gripped from the first page.

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    I had initially heard about this book from a small feature in Entertainment Weekly magazine and was intrigued with the premise. I had been cautioned by several people that it contained quite graphic and explicit content, but that it would certainly be a conversation starter. Yes, this book is extremely graphic in its descriptions. Celeste is a highly sexual person and she’s quite blatant with what she does or wants done to her. That being said, if you set that part aside, the story itself is quite a compelling one. It’s a touchy subject that has become more prominent in the news; a teacher seducing a younger student. There have been other books that touch upon this idea, such as The Reader by Bernhard Schlink – which has also been turned into a movie starring Kate Winslet. It’s truly an interesting and decent story that gets overshadowed by the shock value of the crass language and explicit content. By far this book will be talked about for how sexual it is and for some it may be hard to look past that and see the actual story that’s there. Yes, there’s a lot of graphic content and at times it may feel gratuitous, like Nutting’s writing that in to shock the masses but you can also attest to that as how Celeste thinks. She’s that perverse that that’s what goes through her mind 24/7 as she narrates the book. Tampa reads like a train wreck that you can’t stop looking at. Celeste is a mess and Nutting does a fine job at writing such a unlikable protagonist. There were moments where you try to feel some sympathy for her but she’s very blatant in her intentions and lack of remorse and so that inkling of sympathy is quickly squashed. It’s not going to be a book for everyone, and it will definitely make some feel uncomfortable but if you’re able to look past that, it’s a good read.

(10)

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