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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    90
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Performance

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    70
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    25
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    6
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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Linda
  • SOMERVILLE, MA, United States
  • 02-19-14

This author is pretty gutsy

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.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Misty
  • Washington
  • 06-23-17

Difficult to formulate a review

Draw a line where your comfort zone is, than scribble it out and go beyond it about a million miles... that is about how you will feel about this book. This makes it difficult to formulate a review.

Was it well written? Yes. Very. Was it a good story? No. It was terrible. Nothing about it was something that was good and nice. Everything was horrible and disgusting and at times, impossible to listen to. I had to take it in small doses because it left me feeling icky.

Is that a reason for a bad review? No. I knew what I was picking up. It wasn't a mystery. It's a story about a very disturbed and selfish woman that was a predator. Not even the ending is feel good.

All of that being said, it was addictive. Like a train wreck, I couldn't get away from it. There was no way I couldn't finish it.

The narration was great. Perfect for this character and the she did good with the voices of all the other characters too.

My advice? Go in just knowing it's going to be uncomfortable and if you have delicate sensibilities, you might want to skip this one.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What A Read

Despite the subject matter, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's well-written, the characters and setting are fleshed out, Celeste is abhorrent and I disliked her but I recognized she was too smart, corrupt and conniving for the book to end any other way than how it did. Still, she surprised me, sometimes I was outright shocked, others disgusted. The narrator did a fabulous job as well of conveying Celeste's lack of emotion, her depravity, her sarcasm, disinterest, odd lust and irritation, her sense for self-preservation in every scene. And all the characters were discernible to my ears. Usually I find female narrators difficult to enjoy, even in books with female main characters, but this is encouraging and has left me hopeful.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Honestly A Disturbing Story

If you could sum up Tampa in three words, what would they be?

Female Pedophile Tell-All

Would you be willing to try another book from Alissa Nutting? Why or why not?

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.

Have you listened to any of Kathleen McInerney’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not listened to any Kathleen McInerney's performance before, however she is GREAT!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

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.

Any additional comments?

This book is pretty graphic in it's sexually content and a little morbid. However, beautifully written and the performance was amazing!.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

It had potential

Is there anything you would change about this book?

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.

Has Tampa turned you off from other books in this genre?

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.

Have you listened to any of Kathleen McInerney’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

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.

Was Tampa worth the listening time?

To be honest, I don't think so. Second half bored me to death.

Any additional comments?

It's a good book for an erotica lover, but not a moralist.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Surprisingly good

The narrator did an excellent job.

This book was well-written and thought out. The ending was not ideal but it worked and fit the character very well. If you're expecting any soul searching or self improvement you will be disappointed - but that's what I liked about it. It was honest.

The female lead is extremely immature which in my opinion is part of the reason she seeks young boys. There is no growth. She is selfish and owns it.

It's not nearly as graphic as I expected. There is some shock value but a lot of things are glossed over with little detail.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Shockingly indulgent... horrifying and sick

I couldn't believe how much this read like a romance novel. Even if I'm supposed to see how a depraved mind thinks, this book seems to want to entice me to sympathize and enjoy the exploits of a pedophile. Couldn't get into it; got nightmares from the audiobook.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

weird..It was supposed to be that way

This book was well written and the narrator captivating the repeating word play was bad. This was a look in to the mind of a predator that most wouldn't even think of the plot was the best getting there was Rocky.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Disturbing book

Greag Narrator,but a dark book and very disturbing ,very gutsy of the Author fro writing this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great

Very memorable, even though it made me cringe sometimes. It was a great read, keeping my attention all the way though.