Friday, April 8, 2016

Tampa: a novel

Alissa Nutting’s novel Tampa is a confusing mixture of elements and leaves the discerning reader with several questions. Is this book meant to titillate its readers or disgust them? From a strictly moral and legal point of view, the protagonist is guilty of sexual crimes and breaking the trust of minors. Is Nutting trying to write a novel about gender roles, transgression, and legal hypocrisy. Maybe, but the case is not strongly etched.

This novel does not shy away from explaining the particulars of explicit sex acts with minors. What is the point of this? There does not seem to be any compelling literary reason to detail them in such exacting ways. Nor does it add to the plot.

It seems Nutting wished to write a literary novel which skirted the outer edge of pornography - mixing the genres. We get neither at the end. Just a muddle.

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