Synopses & Reviews
Tracy Flick wants to be President of Winwood High. She's one of those ambitious girls who finds time to do it all: edit the yearbook, star in the musical, sleep with her English teacher. But another teacher, staunch idealist Jim McAllister (aka "Mr. M."), thinks the students deserve better. So he persuades Paul Warren a well-liked, good-hearted jock to throw in his hat. But that puts Paul's sister, Tammy, in a snit. So she runs, too, on an apathy platform before starting a real campaign...to get herself kicked out of school.
Tammy's upset because her secret, forbidden love has been lured away...by her own brother. Tracy's upset because losing this election might screw up her college chances. Mr. M.'s upset because ever since he embarked on his own extramarital affair, his life's been falling apart. As for Paul, well, he's not sure what's going on.
The whole idea was to educate the students at this suburban New Jersey school in the democratic process and the American way. But with all sex scandals, smear campaigns, and behind-the-scenes power brokers at Winwood High, it doesn't look as if they need any lessons...
"Election provides those gratifyingly exact and telling portraits of the kids themselves....In this bittersweet novel, the characters are all simultaneously children and adults." Peter LaSalle, The New York Times Book Review
"Darkly comic and winning, Tom Perrotta demonstrates that the experience of growing up is universally awful." San Francisco Chronicle
"[W]ry, engaging...observant and sly, if less amusing than the battles over pop-musical taste in Perrotta's quirkily humorous first novel, The Wishbones....Despite six alternating narrators, this is a simple, spare story..." Publishers Weekly
"It's hard to pinpoint where the generally entertaining story goes wrong. But it feels simultaneously footloose and overplotted...and Perrotta doesn't sense the inconsistency of resolving some of his characters' fates...while leaving others awkwardly hanging." Kirkus Reviews
"Typically plotted but atypically dark, this comedy about a high-school election is a quick-reading novel told in revolving first-person narration." Booklist
"Peopled with characters we have all met in real life, this soap opera/comedy is funny, sad, realistic, irreverent, and very readable." Library Journal
"[O]ne of the funniest, most insightful, most surprisingly touching novels of recent times..." Time Out
About the Author
Tom Perotta is a graduate of Yale and teaches writing at Harvard. In addition to Election, he is the author of The Wishbones and Bad Haircut: Stories of the Seventies. He lives in Massachusetts.