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The Downhill Lie: A Hacker's Return to a Ruinous Sport
Synopses & Reviews
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 hed never excelled in his prime, and which in fact had dealt him mostly failure, angst and exasperation? Heres why I did it: Im one sick bastard.” And thus we have Carls 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. “Thats the secret of the sports infernal seduction,” he writes. “It surrenders just enough good shots to let you talk yourself out of quitting.”
Hiaasens 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.
"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 ago. Sentences that get a chuckle on the page sound pretentious or flat. Even though Hiaasen is reading his own material, his delivery is not relaxed and sounds stilted and actorish. There's some touching stuff as Hiaasen talks about his childhood memories of playing golf with his father, who died early, and real anger as he talks about how overdevelopment and crooked golf junkets are doing serious damage to his beloved Florida. But your money may be better spent buying several of the author's wacky mysteries — or a lesson from a golf pro. A Knopf hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 3). (May)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Carl Hiaasen was born and raised in Florida. He is the author of fourteen novels and two childrens books. He also writes a weekly column for The Miami Herald.
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