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Tampa is the first novel by American author, Alissa Nutting. Celeste Price is a 26-year-old high-school teacher living in Tampa, Florida. Celeste is married to a cop and is a self-confessed soulless pervert. Her secret perversion is an obsession with fourteen-year-old boys. As an eighth grade English teacher, she has a large arena to choose from, and in her first class at Jefferson Junior High, she chooses Jack Patrick. She manages to juggle her job, her husband and her teenage lover until a complication arises: her lover’s father is also attracted to her. Celeste proves to be stunningly selfish, a sexual predator who is all about self-preservation and whose actions will often leave the reader gasping. This is an interesting look at child sexual abuse from the point of view of the offender. Nutting is not afraid to throw herself into this taboo subject, and approaches it with humour, panache and insight. It is perhaps a little slow to get moving, but the pace certainly picks up and manages to hold the reader’s interest where the Fifty Shades trilogy just dragged. Some editions of this erotic offering have a delightfully suggestive pink buttonhole cover. While the subject matter and the hot sex scenes may classify this as erotica, readers will find this a novel with a decent plot and some excellent imagery: “She gave the long grunt of a walrus bearing a load of breech pups..” and “The charcoal frizz of her perm hovered above her scalp like a rising cloud of smog” and “…deciding between the two of them was like being asked to pick a dance partner and given the option of a trained choreographer or an epileptic with a wooden leg” are but a few examples of this. Can a novel be both hilarious AND thought-provoking? As long as the reader is prepared for the scorching sexual content, this one is blackly funny but also sharply prescient!
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Well Finished the read in two sittings and was surprised by the fact that a book dealing with such heavy material would be such a fast read.But the author is only concerned with the sexual antics of the protagonist, and nothing else really the whole novels machinery is just that.The raw sexuality of the Pedophile woman is whats on display and an attractive woman at that,I suppose men who are also attractive and prey on teenage girls, are also probably similar, hence the comparison to Lolita. The sex is gratuitous, and the action of the novel and scene setting of the sexual kind are probably the best written parts of this novel. The structure is simple in fact over simple.The violence is what all the men suffer and the boys are a virginal sacrifice to the lust of this woman, so the tables are turned here and rightly so, such a book needed to be written by a woman in the 21st century.And this is a 21st century occurrence is it not or has this been happening All the time every time?But beyond that there is nothing here.No hope or transcendence,just a pedophile working out the machinery of their desire.Adult males in the book I must add are comical if not hilarious and play bit parts, with no real meaning beyond providing context and nothing else. I guess in a Lolita type novel what else could they do, probably the limits of the novel form of this kind.SO this Novel is real about a woman pedophile, woman and their desires and boys and the willingness of boys in their teenage years.But what does this mean for all of us in a larger sense there is no reflection on that Just the reality of a pedophile woman's life.There is no rule breaking in this novel The pedophile is the pedophile and that's that.and beauty is it's own sanction and that's that too.So as a novel of observation it is highly limited but as a novel of action it is clear and precise hence the surprising quick read given the nature of the material. [bookcover:Lolita|7604]