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: 14-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.
©2013 Alissa Nutting (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers
Librarian, blogger, reader
The whole premise of this book is off-putting to some, and if that's how it strikes you just stop there. Because not only is it about an adult woman preying on 14-year-olds, it's quite sexually graphic, and since it's written from Celeste's perspective, the sex is actually pretty sexy. I'm not bothered by anything in fiction (no 14-year-old boys were actually harmed in the writing of this book!) so I found it a bit fascinating. Celeste is a great unlikeable protagonist and I thought the story progressed well all the way to its satisfying ending. I actually tried this one in print first and found the quality of the writing inconsistent, but the audio worked much better for me. The narrator somehow made Celeste's voice more palatable and I binge-listened to this over the long weekend. I like when authors take risks by tackling taboo subjects, and Alissa Nutting pulled it off quite well.
Female Pedophile Tell-All
Probably, the author is a really good writer. I've learned more new words in this book than any other books that I've read so far.
I have not listened to any Kathleen McInerney's performance before, however she is GREAT!
No, it was a really difficult book to sit through because it was so strange to listen to a mind of a pedophile. You can only take a little dose of it at a time because the story can make your skin crawl. However, the performance was exquisite. Probably one of the best female performers I've listened to so far.
This book is pretty graphic in it's sexually content and a little morbid. However, beautifully written and the performance was amazing!.
I love books (duh). I've also listened to plenty books from my local library, kinda upset I can't review them here as well :(.
The ending... to start with.
The first half of the book you think that Celest is a highly intelligent female willing to do anything to satisfy her obsession: teenage males. Her wishes are crazy, but very enthralling as well. She's an interesting character to say the least.
Second half of the book she becomes stupid and arrogant and other people like her even more for that. It was annoying and it didn't fit with the character created in the first half. Is like the author wanted us to hate her. And that's cheating.
I would have enjoyed the rational, pervert feminist much more than the beautiful sheltered pedophile. Also, the idea that beautiful people have it easy... don't really dig it. I've seen lots of beautiful people get bullied and ugly ones as well. It's about character. That is what brings you to the top of the chain. And by the end of the story our character completely looses that side and just plays the damsel in distress. And people actually believe her? We're talking about adults here, right? I can't accept that people can be that stupid.
Not really. A good book will be a good book regardless of the genre. I was never really into this type of books, but I heard this one was better so I decided to give it a try. Not sure how soon I'll return to this genre though, based on my friend's recommendations I guess.
I did, in Night Road and Just One Day. She's into character and she's good at what she does. If I wouldn't have looked at the list with the books she read I would have never guessed the 3 books have the same reader. They are all 3 very different genres.
To be honest, I don't think so. Second half bored me to death.
It's a good book for an erotica lover, but not a moralist.
Every time I sat down, I remembered to sit down, put in my ear buds, and enjoy. This was a great, yet disturbing take on a sexual sociopath who happens to be a teacher. Recommended
This book had its, "whoa! What did I just read?" Moments, but it was a great read. Alissa Nutting did a fantastic job at getting the reader to get in the mind of a sociopath. Give this book a shot!
I'm a high school English teacher with a 3 hour round-trip commute everyday, so clearly, audio books are a big part of my daily existence!
I would only recommend this book to friends who I knew REALLY well. Because I'm a high school English teacher, this is a difficult book for me to admit to reading, let alone recommend to friends - many of whom are teachers.
I thought the end was perfect. Celeste, the main character, was so fully fleshed out through the whole story, and what happens at the end and her reaction to it fit perfectly with what you know to be true about her.
Again, it's hard to say a "favorite" scene...it's not that kind of book! My favorite aspect of the book is Nutting's totally unapologetic writing and her willingness to "go there." I can imagine there were parts of this book that were difficult to write, and it's so refreshing to see a female author take creative ownership of work that it surprising, offensive, and sexual.
Yes, I would love to read more by her. I love her voice, and like I said before, her frank writing style. I would like to see what she does next.
struggled to finish but I did... need to shower and pray now fir sitting through that filth. it think. People are going to love it or hate it. I personally hate it. The author however managed to create a character that I will not soon forget.
Celeste Price became a teacher with the sole purpose of seducing teenage students. I usually roll my eyes when I hear people complaining that a book is controversial just for the sake of controversy, but found myself thinking something similar with this. It was just a bit too shallow and frivolous. Had it’s moments, but at times, it reminded me of a story you might come across in a bad waiting-room magazine. I still love the cover (though I made the classic mistake of judging a...). And I was amused by the ever present subtext that if this book was about a male teacher, there would probably be book burnings across the States.
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