Assume the Worst: The Graduation Speech You'll Never Hear (Hardcover)
On Our Shelves Now
With illustrations by Roz Chast.
Accurate. Timely. Yep, you won’t hear this at a graduation, but it is important to hear. Unflinching and if not inspiring, kind of refreshing…which is better, sometimes.— From Sarah B.'s Staff Picks
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.
About the Author
CARL HIAASEN was born and raised in Florida. He is the author of fourteen previous novels, including the best sellers Bad Monkey, Lucky You, Nature Girl, Razor Girl, Sick Puppy, Skinny Dip, Star Island, and five best-selling children's books, Chomp, Flush, Hoot, Scat, and Skink. His most recent work of nonfiction is Dance of the Reptiles, a collection of his columns from The Miami Herald.
ROZ CHAST grew up in Brooklyn. Her cartoons began appearing in The New Yorker in 1978, where she has since published more than one thousand. She wrote and illustrated, most recently, Going Into Town; the #1 New York Times best seller Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, a National Book Critics Circle Award and Kirkus Prize winner and a finalist for the National Book Award; What I Hate: From A to Z; and her cartoon collections The Party, After You Left and Theories of Everything.
“Pointed and humorous; a good gift for the neighbor's kid's graduation.”
"You will be tempted to carry it around forever in your back pocket as a quick reference guide for life. Think of this book as the pocket edition of the Dead Sea Scrolls.”
"A book that everyone who’s changing course must read."
—The Florida Times-Union
"Young people graduating from high school or college this year can count themselves lucky if someone gives them this book as a gift."
—Tampa Bay Times