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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.

Critic Reviews

"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)

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What listeners say about The Downhill Lie

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

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

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Hiassen at his best

One of the best accounts on the sport of golf written and fantastic for those of us who like to play, but don't play particularly well. Hiassen is an amazing writer and - as it turns out - a pretty good reader as well. Not a great book for non-golfers - - you'd be better trying one of his other works - - but one I can't recommend enough to anyone who has ever wrapped their putter around a tree.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Sadomasochism at its finest

I love reading Hiaasen. Lots of humor mixed with some semblance of reality. However, not in this book. The more he prattled on and on about his golf game, the more I wished he would’ve been hit by a bolt of lightning or attacked by an alligator. Actually, I would have preferred a book about playing golf with his son, Quinn. That would have been infinitely more enjoyable. Sadly, that is not this book. At least he gets an extra star for having the resolve to read his own writing

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One Man’s Hilarious Journey With Golf!

As a Carl Hiaasen fan, and a retread golfer, I enjoyed the stories of his pursuit of golf.

Filled with his patented dry wit and self deprecation, he chronicled his journey, which definitely describes golfers at many levels - their superstitions, pursuit of the “next BIG thing” to help their game, etc.

I saw myself and friends in his story. It’s a great read for anyone who #livesoverpar.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

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!!!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful