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Election Paperback – Bargain Price, October 1, 1998

3.9 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews

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Paperback, Bargain Price, October 1, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Tom Perrotta is a remarkably astute observer and writer of the adolescent experience. His Bad Haircut: Stories of the Seventies is a delightful collection of coming-of-age stories, which give insight into the joys and agonies of adolescence. In Perrotta's first full-length novel The Wishbones, a 31-year-old musician can't quite cope with the responsibilities of adulthood and instead lives an extended adolescence. Perrotta's much-anticipated second novel Election again successfully ventures into the adolescent psyche.

The book is set in a New Jersey high school amidst a hotbed of political activity: students are voting for their school president. Perrotta's cast of characters are exaggerated but convincing. They convey adolescence as it often is--sometimes painful and frequently awkward. Tracy is the popular girl, smart and pretty, but she isn't quite as perfect as her classmates assume. A sordid affair with a teacher lurks in the shadows. Paul is the jovial football jock, but his parent's divorce has left him hurt and vulnerable. Then there is Paul's younger and geekier sister Tammy, the tormented underdog struggling with her sexuality. Plot develops through a series of mini-chapters, narrated by the main protagonists. There are also frequent interjections from Mr. M, the all-around good teacher every kid loves--the kind of teacher Hollywood loves to enshrine in sentimental flicks. A genuine crescendo of excitement and anticipation consumes the reader, as we eagerly await who has won the election. This is a novel of teenagers on the brink of adulthood, and is probably best appreciated by grownups with enough perspective on their own adolescent experiences to be able to take the bitter with the sweet.

From Publishers Weekly

A far cry from Sweet Valley High, this wry, engaging story of a 1992 high-school election in a New Jersey town "a couple of exits" away from Glen Ridge is observant and sly, if less amusing than the battles over pop-musical taste in Perrotta's quirkily humorous first novel, The Wishbones. The candidates for school presidency of Winwood High are an uninspiring bunch campaigning for what almost everybody knows is an empty office. Ambitious Tracy Flick is a hot bundle of raw political ambition and a bad reputation, who campaigns with cupcakes against Paul Warren, a jock with a pretty face and high PSAT scores who is urged to run by his history teacher (and sometime narrator) Jim McAllister. Paul's nihilistic sister Tammy (who enters the race in a despairing rage because she's in love with Paul's girlfriend) is the single fresh and original character here?and she gets herself suspended before Election Day. The results are blessedly far from feel-good, and Perrotta casts a wonderfully cool eye on his ostensible protagonist, "Mr. M.," even if the hints of true political satire remain just that, tantalizing hints. Despite six alternating narrators, this is a simple, spare story?designed, perhaps, with moviegoers in mind as well as readers. (Mar.) FYI: A movie version already is in production with MTV Films/Paramount, featuring Matthew Broderick as McAllister.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade; First Printing edition (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425167283
  • ASIN: B001R23FSE
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,243,873 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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