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Election Paperback – 5 Feb 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (5 Feb. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000726240X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007262403
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 533,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

‘As J D Salinger most expertly showed, a certain kind of wit – honest, nervous and brave – often offers the only shield, however flimsy, against the true heart of adolescence. Perrotta captures this humour…“Election” provides those gratifyingly exact and telling portraits of the kids themselves. Solid plotting will guarentee that the reader really does want to learn who wins when the ballots are finally counted.’ New York Times Book Review

‘Captures the texture of high-school life in a refreshingly unromantic way’. Time Out New York

‘A neatly written, nimble-witted novel…a good-natured John Irvingesque portrait of the contemporary world…seamless storytelling.’ Washington Post

‘A darkly comic and winning novel.’ San Francisco Chronicle

About the Author

Tom Perrotta is the author of several works of fiction, including ‘Little Children’, ‘Joe College’ and ‘Election’. He lives outside Boston, Massachusetts.


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ALL I EVER WANTED to do was teach. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Luanne on 19 Nov. 2003
Format: Paperback
Having seen the film Election and enjoyed it, I was eager to read the book. The book did not disappoint. It is a short volume and therefore a very quick read - I read it in one sitting - but this only adds to the appeal, as the writing style is sharp and quick too. Written from the perspectives of all the main characters, the reader is allowed to fully explore each character in detail and, although some of the characters appear quite unlikeable on the surface, you do find yourself warming to them. The prose is fairly sparse but you are invited to read between the lines and, in this way, such as lot is said.
Election is a fast-paced book, incredibly witty and enjoyable. I would highly recommend it. Check out the film too. It remains refreshingly loyal to the book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Amazon J on 6 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a deceptively simple book, and an easy read as well - I gobbled it up in one sitting. Tracy Flick appears a shoe-in for School President - until popular teacher, Mr M, persuades unambitious jock, Paul, to run. Essentially what is going on on the surface is fun but irrelevant - the novel operates as a parable for modern life - you are chasing the wrong thing, you are going after it for the wrong reasons, and even if you manage to get what you think you want, at best you will be only briefly happy. The titular election leaves all the characters worse off (except Paul's gf Lisa) - again echoing modern life, in that much is sad and downbeat.

Perrotta does a very good job of brevity, giving you short, punchy & easily readable, and letting absence define his characters without beating you over the head with it; Tracy, for example, left me sad and wanting to give her a big hug at the end, as she is clearly trying to fill the father filled void in her life, and has become an adult without even recognising the childhood / adolescence she missed out on.

So why only 3 stars? Well, with such a short book, there's a lot of tell and not show to quickly flesh out the characters - Mr M is a cool teacher, who everyone likes. Why? What subject does he even teach? There's a quick classroom cameo of him prompting kids to lean the right way, but it's very unsatisfactory - aren't there some kids who don't like him and his "I'm your good buddy" schtick? Similarly, it's really difficult to understand why Tracy is a real prospect to win the election once other candidates emerge - she has no friends or support base.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By International Cowgirl VINE VOICE on 7 Sept. 2007
Format: Paperback
It's a little bit 'blink and you'll miss it' but this snappy tale about the mayhem caused by a school election is definitely worth devoting a couple of hours to. Coming in at two hundred pages and fairly spacious print, it's pretty much a short story in terms of content. Perrotta spins it out a bit with an unusual 'talking heads' format that passes the baton from one narrator to another, sometimes only for a page or two. There's 'Mr M', the teacher who first sets the ball rolling; Paul Warren, the jock with hidden depths; intellectual Lisa Flanagan; Paul's sister Tammy, nursing a massive crush on Lisa - and then of course there's über-student Tracy Flick, with the really great, um, posterior and the kind of naked ambition once seen wearing a cone-shaped bra.

There's plenty of scandal here but in spite of its title Election has more to say about human relationships than political intrigue. This is a book about secrets. Everyone's hiding something, and the bad guys are just the ones who get found out. Deceptively simple, this book has the ring of spontaneity to it...which in actual fact is probably down to very careful editing. It's a breezy but effective read, fairly similar in tone to the (pretty decent) film version. Great stuff, but for something a little meatier try one of his later novels,`Little Children'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By finalguy on 21 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you wished to read this book after seeing the movie, I can honestly say that there is no need. The movie captures everything in the book and actually improves on it somewhat, the only difference to them is a slight change to the ending (of which I preferred the movie's more).
All of the characters each get their individual chapters and passages throughout the novel and it quickly becomes clear who are the more 'favourite' POV's are and who's chapters you just want to get through. Also, despite being possibly the standout character in the book, Tracy Flick seems to get decidedly less of a page count in comparison to some of the others, which left me disappointed.

Overall, an enjoyable book that you can power through in around two hours...but you could probably just watch the movie in that time and have about as much fun.
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By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 20 July 2014
Format: Paperback
Enjoyable, though not without it’s low points, this is the story of an American High School’s election for president of the school. The annoying Tracey Flick is certain she is going to win. She’s smart, popular – among a percentage of the school population that comes across as those without much initiative of their own. She also slept with one of her teachers, but the blame landed squarely on him and she worked hard to regain her popularity. The teacher was quietly sacked and it seems that Tracey got away with it without much approbation attaching to her.

This book was made into a very good film, though it’s slightly distracting that I have to say that the film is better than the book.

The format of this book is a series of events in shortish sections that move the plot along quite nicely, though I thought there was a tendency to skim the surface of certain plot lines. Although there is quite a lot going on, one tends to want even more explanation than we get. This makes me wonder if the original was a screenplay, and the book was something of an afterthought. I did enjoy these segments of American High School angst and anxiety. But the hero, if such he could be called, deserved more writing time. He and his wife are trying for a baby, but it’s leaving their sex life as a matter of rote and he conceives a passion for another woman, although that is quickly revealed to be a passing thing.

The sections all work to reveal a variety of passions and hormonal escapades as well as the course of the school presidential election. But our hero Mr M makes a fatal error in his role as overseer of the election. Bright, funny, sharp as a knife, this is an excellent read.
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