Media Center: ‘Assume the Worst’ by Carl Hiaasen

Media Center: ‘Assume the Worst’ by Carl Hiaasen

WHO: Carl Hiaasen

The Graduation Speech You Will Never Hear

WHEN: Published by Knopf April 10, 2018

WHERE: Hiaasen was born and raised and currently lives in Florida.

WHY: The book is also illustrated by Roz Chast.


Assume the Worst To Be Illustrated by Roz Chast

Number-one bestselling author Carl Hiaasen has written a somewhat unlikely book for graduates, ASSUME THE WORST: The Graduation Speech You’ll Never Hear, and it will be illustrated by New Yorker contributor and bestselling author Roz Chast. The book will be published by Alfred A. Knopf in April, in hardcover and ebook. The audio will be published by Penguin Random House, and it will be read by the author. The announcement was made today by Sonny Mehta, Knopf Editor-in-Chief and Hiaasen’s longtime editor.

ASSUME THE WORST presents Hiaasen’s unique assessment of the world and his honest life template for graduates as they plan for their futures. In the book, Hiaasen dispenses practical advice and oddly comforting wisdom, but not before sounding an alarm. “Graduation speakers are supposed to offer encouragement and inspiration,” Hiaasen writes, “That’s not what you need. You need a warning.” A warning. He is not kidding.

“If I were actually standing at a podium,” Hiaasen continues, “looking out at a sea of young hope-filled faces, I’d begin with a raw appraisal of the real world: It’s pretty f*cked up. It was f*cked up when I graduated, too, but not this bad. Our vernacular contained no such terms as ‘active shooter,’ ‘ISIS-inspired,’ or ‘viral cat video.’”

Among the pearls of wisdom Hiaasen dispenses in the book:

·“I’m not saying you shouldn’t dream of making an impact. Just understand the odds are stacked against you.”

·“Anyone who tells you the sky’s the limit is blowing smoke up your ass.”

·“If you’re searching for a spiritual pathway to serenity, ask your yoga teacher.”

“One can only imagine the response from college deans on the hunt for commencement speakers,” said Mehta. “It is the graduation book we’ve long been waiting for. It finally tells graduates the truth.”

ASSUME THE WORST is vintage Hiaasen – full of astute observations, and caustic humor, and devoid of sanctimony. It offers graduates a clear-eyed assessment of the world they are about to inherit. Roz Chast’s illustrations perfectly amplify Hiaasen’s vision.

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Carl Hiaasen graduation book coming in April

Carl Hiaasen will be available for interviews in connection with the publication of ASSUME THE WORST.

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Media Resources:
About the book and author | Download photo of Carl Hiaasen (by Quinn Hiaasen) | Download photo of Roz Chast (by Bill Hayes)

Knopf. With 25 illustrations by Roz Chaste.
64 pages. $15 ISBN 978-0-525-65501-5

For more information, contact:
Erinn Hartman | 212-572-2345 |