Monday, May 19, 2008

NYT review of Hiaasen's golf book - Ouch!

The New York Times has a review Carl Hiaasen's golf book, “The Downhill Lie” in the paper today.

It's the second review of his book in the Times in two weeks.

He's probably wishing that they'd stopped with the first.

Carl Hiaasen is a great journalist and a great writer but odds were some point he was going to roll snake eyes or least bogey with one of his books.

Don't worry about Carl. He can do no wrong here in Miami and the book is #9 on the NYT bestseller list. He'll be be just fine.

But he'll probably wince when he reads these lines in Janet Maslin's review today:

  • "Who wants to read sentences like this: 'In the midst of butchering a long par-4, I improbably holed out a full 7-iron for a birdie?'"

  • "Who cares to discover that the shaft of one of Mr. Hiaasen’s golf clubs is whippy?"

  • "Who wants to be prey to the Father’s Day hucksterism of Mr. Hiaasen’s pretty little pink-and-green gift item for golfers, 'The Downhill Lie?'"

  • "The ordinarily snappy author now identifies himself as a golf-loving grandpa with a bum knee, an apparent midlife crisis and a cadre of Knopf editors happy to indulge him in “The Downhill Lie” as a boondoggle. One of them played golf with Mr. Hiaasen. Another kept reminding the writer that the worse he played, the more amusingly he could write. His material was skimpy enough for him to write the Knopf people into his story."


    However, for the same amount of money Janet Maslin got for writing that review I could have given the Times a much briefer and snappier review of the book. It probably would have gone something like this:
    "The only thing more boring than playing or watching golf is reading about it. Period!"

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