Five words from the blurb: teacher, sex, pupils, risk, exposure
Tampa is a controversial book about a female teacher who has sex with her 14-year-old pupils. It contains graphic sex scenes and many have complained about its disturbing subject matter. It definitely pushes the boundaries, but I think this book is important. It raises many interesting questions about our attitudes to sex and reveals worrying problems with our society.
The book begins with Celeste, a beautiful English teacher, starting her first teaching job:
She is excited about the prospect of seducing the 14-year-old boys in her class, but is careful to select those who will not reveal their secret encounters.
The plot seemed simple and obvious at first, but as the novel neared its end I was surprised and impressed by the direction it took. I especially loved the way that the characters were all flawed individuals and they reacted realistically to events around them. The writing had that special spark that brought events to life, despite the fact it wasn’t complex in nature.
The book was graphic, bordering on pornography, throughout. But it wasn’t written to titillate the reader; it exists to shock and open eyes to the differences in our attitude towards male and female paedophiles. The fact that it is a beautiful young woman preying on young boys challenges our misconceptions about who is a danger to our children.
It isn’t for the prudish, but if you’re willing to approach it with an open mind you’ll find an engaging, disturbingly erotic, book that challenges perceptions.