Book Review: The Downhill Lie

October 28, 2010

Though I generally do enough reading on a daily basis to never want to read anything “for pleasure,” Carl Hiaasen’s The Downhill Lie caught my eye.  Before I begin raving about the wonderful writing, (actually) laugh-out-loud jokes, and truly touching story that Hiaasen has composed, I should provide a disclaimer:  Hiaasen attended Emory University which is also my alma mater.   I have no shame in admitting that this fact is the reason I purchased this book from the $5 shelf at borders.  That fact aside,  I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in feeling better about their own golf game.

Hiaasen describes his return to golf after a 32-year long break.  His entry to golf, like many, was due to his father.  He entered the game as a boy and never really took to it.  Like many children, he found the game difficult and frustrating.  After his father passed, however, he felt as though this might be a way for him to reconnect with him through the game he loved.  With dry wit and imagery I have yet to find in another golf book, he describes his triumphs, travails, obsessions, and follies that nearly every person demented enough to play this game experiences.  Ultimately, Hiaasen concludes his journey by realizing that passing the game on to his own son is truly his “contribution” to golf.  If you have time, I highly recommend reading The Downhill Lie.

From the book flap: “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 has written an extraordinary book for the ordinary hacker.”

The Downhill Lie Book

Buy the book here

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