Even though the free classics dried up a while ago, The Times have still been occasionally giving away paperbacks, and recently did a “Summer reads” week. I was pleased to see Tom Perrotta’s Election was one of these as I remembered really enjoying the film adaptation. Written in 1998 but set a few years earlier at the end of George Bush Sr’s presidency, it’s an American High School story that doubles as a gentle political satire. Told in the first person by all the main characters, a few pages at a time, it sees History teacher Mr M, in charge of the election for school president, going to any lengths to stop the ultra-ambitious Tracy Flick, against whom he has a personal vendetta, from winning the election. It’s warm-hearted and funny, and the fact that you get everybody’s side of the story means you even get to sympathise with the terrifying Tracy. I laughed out loud a couple of times but I did find the whole thing a bit too short, it seemed to finish before it had barely begun.