4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
There, I said it.,
This review is from: Tampa (Kindle Edition)
I finished "Tampa" yesterday and thought about it for a while and I still do not know what to make of it. This is one of those books that people are going to have opinions about (already here, on amazon.co.uk, I can see people getting angry about the book and angrier at people who actually liked the book). I liked the book. There, I said it. Not because of the numerous somewhat sickening descriptions of sex between the main protagonist, gorgeous Celeste, which I suspect (despite never opening the shades of grey books), is more intelligent in its description and narrative than E.L. James could ever master (people complained!). The subject matter is pretty gruesome, the heroine is a sociopath surrounded by a not very likeable (and a lot of the times not fully developed) supporting cast.
The book sets out to get into the head of a sexual predator (and not a male one!) and it successfully achieves its aim. We know what Celeste is like and what her objectives are, and how she is, it seems, not capable of feelings. The book is engaging and interesting and kept me on the edge of my seat (very subtly hinting at the inevitable end).
Alissa Nutting's voice is fresh and colloquial but the narrative weakens towards the conclusion. The ending appears to be written in a hurried manner, as if the author practiced a lot describing the dangerous mind and its works (the book almost feels like a one character study), but did not write convincingly about the inevitable consequences her heroine faced. And what to make of the endless descriptions of sex (bordering on pornography)? At first they were offensive and a bit unsettling, but I found towards the middle of the book I almost did not pay attention to them. I was tired of explicitness of sex scenes which, after a while, failed to shock and did not add anything new to the narrative.
All in all, I found this to be a quick read which aims to entertain and seed thoughts (not every day we are told about a female sexual predator and psychopath, and told intelligently and engagingly, with a pinch of wit), but doesn't purport to be a literary masterwork. It did not call to be compared to Lolita (Penguin Classics) and, even though while reading it I thought of Notes on a Scandal a few times, these are two completely different works telling different things. I find a lot of people keep comparing these three different books - don't!
So there, I read it and enjoyed it (it certainly proved to be a page-turner for me), but you don't have to (I still won't come anywhere near the shades of grey!). Three to four stars.