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Tracy Flick Can’t Win Bets On...

Tracy Flick Can’t Win

June 2022

There are times when I get a sneak peek at a book long before it comes out. That is what happened with Tom Perrotta’s TRACY FLICK CAN’T WIN, which I read last October. I completely disappeared into it on a warm Saturday afternoon on the deck.

Here, Tracy Flick is in line to become the new public school principal in a small town in New Jersey when the reigning principal, Jack Weede, announces his retirement to explore the country with his wife in a Winnebago. For a few moments, it looks like Tracy has it all nailed, and then… Well, Perrotta flips the story around again and again…and again. There were many laugh-out-loud moments, but more than that, I was in awe of his storytelling, which is both comic and so truthful. He shifted the story from chapter to chapter, which ramped up the pace and the action, and I just kept reading. He made me question the town’s heroes, as well as those with all the power. But in the end, it does feel like everyone got their due. Still, it was quite a rocky and brilliantly circuitous road to getting that done. It was crowned my first Bets On selection of 2022 way back then.

I had not read ELECTION, which was the earlier book featuring Tracy, but I confess to cheating and watching the movie starring Reese Witherspoon. I thought this was fair for two reasons: 1) Perrotta said in an interview that he did have Reese in his head as he wrote the second book, and 2) I could get access to the film quicker than the book; a quick scan on the umpteen channels on cable, and it was there. Now I have ELECTION here, and I am going to read it. Perrotta is that good; he has me reading a backlist title when my “to be read” stacks are glaring at me.

Read not only for the story, but for the storytelling…and because these days, don’t we all need a few laughs?

Tracy Flick Can't Win
by Tom Perrotta

  • Publication Date: June 13, 2023
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • ISBN-10: 1501144073
  • ISBN-13: 9781501144073