Tampa: A Novel

Paperback | March 4, 2014

byAlissa Nutting

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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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From the Publisher

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-grad...

From the Jacket

Celeste Price is twenty-six years old, beautiful, smart, married to a handsome man with money, and starting a new job as a junior high school teacher in suburban Tampa. Yet she harbors a dark secret. She is driven by a singular sexual obsession—fourteen-year-old boys. As the school year begins, Celeste has chosen and seduced the naive ...

Alissa Nutting is an assistant professor of creative writing at John Carroll University. She is the author of the award-winning collection of storiesUnclean Jobs for Women and Girls. Her work has appeared in theNew York Times;O, The Oprah Magazine;Tin House;Fence; andBomb, among other venues. This is her first novel. She lives in Ohio.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.61 inPublished:March 4, 2014Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062280589

ISBN - 13:9780062280589

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Customer Reviews of Tampa: A Novel

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from A revolting work of art. Tampa is phenomenally written and on the same level of disturbia such as another great novel like The Lovely Bones. It took me a while to fully immerse into the book as almost every passage is disturbing in its blatant candor. It's the first book to keep me raising eyebrows even in solitude as my eyes scanned over sentences I couldn't believe were formed into a book. Its shocking frankness and rare topic married with nimble and witty writing kept me on my toes, hunched over in anxiety and disgust until the very last page. The author did a marvellous job of tapping of channeling such a monstrous character in a humorous way, but also an eye-opening reality of the world we live in - which is that people will almost overlook anything if it's committed but someone of unusual physical appeal. Loved this read and can't wait to check out her hopeful less morbid books.
Date published: 2015-09-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brave, exciting and haunting This book isn't like anything I've ever read. Written in first person, you meet Celeste, she is beautiful, smart, bitchy and has an overwhelming desire for young boys... also, she is a teacher. This was written so well, she didn't miss a step in achieving a haunting story that will have you one moment thinking about how horrifying what going on is and then the next moment you are hoping that she doesn't get caught. This was a brave undertaking, but Alissa Nutting did a great job - I would definitely recommend this book.
Date published: 2015-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Disturbing, clever, and I think a really important book for its unapologetic portrayal of female desire. I was gripped from the first page.
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from 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.
Date published: 2014-01-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty good 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.
Date published: 2013-10-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty good 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.
Date published: 2013-10-06

Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

“TAMPA is one of the most shocking books I have read; it’s also one of the most mesmerizing and surprising. I expected to be disturbed, even appalled; what I did not expect in this story of a female teacher fixated on 14-year-old boys was lyricism and black humor.”