The Downhill Lie by Carl Hiaasen

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Originally drawn to the game by his father, Carl Hiaasen wisely quit golfing in 1973. But some ambitions refuse to die, and as the years–and memories of shanked 7-irons faded, it dawned on Carl that there might be one thing in life he could do better in middle age than he could as a youth. So gradually he ventured back to the dreaded driving range, this time as the father of a five-year-old son–and also as a grandfather.
“What possesses a man to return in midlife to a game at which he’d never excelled in his prime, and which in fact had dealt him mostly failure, angst and exasperation? Here’s why I did it: I’m one sick bastard.” And thus we have Carl’s foray into a world of baffling titanium technology, high-priced golf gurus, bizarre infomercial gimmicks and the mind-bending phenomenon of Tiger Woods; a maddening universe of hooks and slices where Carl ultimately–and foolishly–agrees to compete in a country-club tournament against players who can actually hit the ball. “That’s the secret of the sport’s infernal seduction,” he writes. “It surrenders just enough good shots to let you talk yourself out of quitting.”

Hiaasen’s chronicle of his shaky return to this bedeviling pastime and the ensuing demolition of his self-esteem–culminating with the savage 45-hole tournament–will have you rolling with laughter. Yet the bittersweet memories of playing with his own father and the glow he feels when watching his own young son belt the ball down the fairway will also touch your heart. Forget Tiger, Phil and Ernie. If you want to understand the true lure of golf, turn to Carl Hiaasen, who offers an extraordinary audiobook for the ordinary hacker.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Carl Hiaasen's Bad Monkey.

About Carl Hiaasen

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Carl Hiaasen has been writing about Florida since his father gave him a typewriter at age six. Then it was hunt-and-peck stories about neighborhood kickball and softball games. Now Hiaasen writes a column for the Miami Herald and is the author of many bestselling novels, including Sick Puppy and Nature Girl.Hoot, Hiaasen's first novel for young readers, was the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Newbery Honor. And Flush, his second book for kids, spent more than a year on the New York Times bestseller list. You can read more about Hiaasen's work at
Published May 13, 2008 by Vintage. 226 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Sports & Outdoors, Literature & Fiction, History, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Downhill Lie

The New York Times

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Carl Hiaasen’s new book is part memoir, part golf diary.

May 06 2008 | Read Full Review of The Downhill Lie

The New York Times

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Even for a writer as endearing as Carl Hiaasen, this old-guy sports memoir is an iffy proposition.

May 19 2008 | Read Full Review of The Downhill Lie

Publishers Weekly

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Hiaasen (Skinny Dip ), an admittedly woeful golfer, recounts his clumsy resumption of the game after a 32-year layoff. Why did he take up golf so long after quitt

Mar 03 2008 | Read Full Review of The Downhill Lie

Publishers Weekly

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Everybody knows how funny Hiaasen can be in print, but unfortunately something not so funny happens when he reads his own book about starting up again as a golfer after dropping the sport 32 years

Jun 30 2008 | Read Full Review of The Downhill Lie

Book Reporter

golfing dad, or the book to take along on your next golfing trip.

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Downhill Lie

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