Tampa by Alissa Nutting

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Nutting’s work creates a solid impression of Celeste’s psychopathic nature but, unlike the much richer Lolita, leaves the reader feeling empty.
-Publishers Weekly

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.

 

About Alissa Nutting

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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; O, The Oprah Magazine; Tin House; Fence; and Bomb, among other venues. This is her first novel. She lives in Ohio.
 
Published July 2, 2013 by Ecco. 277 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Erotica. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Tampa
All: 4 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 3

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Sarah Churchwell on Aug 02 2013

...Nutting offers nothing to supplement the arid vacuum of obsessive lust in which Celeste is trapped. Nutting is obviously not endorsing Celeste's behaviour, but while disapprobation is a necessary condition for satire, it is not a sufficient one.

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Publishers Weekly

Below average
on May 06 2013

Nutting’s work creates a solid impression of Celeste’s psychopathic nature but, unlike the much richer Lolita, leaves the reader feeling empty.

Read Full Review of Tampa | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Michael Adelberg on May 27 2013

...it is a smart and realistic book on an important subject. In a densely populated fiction landscape filled with cliché, Professor Nutting veers into difficult territory and unearths virgin soil.

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Globe and Mail

Below average
Reviewed by Kate Carraway on Jul 12 2013

Nutting, a writer who is much better than this book, seems willing to core the “hot-for-teacher” apple, but does it with the dull edge of the knife.

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Reader Rating for Tampa
64%

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