Book Review

Tampa by Alissa Nutting

Photo on 13-01-2014 at 19.52 #2

Errr… Wow. I’m almost feeling vicariously post-coital after reading the cock-a-block sexed-up Tampa by Alissa Nutting. It’s got a vagina on the cover. IT’S GOT A VAGINA ON THE COVER!!!

What’s inside? Well, it’s kind of like Lolita with the genders reversed. She’s a teacher (like Notes On A Scandal? No.) but she has become a teacher just so she can secure a stream of mid-pubescent boys for the rest of her life. Prior motive, and lots of it.

It’s about sexual obsession, sexual obsession to an idea of the eroticised “Boy”. A very eroticised “Boy”. The protagonist, Mrs. Price (as the boys all call her) is a beautiful woman in her mid-twenties obsessed with the erotic and very little else. She is in a marriage for the money and when forced to spend time with her husband she either sedates herself to the point of blackout or drugs him into silence. She’s not very nice. But she is persistent and calculating and obsessed with her sexual obsession to an obsessive level of obsessive obsession.

There is a lot of sex. And essentially every action committed by by protagonist is, if not sex itself, a considered move to allow her to continue the pursuit of sex with children. Youths, rather than children. And the sex she has with the boys is great, and fulfilling, and everything she had hoped it would be, and even when she has to do unpleasant things to continue her lifestyle, she doesn’t mind, because the pleasure she gets when she gets some pleasure is enough to justify the horrors.

It is a fun, eroticised, novel starring a brilliantly twisted and perverse and single-minded and charmless and wily and sexy female protagonist, using her good looks and sex appeal to pretty much get away with whatever she wants to. It’s funny, it’s engaging, it’s racy, and despite on the surface being the stuff of teenage masturbatory fantasies, it’s a strong piece in its own right. If you’re looking for a book that’s nasty and sexy, read this. Also, it’s good to see a female lead in something like this. Or is it? Hashtagconfusedmalefeminist.

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