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The Downhill Lie: A Hacker's Return to a Ruinous Sport | [Carl Hiaasen]

The Downhill Lie: A Hacker's Return to a Ruinous Sport

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2008 Carl Hiaasen; (P)2008 Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"His analysis of his lessons, hapless rounds, and gimmicky golf equipment is hilarious, and his vivid descriptions are vintage Hiaasen...With the satirically skilled Hiaasen, who rarely breaks 90 on the links, this narrative is an enjoyable ride." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (54 )
5 star
 (7)
4 star
 (19)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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3.2 (15 )
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Story
4.0 (15 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    G. Cernicky PA 10-08-08
    G. Cernicky PA 10-08-08 Listener Since 2001

    pingeyez2

    HELPFUL VOTES
    54
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    77
    22
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    FOLLOWING
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    "Not a Bogie but a Birdie !"

    You don't have to be a golfnut to enjoy the book.It is filled with humor, lessons of life and an easy listen.
    It is the type of book that you can't stop reading/listening with the hope something good will happen to the main character, the author. Bringing in his friends makes it a real experience that can be identified with each swing of his many , assorted golf clubs.
    This book is a can't miss from beginning to end.This is my first book by this author and I can't wait to listen to the others.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margo Cottondale, AL, United States 01-31-12
    Margo Cottondale, AL, United States 01-31-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    5
    5
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    0
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    Story
    "A Downhill Lie, not your usual Hiaasen"
    What did you like best about The Downhill Lie? What did you like least?

    The book was entertaining, and the reading passably good. However, I rather expected the strange and tangential humor of the typical Hiaasen book, and it simply was not present. A good read for a golfer, but not for the mystery buff.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Rhys Bowen


    What does Carl Hiaasen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    an insider's view of golf


    Did The Downhill Lie inspire you to do anything?

    not really


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom Novato, CA, United States 11-07-13
    Tom Novato, CA, United States 11-07-13 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    "What a disappointment"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Anyone who wants to listen to book that talks about nothing but every golf shot he has made.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Anything but his. this book was extremely BORING. Could not finish it.


    What didn’t you like about Carl Hiaasen’s performance?

    Awful. Very disappointed. What ever happened to the crazy ex-governor in the Florida swamps?


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    None what so ever!!!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Toronto, Ontario, Canada 02-24-13
    Paul Toronto, Ontario, Canada 02-24-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Kina funny"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    It's a bit dated, being written before the fall of Tiger


    What could Carl Hiaasen have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Update it


    What does Carl Hiaasen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    i like his reading, always colourful


    Was The Downhill Lie worth the listening time?

    Sure


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven W. Robinson Indianapolis, IN, United States 06-25-12
    Steven W. Robinson Indianapolis, IN, United States 06-25-12 Member Since 2008

    IndyQuaz

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hacker Humor"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    My father told me about this book because, like the story it tells, I am a middle aged guy coming back to golf after years away. I had read a novel by Carl Hiaasen before, a light but fun story, and thought this might be fun too. At times it is; Hiaasen is a reasonably good writer and tries to use humor throughout. Parts of the book are quite funny. The only problem is that almost all of the humor is self deprecating, so a lot of moderately funny jokes tend to add up to an overall downer. Anyone who gets to play that much golf on that many nice courses should find a little bit more to be happy about.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail Jamieson 05-05-11

    Jewelry Artist

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    5
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    "I am not a golfer... Now I know why!"

    Thank you for writing this book... It proves to me that for some golfing is an experience in both the sport and the social aspects of the event. The author does an outstanding job explaning how golf (or any sport for that matter) can and will engulf your life and even pull in your loved members of your family and social network similar to a 'black hole'. Definitely a good listen for those who need either a push to golf (again) or a reason to stare.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Kerrville, TX, USA 03-02-09
    Kevin Kerrville, TX, USA 03-02-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    1
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    "NOT FOR ME"

    This book sucked. The constant, negative, repetitive self criticsim gets old fast. I can't stand his obvious liberal political bias that he peppers throughout the book. I wouldn't waste my time or money on this one.

    2 of 13 people found this review helpful
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