Tampa - twisted novel of a sociopathic middle-school teacher [excerpt]

Here’s a excerpt of Alissa Nutting’s new novel, Tampa. 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… READ THE REST

Ew, “monstress”? Since when is “monster” exclusively gendered?

Yes! About time my home town got some respect!

Take that, Orlando!

(Avoiding spoilers so I have no idea what it’s about, but it’s getting lots of press so I’m sure it’s great. And boy am I looking forward to finally having something we here can point to with pride and say, yep–Tampa–that’s about us! )


Right so…if it’s a female molesting an underage boy, then it’s not a book about child abuse. Gotchya.

Who said it’s not about child abuse?


More to the point, try swapping the genders and see how totally different this story feels. It’s startling.

Editorial error here. At the top, @frauenfelder writes “Here’s a excerpt of Alissa Nutting’s new novel, Tampa” … but what follows in the excerpt box is a description of the book, and not an excerpt at all.

Either way, the predatory nature of the character comes off as squick to me. It’s meant to be hot/erotic literature, but from the excerpt, all I could think was: she needs to have a psychiatric evaluation and spend some time with counseling or therapy.

Unresolved childhood sexual attraction issues don’t remotely strike me as hot. It seems a lot more like a pathology to me, and the main character seeking to perpetuate a cycle of sexual abuse is very sad. I’m rooting against her success, and for her to end up getting caught and getting the psychological help she needs.

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While I’m not personally offended, and find the writing fairly decent, though not my thing, I cannot even IMAGINE the the outrage that a similarly explicit excerpt of a novel with a 26 year old male teacher masturbating and fantasizing about grinding on 14 year old girls at a school dance would generate. Try swapping the gender indeed.

And I would always know, and he would always be sure, but not certain, that I had drawn the ledge of my pubic bone against the head of his penis, pressed it there like a photograph beneath the plastic velum of an album page cover and whispered that phrase: I want to smell you come in your pants.

Always OK for the young male to be seduced by the older female…Yeah I get that. Always shameful for the older male to pursue the younger female. Got it. Dear god what if an older male was bumping a younger male’s unit? Something in all these formulae just pisses me off… not so much because adolescents might actually have sexual feelings but because of all the silly ass tittering adults make of it.

Now you’ve got me thinking about Mr. Fisher back in high school in the early 70s. Damn you.


Opps, Sorry. I bet it would be inappropriate to ask what he was fishing for so I won’t even go there.

I could be wrong, but I think you misunderstood. I think it’s meant to be squick, rather than hot. The narrator is a sociopath, not a sympathetic character.

It’s the same mistake people make with Lolita, expecting it to be hot forbidden porn, when it’s actually a tragedy.


…You must never have heard of Lolita, I assume. You know, the book that’s widely read, features heavily in college syllabi, is considered a literary classic, had two film adaptations (one of which is considered a classic in cinema), and whose title has been turned into an expression to describe attractive young girls.



Plotwise, sure - but it’s been a good white since I read it, but I don’t recall any passages that were nearly that Penthouse Forum in nature.

Regardless, I’m not sure that an article that cherry-picked Lolita for the most erotically-charged sections is something that I’d expect to be reading on BB either.

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