“...A highly diverting read...Ms. Nutting lands it.” (New York Times)
“Impeccably written, full of smart cultural observations, and no small amount of wit...A very bold book.” (Daily Beast)
“The writing is often excellent, hilariously dark, and mean…Reading about [Celeste] was honestly disturbing and fun.” (Entertainment Weekly)
It’s as riveting as it is disturbing.” (NewYorkmagazine.com's Vulture)
“Completely entertaining.” (Salon)
“In this sly and salacious work, Nutting forces us to take a long, unflinching look at a deeply disturbed mind, and more significantly, at society’s often troubling relationship with female beauty.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“A work of serious ambition, both literary and moral. It’s also laced with dark, sometimes savage humor and juicy riffs on consumer culture and its twin obsessions, youth and beauty.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
“Tampa is one of the most shocking books I have read; it’s also one of the most mesmerizing and surprising. Alissa Nutting has written a stunning, brutal book.” (Shelf Awareness)
“A deliriously enjoyable, absolutely shocking booka morality tale that tempts and taunts readers to succumb to every kind of immorality.” (BOMB)
“Smart and biting.” (New York Journal of Books)
“A brilliant commentary on sex and society.” (Cosmopolitan)
“Tampa takes on a very serious and disturbing subject with such flair and dark humor and bawdy sexual energy that Nutting is sure to become a member in the small club of authors who turns risky writing into high art.” (Tin House)
“Bold and fascinatingly transgressive…Tampa may be the new American Psycho.” (MSN Entertainment)
“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.” (Marilyn Dahl, Shelf Awareness)
Celeste Price is an eighth-grade English teacher in suburban Tampa. She's undeniably attractive. She drives a red Corvette with tinted windows. Her husband, Ford, is rich, square-jawed, and devoted to her.
But Celeste's devotion lies elsewhere. She has a singular sexual obsession—fourteen-year-old boys. Celeste pursues her craving with sociopathic meticulousness and forethought; her sole purpose in becoming a teacher is to fulfill her passion and provide her access to her compulsion. As the novel opens, fall semester at Jefferson Jr. High is beginning.
In mere weeks, Celeste has chosen and lured the lusciously naive Jack Patrick into her web. Jack is enthralled and in awe of his teacher, and, most important, willing to accept Celeste's terms for a secret relationship—car rides after school; rendezvous at Jack's house while his single father works late; body-slamming encounters in Celeste's empty classroom between periods.
Ever mindful of the danger—the perpetual risk of exposure, Jack's father's own attraction to her, and the ticking clock as Jack leaves innocent boyhood behind—the hyperbolically insatiable Celeste bypasses each hurdle with swift thinking and shameless determination, even when the solutions involve greater misdeeds than the affair itself. In slaking her sexual thirst, Celeste Price is remorseless and deviously free of hesitation, a monstress driven by pure motivation. She deceives everyone, and cares nothing for anyone or anything but her own pleasure.
With crackling, rampantly unadulterated prose, Tampa is a grand, uncompromising, seriocomic examination of want and a scorching literary debut.