Author: Tom Perrotta
Genre: Literary Fiction
Number of Pages: 200
This book was adapted into a very popular film with Reese Witherspoon but I haven’t seen it yet; this time I was good and read the book first. Election is a misanthropic dark comedy about a selfish wannabe ‘good guy’ high school teacher and his rivalry with teenage psycho-overachiever Tracy Flick. On of my favorite things about this book was the writing style.
I love how Tom Perrotta has such witty conversational prose and he has an amazing ear for dialogue. I knew I really liked Perrotta’s writing style when I read his novel Little Children but I think this is the better of the two books. Most of the characters in this book are unlikable, especially the men (I can’t help if Perrotta’s wife is disturbed by his portrayal of ‘average’ American men and their behavior.)
At first I felt inclined to sympathize with the main character, Mr. M, but then I began to realize he was a more sanctimonious version of the dickheads around him. On the other hand, I hated Tracy Flick at first but at a certain point I started to feel sorry for her. Almost nobody in this novel are 100% good or bad and I loved how the dynamic was always shifting and giving the reader a different perspective on various characters. Election has short chapters told from the perspective of different characters and it was a very quick and easy read, but also thought-provoking.