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Don't Tell Mom I Work on the Rigs: She Thinks I'm a Piano Player in a Whorehouse

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,844 Ratings  ·  230 Reviews
Since age 18, Paul Carter has worked on oil rigs in locations as far flung as the Middle East, Columbia, the North Sea, Borneo, Tunisia, Sumatra, Vietnam, Nigeria, Russia, and many others ? and heOCOs survived (so far!) to tell stories from the edge of civilization (places, as it happens, upon which most of our lives rely).
Carter has been shot at, hijacked and held hostage
ebook, 225 pages
Published May 14th 2014 by Da Capo Press (first published August 1st 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,997)
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Robert Dunning
Dec 11, 2007 Robert Dunning rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone in the chemical/oil industry
Shelves: humour, favorites
This book killed many a boring hour on my recent trip to a job in Malaysia in the chemical industry. I laughed out loud from beginning to end with the authors stories from his experiences of the oil platform business and related very easily with it.

I learnt alot from reading this including scorpions can commit suicide, rainforests should be protected and that you should always drink bottled water when abroad!

It was also good to read how the author relates to the places he has visited and how
David Sederis would kill for this material, thought he'd probably be killed getting it which would mean no book. That would be unfortunate if Sederis was writing it. Carter, meanwhile, demonstrates that great material does not great writing make. Which is too bad, because there is some truly great material in here.
Marco Pavan
Feb 09, 2016 Marco Pavan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I need a new face because after reading this book I laughed mine off... I loved every single story Pauli shared in this book and i really liked the authenticity he used to describe the oddest scenarios. Simple but extremely effective, my favorite way of reading.
Peter Derk
First, know what you're getting here. Not an indictment of the oil industry or anything like that. A series of amusing tales related to working on oil rigs in some pretty wild locations.

It's compulsively readable. Sort of like I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell except you don't get that feeling that the author is trying to explain how awesome he is at any point. There are shit stories, more than one story about a monkey (although if we're going to get picky, one story is about an orangutan, which is
Jan 04, 2011 zespri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was totally hilarious!! Wonderful holiday reading, I used it as a reward whilst shifting house!! Ok, clean another room - you get to read a chapter, pack a few boxes you get two chapters.....

Paul Carter works in the oil industry, and the book is like a succession of boy's own adventures, or the plot of a Cohen movie where the real becomes the bizarre, and I kept thinking 'did that really happen!"

Just one little taster - this apparently occurred in the jungle in Borneo.

"Nothing in the j
Sam Still Reading
Jul 03, 2011 Sam Still Reading rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like funny books
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: my mum
My mother laughed uproariously throughout this book, then thrust it into my hands and said, ‘You must read this’. When she saw that I was planning to read it on the train, she was worried. ‘You might laugh too much’.

There are some hilarious points to this book, one of them involving a clever monkey and a key, others involving boyish hijinks on an oil rig. There are serious points too (such as what accidents can happen on a rig) but Carter makes this a light-hearted, fun read. Following the oil a
Jun 22, 2013 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has been in my to read list for a while but i cant remember why i added it. I think I heard a radio interview with the author but maybe the title just caught my attention.
This book is an easy read and mildly amusing. I'd recommend it more to men who don't read very often. Lots of fart and poop jokes and stories of getting drunk and into bar fights. Probably not my usual thing. My favorite part was the monkey who smoked a pack a day.
This memoir shares a lot about oil rigs and the cul
It's been a while since I laughed so hard that I rolled on the floor -literally- and cried from reading a book.

The best part of being around the world, in my opinion, is that you meet like a lot of freaking awesome people to a total a**holes out there. In case you haven't realise it, ignorant fools existed in every society.

What I noticed about Pauli, like when he shared the 'mischiefs' of some Saturation divers did when they're bored during a job in Brunei -getting drunk, sneaking into the Mosqu
Aug 23, 2010 Lin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, non-fiction
I picked up this book simply because it obviously has an awesome title.

Anyway. Since I was little I read more books than any kid probably should (I would go through approximately 5 per week... hey, I do live in a country where it rains a lot you know) and I always found that reading was an excellent way to go places without, you know, actually going places. This book took me places I most definately would never want to actually go to, even if it's just because, you know, I would actually like to
Amar Pai
"Guns are as common a sight in Nigeria as mobile phones are in Los Angeles. In this respect the Nigerians put even the Americans to shame— but, no wait, guns don't kill people, people kill people right? Oscar de driva always had his mobile phone and his gun on him. I thought Nokia should develop a camera/gun, or a phone/gun, or even a gun/phone/camera. There would be massive sales in west Africa."
Nov 26, 2012 Pete rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 09, 2011 Kristyh rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jerms O'Flynn
Feb 16, 2015 Jerms O'Flynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Got a solid laugh out of this one. Alcohol and danger-fuelled mayhem is one way to describe it.
Shihab Azhar
Feb 17, 2014 Shihab Azhar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"“Put a combination of twenty guys like that in a rundown backwater bar in some Godforsaken corner of the world miles from anywhere remotely ‘civilised’, throw in a civil war, a donkey, some festering prostitutes, and anything can happen.”
Excerpt From: Carter, Paul. “Don't Tell Mum I Work on the Rigs.” Allen & Unwin Pty Ltd.

Someone below used the word uproarious - that is perhaps the only way to describe this book. I read it in less than 5 hours, and I probably could have finished it sooner
Aug 14, 2014 Kayla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, unlike other biographies I have read, this was really easy and interesting to read. I found it read more like a novel filled with interesting, funny and unusual moments through Paul's life.

WARNING READERS WITH WEAK STOMACHS: some parts in this novel are explained in perhaps a bit too much detail, I am normally fine with a bit of gore, but I found myself feeling quite ill reading some parts, whether that is due to an overactive imagination I'm not sure but keep it in
Forsyth T
A hilarious collection of stories you'd want to hear told in the pub. In fact reading it felt more like that than getting immersed in a book. Genuinely laugh out loud funny, I finished it in an afternoon. It's not subtle, cleverly written or a literary masterpiece. What it is though, is funny as fuck. You truly couldn't make up the stories he has to tell. Outrageous.
John Weeks
A view from the other side: we're all trying to kick the oil habit, what about those who actually work in the industry? Slice of life tales, practically transcribed in a pub. (Not that that's a bad thing.)
Gavin Smith
Ok, so here's the thing: I grew up in Aberdeen. My dad worked for BP. Many of my friends' dads also worked offshore. Many of those friends work offshore now. And I have heard some of these stories before. Quite a few of them are regularly repeated offshore versions of urban legends. So, either Paul Carter is some kind of mythical source for offshore legends, or he's a little prone to exaggeration. Don't Tell Mum I Work on the Rigs... is still an entertaining read and it will kill a few hours on ...more
Holly Anderson
Absolutely hilarious!
So many moments throughout that were truly scary, gruesome, funny, and sad.
I couldn't get enough of this book!!!
Angela Oliver
Quite a gritty read, with a slightly oily flavour to it and some darkly juvenile humour. Carter's early working life was certainly very interesting and makes for a rather gripping read. Some of the parts were a little too crude, parts of it made me shudder, but I found it entirely too compelling and stayed up far later than intended. The rigs are no easy place to work, and Carter's lifestyle is certainly not for the faint of heart. The chapter in Nigeria was particularly harrowing. The character ...more
This was an entertaining book. It is written in an episodic style where each chapter deals with a different period in the author's life. The infrastructure and resources needed to get the oil from source is shown in the various stories and it seemed like the oil rig workers are like cowboys, going for months on end in the field before returning to their families. The writing is presented as if the author is sitting down to tell the stories to the reader in person, very engaging and easy to read. ...more
Chris Bentley
Mar 21, 2013 Chris Bentley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book saved me from what could have been the most tedious journey of my teenage years. Returning to Asia from boarding school I got to the airport and realised I had packed nothing to read. Faced with the usual dreck on sale in the Brisbane airport book stores I picked up the cheapest paperback I could find.
Don't tell mum I work on the rigs was such a fun read I look back on the first half of that plane journey almost fondly. It's a must read for anyone who's taking the time to travel into
Nov 13, 2012 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
PROMISINGLY (in my juvenile estimation) this book begins with the tale of an involuntary bowel movement localised in the author's undies. Put delicately the author "follows through" at the beginning of an eight-hour flight to Singapore.

This high-altitude nightmare is acutely humiliating for Carter and as a result it's also acutely funny. It's schadenfreude at its basest but infinitely funnier because it's not German.

Carter, or "Pauli", as he refers to himself, is an oil rig contractor and he's s
Aug 31, 2015 Meg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any non-field people in or interested in the oil/gas industry
Shelves: memoir, humor, non-fiction
Having spent years around former oil industry field engineers, listening and laughing at their outrageous stories, I assumed that a complete published book of such tales must certainly be amusing. I was not disappointed, and a few of Carter's anecdotes are well beyond even the most outlandish and ridiculous stories I've heard.

The format of the book is quick-paced, and I picked it up expecting little more than a collection of episodic events, more akin to short stories than to a typical memoir. F
Abhinav Ka
The title is misleading, but catchy. I had this feeling that it refers to the author - well, it doesn't. 'Cos, his mother used to work in the oil industry, anyway.

The title is what made me curious about this book. Carter has written it well, his experiences in rigs around the world is pretty amazing. There are some pretty decent laughs. But overall, the book lacks a punch. An okay read for someone who needs a change from the usual fiction stuff.
First off, let’s do this book a favour by giving you its full title – Don’t Tell Mum I Work On The Rigs, She Thinks I’m A Piano Player In A Whorehouse. I couldn’t use the full title because it breaks WordPress – I don’t think much of it as a title, purely because of its length, but I do appreciate the reasoning behind it. It is indeed a memoir about life on the oil rigs, and the slogan in the title is taken from a popular sticker for bikers.

It was interesting enough, if a little unbelievable at
May 14, 2008 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jen by: my husband
My husband read this book and handed it to me when he finished it with these instructions: "You have GOT to read this book!"

The author is an Australian bloke who spent a good portion of his life working on the oil rigs. He shares a lot of stories from his personal life. Lots of really funny stuff -- and lots of stories that make you wonder what th' ... ???

You don't have to have an understanding of how the oil rigs work when you pick this book up, but it probably helps. He does a pretty good job
Mirko Liang
I have an emotional connection to this book as it reminds me of the time spent in Australia. After I got it at a mall I was stopped TWICE by passers-by who wanted to tell me how funny it was. It provides a set of unusual situations happened in unusual places. I'm not convinced about the structure, it basically starts as an autobiography: not extremely engaging. It gets better later on though. Laughters guaranteed.
Jun 19, 2013 Adriana rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, 2013
I seem to suffer from a gross lack of attention to detail. Yet again, I have stumbled onto a memoir which I had thought a work of fiction when I first picked it up. Once is forgivable. Twice is carelessness. But three times - like I said, gross lack of attention to detail.

In any event, it was an engaging enough read. Mr. Carter recounts his experiences working on oil rigs throughout the world in a very light hearted and amusing way. His tone is a stark contrast to the dangers he described with
Bette Worcester
Jun 21, 2014 Bette Worcester rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this for a book club. Kept looking for the reason Carter may have written this book. I did become more familiar with the world of rigging which isolates the rigger, but that was about the only value to me as most of the book & humor involved "poo", vomit, serious injury, violence, mistreatment of animals and alcohol binges. These things are not humorous to me nor things I like to dwell on.
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Paul Carter was born in England in 1969. His father's military career had the family moving all over the world, re-locating every few years. Paul has lived, worked, gotten into trouble and been given a serious talking to in England, Scotland, Germany, France, Holland, Norway, Portugal, Tunisia, Australia, Nigeria, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia, Borneo, Columbia, Vietnam, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, ...more
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“the bureaucracy gets ridiculous and the legal implications of opening your mouth has you more concerned about losing your job than actually solving the problem.” 0 likes
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