Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Monday, 4 November 2013

"Tampa" by Alissa Nutting (Faber and Faber, 2013)

The author's work has appeared in "Tin House" and "Fence". It's about an attractive female teacher who preys on young boys. The single-mindedness of the narrator (which the sexual explicitness emphasises) produces the comedy; the metaphors that the narrator comes up with often aren't funny in themselves. It stays just this side of farce, partly by virtue of passages like this, on p.158.

No one said anything. I could see Buck's mind working - he knew what he'd just seen, but he didn't want to have seen it. He wanted a loophole, a flimsy cover story he could bury his doubts under so there didn't have to be an emergency.
Standing, I slapped my bare stomach. "You'll have to excuse my appearance, I hope," I said. "I had to unzip these puppies and let my gut breathe. I need to take it easy on the leftovers."
There was a brief moment when he didn't react at all, seemingly deciding whether or not to follow my lead. His left eye began to tic, as though the scene before him was simply a slideshow experiencing technical difficulties - he was trying to move forward to another image, but we were stuck on this one.

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