Tampa, by Alissa Nutting

Paperback review

Sat, Aug 16, 2014, 01:00


Book Title:


Alissa Nutting

Faber & Faber

Guideline Price:

Celeste Price works hard to project an image of normality: a handsome husband, a respectable teaching job, a beautiful home in suburban Tampa, Florida. But underneath she’s a sociopath, constantly scheming to satisfy a very specific sexual predilection: 14-year-old boys. Alissa Nutting’s first book, which is based on a real case, looks set to be this year’s most provocative, divisive novel. The publisher has pitched Celeste as a successor to everyone from Humbert Humbert to Patrick Bateman, but she’s very much her own fascinating, grotesque creation. It’s hard not to laugh aloud at her scornful social commentary even as we’re appalled by her manipulative, almost maternal flirtations with the boys in her class. Tampa is more than the sum of its squeamish sex scenes: it’s a powerful indictment of a society that doesn’t consider the seduction of a boy by a beautiful woman to be abuse. It’s unapologetic in its exploration of female desire, and implicating in its compulsive readability.

Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email to verify your account.

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.