Assume the Worst: The Graduation Speech You'll Never Hear

Assume the Worst: The Graduation Speech You'll Never Hear

This is Oh, the Places You’ll Never Go–the ultimate hilarious, cynical, but absolutely realistic view of a college graduate’s future. And what he or she can or can’t do about it.

“This commencement address will never be given, because graduation speakers are supposed to offer encouragement and inspiration. That’s not what you need. You need a warning.”

So begins Carl Hiaasen’s attempt to prepare young men and women for their future. And who better to warn them about their precarious paths forward than Carl Hiaasen? The answer, after reading Assume the Worst, is: Nobody.

And who better to illustrate–and with those illustrations, expand upon and cement Hiaasen’s cynical point of view–than Roz Chast, best-selling author/illustrator and National Book Award winner? The answer again is easy: Nobody.

Following the format of Anna Quindlen’s commencement address (Being Perfect) and George Saunders’s commencement address (Congratulations, by the way), the collaboration of Hiaasen and Chast might look typical from the outside, but inside it is anything but.

This book is bound to be a classic, sold year after year come graduation time. Although it’s also a good gift for anyone starting a job, getting married, or recently released from prison. Because it is not just funny. It is, in its own Hiaasen way, extremely wise and even hopeful. Well, it might not be full of hope, but there are certainly enough slivers of the stuff in there to more than keep us all going.

Title:Assume the Worst: The Graduation Speech You'll Never Hear
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780525655015
Format Type:

About Carl Hiaasen

Carl Hiaasen was born and raised in Florida. After graduating from the University of Florida, he began writing for the Miami Herald. As a journalist and author, Carl has spend most of his life advocating the protection of the Florida Everglades. He and his family still live in southern Florida.


    Assume the Worst: The Graduation Speech You'll Never Hear Reviews

  • Sheri

    An easy and super short read with valuable advice. Many of today’s graduates are caught up in a fantasy world filled with positive promises and unrealistic expectations. But life is not all sunshine...

  • Steve

    I like Carl Hiaasen's fiction, but this is complete crap. Total money-grubbing and not even remotely humorous....

  • Ms. Yingling

    Public library copyOh, I don't know. If you can' be happy and optimistic when you graduate from high school or college, when can you be? Life wears us down quickly enough. While I agree with Hiaasen c...

  • J

    Read this because I'm graduating college next week and saw it on the library shelf. It's literally nothing I haven't already felt, so I didn't get anything from this. Apparently I already assume the w...

  • Mayda

    You might want to take this book with the proverbial grain of salt. There are a nuggets of good advice, interspersed with satirical humor, but other admonitions should probably be ignored. Contrary to...

  • Cheryl

    Carl Hiaasen shares his thoughts about commencement addresses in this short little book. His advice to commencement speakers is to do away with the cliches- - “lame platitudes”- - used in traditio...

  • Lois R. Gross

    I certainly hope that novelist Carl Hiassen is wrong and he actually does get to give this commencement speech to a group of newly minted graduates because it's probably the only truth they will hear ...

  • Sidney

    Hiassen is one of my favorite authors. This quick (and very snarky) advice to college grads is hilarious (and true)! Bought the book to give to son's fiancé next week for college graduation but had t...

  • Sean Farrell

    Typical graduation speeches are full of platitudes and seemingly sage advice, all designed to make the listener feel special. Author Carl Hiaasen thinks that might not be the best way to go, and inste...

  • RH Walters

    "Society has been deeply divided before, but never has it been so insanely distracted." I like these two writers very much, and enjoyed this quick breakfast of Weltschmerz this morning. Although Hiaas...