Celeste Price, the protag of Alissa Nutting‘s 2003 novel Tampa, is selfish, unloving, perverse and good-looking. She is a married middle-school teacher sexually excited by fourteen-year-old boys. The grabber is that this is all she cares about: intimate time with these boys, specifically Jack and then Boyd. Thus Nutting is right to make the book so sexually descriptive.

A first novel, Tampa is almost inconsequential but, as well, it is vigorous and certainly not boring. Best of all is that Nutting can write, the finesse here positively clear.