Micro-Review #96: Tracy Flick Can’t Win

by Tom Perrotta

Perrotta’s 8th novel reintroduces us to the eternally ambitious main character from his 1998 novel Election. Tracy Flick is now an assistant principal who’s dying for a promotion. Obstacles stand in her way, but if there’s one thing we know about Tracy, she doesn’t quit.

The hallmarks of Perrotta’s best novels are all here: sympathetic everyman characters, sharp snapshots of suburbia, and a lingering feel that things aren’t quite right but that at least people are doing the best they can. The ending feels forced—a ripped-from-the-headlines development shoehorned into a story that’s about something else—but no one does middle-class American culture better than Perrotta. The book, like Tracy, is a winner. Reviewed on Sept. 22, 2022

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