Extended Audio Sample

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

Extended Audio Sample The Downhill Lie: A Hackers Return to a Ruinous Sport Audiobook, by Carl Hiaasen Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.37 out of 53.37 out of 53.37 out of 53.37 out of 53.37 out of 5 3.37 (35 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Carl Hiaasen Narrator: Carl Hiaasen Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2008 ISBN: 9780739358320
Regular Price: $15.00 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $14.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

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.

Download and start listening now!

BK_RAND_001454

Quotes & Awards

  • This book is a return by Hiaasen to his best with the sport of golf providing the venue for his unique wit and biting humor. . . . Throughout, he spares no punches on himself. You feel his pain and frustration as he takes three steps forward and two back (usually in the rough). You’ll have many laugh-out-loud moments, either at his expense or the expense of those infected by his bad mojo. His fate is always believable and you never tire of his desire to improve (even if aided by questionable pharmaceuticals). You can even learn from his experiences. I don’t know if this book can help your stroke, but after reading about his golf cart fiasco, I’ve been much more diligent to set the emergency brake on my car. If you’ve never read Carl Hiaasen, this is a great place to start in that it requires no prerequisites, not even a working knowledge of golf. If you have read him before, this is a wonderful return to the magic (albeit voodoo) that is Carl Hiaasen. Scott Mayo, Decatur Daily

  • “…[Hiaasen’s] insights into the insane lengths a golfer will go to in hopes of a lower score are always entertaining. If you’ve been bitten by the golf bug, you’ll appreciate every moment of Hiaasen’s magnificent obsession. If you haven’t, read The Downhill Lie and laugh at those of us who have. Howard Shirley, Bookpage
  • “[Hiaasen] displays a fine-tuned sense of the absurd. . . . it brims with golf mania.
    –Janet Maslin, The New York Times
  • Any golfer on the downward side of middle age will be able to picture himself in the author’s soft-spiked shoes. And the foibles and embarrassments, as well as the joys, of casual and tournament golf ring true. Mark Graham, Rocky Mountain News
  • Memoir is new territory for him, but Hiaasen is Hiaasen. Fans of his bizarro novels will find his irony and sense of humor remain unaffected on the links. The Florida Times-Union
  • …a cleverly written, witty and sometimes wistful look at golf, marriage, human nature and life. Bob D'Angelo, The Tampa Tribune
  • Golfers in general tend to be self-critical, but Mr. Hiaasen is a self-lacerator. He doesn’t curse or throw his clubs, but he sighs a lot and asks existential questions like, “Why do we do this?” and “Why are we out here?” He plays the way you imagine Samuel Beckett might have played. He can’t go on, but he goes on. Charles McGrath, New York Times
  • 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
  • It has taken Carl Hiaasen to capture the essence of a game that, like the bagpipes and the kilt, was invented by the Irish and given to the Scots as a joke. Carl's dementia is kind of exquisite. He lampoons the most banal aspects of stodgy blue-blooded American country-club life. The simple act of buying a set of clubs gets the full Hiaasen treatment, and the guilt-ridden angst of the triangular love-hate relationship between himself, his drop-dead beautiful Greek wife, and the drop-dead-you-rotten-bastard Scotty Cameron putter she bought him, is alone worth the price of one for yourself and another for Father's Day. David Feherty

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark | 2/18/2014

    " If you like Hiassen's fiction books and you are a golfer, you will love this book. He is a wonderful writer "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Avis Black | 2/14/2014

    " Failed to be interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judi | 2/5/2014

    " Very entertaining. It will make me think twice about buying stuff to improve my game....though God know I need something! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 KA | 2/4/2014

    " Really funny - love Carl! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Betty | 2/3/2014

    " This book kept me laughing the whole way through! It is about golfing and I could imagine myself in every situation he got himself into. Loved it!Every golfer must read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Doug | 2/1/2014

    " A humorous The Old Man and the Sea for golfers. I should be more entertained by his amusing anecdotes, but it's hard to muster sympathy for a 50-year old guy who, after taking the game after 30 years, already has a lower handicap than me after 6 months. Cry me a river. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Marc | 1/20/2014

    " If you read the first 30 pages you have read the whole book. Although it had a couple humorous parts it was very reptitive and very boring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maggie | 1/8/2014

    " This was an amusing look at a newly-returned-to-the-sport, middle-aged golfer in Florida. Since I don't golf it was less informative than it might be to others, but still very entertaining. I got a little education about golf and the Florida links, and chuckled along the way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Doug | 12/29/2013

    " Fun book, eventhough I am not a golfer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 12/28/2013

    " Mostly for the golf lingo. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pete | 12/3/2013

    " Even if you don't care about golf, this is a fine book; it's fun to hang out with Hiaasen as he walks you through the pastime and its strange connotations. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karen | 11/11/2013

    " Hiaasen kvetches about his travails. It's amusing, but doesn't really have enough "plot" to make it a compelling read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jo Anne | 8/25/2013

    " Laughed my butt off! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jay | 4/29/2013

    " Hiaasen is probably my favorite author, but this isn't my favorite book. Basically his personal story of picking up the game of golf after a 30 year absence from the game. As always, he is hilarious, but this book is missing much of the satire that makes me love his writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Monte Lamb | 1/5/2013

    " A golfer returns to the sport after a 30 year hiatus and documents his journey to trying to become better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James | 10/27/2012

    " The frog golf was unbelievible "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 J.C. | 9/22/2012

    " A good little memoir about a sport that drives all us fans crazy. Hiaasen hits all the right notes regarding the love/hate/love relationship all us duffers go through. Makes me wanna get out to Cog and play a round before the snows hit "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 7/12/2012

    " A fantastically funny book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patrick | 4/11/2012

    " Entertaining read for anyone who has ever played golf. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve | 3/31/2012

    " Carl Hiaasen's story of his return to the game of golf after 3 decades away from the links. If you really like golf, you would enjoy this book. If you don't like golf or are not an avid player, you would probably be bored. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mr. George | 3/25/2012

    " a great read for a golfer. Lots of father/son golf reminisce passages and loads of golf nomemclature....so if you do not golf, do not readmthis book. a fair bit of blue language, but hey, that is golf. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liz | 3/24/2012

    " This had me bursting with laughter throughout. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sean | 2/15/2012

    " Still working this one. With very short and humorous chapters, this is more of a filler book for me. I'll finish it someday but for now just light reading when the mood strikes, usually before or after playing tiger woods golf on the wii. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Courtney | 6/28/2011

    " It was a cute silly story but lost my interest around pg220. Too many side stories that weren't that fun.
    I stopped reading it about 3/4 way through. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 6/22/2011

    " Not near as good as some of his others. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 6/19/2011

    " Crazy characters and lots of fun... Good beach read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Trish | 6/16/2011

    " For me, this was one of the best Hiaasen's ever! I laughed and then laughed again, feeling like he hit a major homerun with this one. Great characters that you can see perfectly and a story that is probably more true than many of today's so called "stars" would want to admit. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristen | 6/15/2011

    " I've read lots of Carl Hiaasen's books. He's laugh-out-loud funny. This one was decent, but it didn't hold my attention as much as some of his others. The best part might have had to do with a cattle prod. Naturally. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cyd | 6/13/2011

    " Really funny. I loved the torture dished out by Skink, it would be a great way to punish pedophiles. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Suzanne | 6/13/2011

    " a fun read, but not one of his best "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jacqueline | 6/9/2011

    " I love Carl Hiaasen's offbeat sense of humor. The novel got off to a great start
    but fizzled out a bit later. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 bobby | 6/8/2011

    " how does he make up this stuff? you will laugh til you hurt. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jackie | 6/7/2011

    " Amusing, but not his best stuff. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Voracious | 6/4/2011

    " Slick, but not really my cup of tea. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cynthia | 5/27/2011

    " not his best, but funny and quirky, as only CH can be "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Carl Hiaasen

Carl Hiaasen is a successful journalist and novelist. He is a writer and investigative reporter for the Miami Herald, and his work has appeared in Time, Life, Esquire, Playboy, Gourmet, and Sports Illustrated. His earliest novels—Powder Burn, Trap Line, and A Death In China—were cowritten with fellow journalist Bill Montalbano. Since then, he has written books in a variety of genres. His novel Strip Tease was made into a movie in 1996, and his young adult novel Hoot, a Newbery honoree, was made into a movie in May 2006. A number of Hiassen’s works have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list, including Star Island, Chomp, Sick Puppy, and Scat. In addition to being a writer, Hiassen is also a public speaker. He lives in Florida with his family.