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

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  1,492 ratings  ·  206 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 March 1st 2009 by Da Capo Press (first published August 1st 2005)
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Robert Dunning
Dec 11, 2007 Robert Dunning rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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.
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 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
Hans de Zwart
Yes this is an incredibly juveline book full of drunken bravado and fart jokes. Through its tone and style however it does manage to give a glimpse into the world of freelance day-rate riggers and what their job looks like. This is a world that isn't accessible or imaginable for somebody working in the head offices of a large oil company. One thing that is pretty clear: riggers don't appreciate the world of laywers and accountants much.

Some notable passages:

"The oilfield is run by the corporate
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
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."
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jerms O'Flynn
Got a solid laugh out of this one. Alcohol and danger-fuelled mayhem is one way to describe it.
Shihab Azhar
"“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
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
Chris Bentley
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
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 24, 2012 Meg rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
May 14, 2008 Jen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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.
Recent discussion and this popping into the recommendations made me want to move on - this is entertaining, Carter's 'bloke in the pub' style of writing works well for the anecdotes - and there are a few that certainly had me laughing out loud. As with all pub raconteurs, you suspect at least a degree of embellishment, but frankly, you'd be astounded if there wasn't. Enjoyable
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 he’s 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, almost died of dysentery in Asia and toothache in Russia, watched a Texan lose his mind in the jungles of Asia, lost a lot of
Very entertaining book of war stories and tall tales from a couple of decades on the world's oil rigs. Light reading only. There's not much geopolitical context, explanations could have been better and the book could have used a diagram of the parts of a drilling platform. Carter has written a couple of other books and I will read them if I come across them. #discard #suffolklibrary
"Disco" Dave Sproat
Pretty sparse on plot, its more of a book of anecdotes, which actually makes it refreshingly easy to read (I think i zinged through it in a day.) The way the author words things had me chuckling frequently throughout. Would definitely recommend to anyone looking for an insight into life on the rigs in the late 80s, 90s and 00s.


There's not much to say about this one. I found it an interesting read, though and the information about the rigs was fun, and insightful. Carter has a style about him, really no holds barred, but he's also incredibly self-aware of his own luck and connections. I was intrigued by the experiences of an industry I've had little contact with, and it seems that although Carter enjoyed his years on the rigs, he recognises the downsides of the lifestyle, and how it might have affected his own personal ...more
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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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