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Don't Tell Mum I Work on the Rigs: (She Thinks I'm a Piano Player in a Whorehouse) [Paperback]

Paul Carter
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)

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Book Description

22 Jun 2006
Strap yourself in for an exhilarating, crazed, sometimes terrifying, frequently bloody funny ride through one man's adventures in the oil trade. A take no prisoners' approach to life has seen Paul Carter heading to some of the world's most remote, wild and dangerous places as a contractor in the oil business. Amazingly, he's survived (so far) to tell these stories from the edge of civilization. He 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 money backing a scorpion against a mouse in a fight to the death, and been served cocktails by an orang-utan on an ocean freighter. And that's just his day job. Taking postings in some of the world's wildest and most remote regions, not to mention some of the roughest rigs on the planet, Paul has worked, got into trouble, and been given serious talkings to, in locations as far-flung as the North Sea, Middle East, Borneo and Tunisia, as exotic as Sumatra, Vietnam and Thailand, and as flat-out dangerous as Columbia, Nigeria and Russia, with some of the maddest, baddest and strangest people you could ever hope not to meet.

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing (22 Jun 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857883764
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857883763
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 441,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paul Carter has been working in the oil exploration industry since he was eighteen years old, in that time he has accumulated a wealth of hilarious and often terrifying stories. Alongside his work as a writer Paul has continued to work on drilling rigs.

Product Description


"A boy's own yarn from the front line of the oil industry." -- Men's Style

"A fascinating and funny life story well worth the read." --, 10 July 2006

"A torrent of tall tales from a life less ordinary" -- The Press and Journal, Aberdeen, 4th July 2006

"A torrent of tall tales from a life less ordinary:. -- The Press and Journal, Aberdeen, 22 July 2006

"A unique look at a gritty game. Relentlessly funny and obsessively readable." -- Phillip Noyce, director of The Quiet American and Clear and Present Danger

"Carter's tales are always entertainingand offer a few unblinking apercus baout Big Oil seen from the inside." -- Scotland on Sunday, 9th July 2006

"Full of colourful storoes and well-worn anecdotes accumulated over almost two decade working the oil rigs" -- TNT Magazine, 17th July 2006

"Great two-fisted writing from the far side of hell" -- John Birmingham, bestselling author of He Died with a Felafel in his Hand and Dopeland

"Paul Carter Spins a good yarn. The disburbing thig is that the yarns are all real." -- Lucire Men

About the Author

Paul Carter was born in England in 1969. His father's military career had the family moving all over the world. He has worked in the oil industry for fifteen years, re-locating every few years (old habits). When not getting into trouble on the rigs Paul lives in Sydney with two motorbikes and a daschund named Collin, visiting his father in the UK and his mother in France, and is constantly flying to all corners of the globe.

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First Sentence
I WAS BORN IN THE UK to a German mother, an English father, an older sister, and a cat called Brim. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the tin 22 Mar 2007
By Simmo
The "blurb" on the cover was spot on. It was hilarious and I couldn't put it down. I embarrassed my kids on the plane to Spain by continually giggling to myself. One of the funniest books I read certainly in non-fiction.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I laughed out loud on the Tube 23 Jan 2007
I laughed at this book so much. Its well written and pacey and easy to pick up and put down. The monkey story on the fan was about the funniest thing I'd read in a long time. The book is now doing the rounds at work with similar feedback. Definitely worth getting!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific read 13 April 2010
This was a book that got me those looks from my wife whilst reading it in bed. You know the one, when she wonders what the hell you are up to because all you can do is snigger and try to stifle laughs. Brilliant.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oil Industry ...must read 14 Dec 2006
Having worked on the rigs for thirty years, i found this book outstanding!

all the guys i work with have read it and loved it. It's a wild ride, can't wait for the next one.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best gift I could have bought him. 31 Dec 2008
This was a last minute purchase for my better half for Christmas. With all the expensive presents opened I should have saved my money on the other stuff and just given him this. Within 2 minutes of reading he was laughing out loud in the other room. There was now no chance of help with the turkey as he wouldn't put the book down. All I could hear was him screaming with laughter.
I suggested that as he was finding it so funny, then maybe I should read it to find out what shenanigans he gets up to whilst on the rigs. The answer was "I don't think so" and it has swiftly been taken off onto the rig for everyone else to read.
Best buy ever.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Health and safety? I think not. 14 April 2008
By Petrolhead VINE VOICE
This book takes about two hours to read. It zips through hundreds of hilarious and dangerous situations that the author gets into all over the world. A very funny and rather shocking look at the humour and adrenaline of men working in the oil industry, it will go down well with anyone who enjoys a good lad's mag.

I bought this on spec in Sydney airport where the petite Asian lady in the bookshop said "Oh yes, I've read that, it's excellent." I was a little surprised, perhaps even suspicious and unsure of what I was buying. Now I just have respect for the lady in the shop. This book is all about drunkenness, fights in foreign bars, inappropriate pets, diarrhoea at the worst moment, brutal practical jokes, jungle madness and the raw testosterone-fuelled humour of oil drillers.

When I bought it, I was actually thinking I might learn something about the oil industry, especially since it starts with a little graphic guide to the different types of oil rig and platform. But forget it, the oil is just an excuse for the larks, bravado and cameraderie.

I also wondered about the title: not just "don't tell mum", but also the bit about being a piano player in a whorehouse. Well, forgive the spoiler, but the author's mum worked in the oil industry too, so she knew what he was up to, and never thought he worked in a whorehouse (although he visited enough). But I guess it's a snappy enough title, and it caught my eye.

If you're a real pedant like me you will also find some of Paul Carter's facts are way out, a bit like his spelling (e.g. elementary canal) but this is by-the-by. It's the laughs that make the book.

And if you're a nice mum buying this to try to persuade your precious son that becoming an oilman is too dangerous and dodgy, forget it. He'll read this book and never want to do anything else - apart from reading the sequel "This is not a drill"...
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars laughed aloud 11 July 2006
I bought this book at the airport waiting for a flight to Canada and it made the flight just fly by as I couldn't put it down.Made me laugh out loud a few times. It tells of the writers travels in the oil industry and what he used to get up to. A extremely good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funniest book I've read in a long time 13 May 2010
By C88
I wasn't sure about this book but bought it mainly because of the title. I'm glad I did because it was one of the best books I've read in a while, and was well written and easy to get through. It only took a couple of hours to read on the train (which is not the best place to read it because you find yourself laughing out loud alot). I'd highly recommend it to anyone - especially those that like travel writing, and will be getting his other book as soon as I can.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars great book
Best book I've read in ages! Definitely recommend it to anyone that wants a good story about oil and gas whilst having a laugh
Published 11 hours ago by mike
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for me thanks !
Can't believe what all the fuss is about found this a very boring story to the point that I could put it down and leave it and never go back
Published 10 days ago by Terence J Daly
1.0 out of 5 stars Typical
So boring, nothing but tales of getting drunk like that's some kind of achievement - not at all entertaining, even the title is unoriginal, I should have known better than to waste... Read more
Published 12 days ago by Genie
5.0 out of 5 stars What a life!
Fantastic book, excellent stories, I actually bought this one after first reading "is that bike a diesel mate?" Also by Paul Carter. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Efeegy
5.0 out of 5 stars a great read made me laugh out loud
This book is superb! I couldnt put it down.Paul Carter has a wonderful sense of humour. Read it and laugh your bollocks off..
Published 1 month ago by a g w minns
5.0 out of 5 stars love it
This book is hilarious, and shocking and also a tear jerker. One to be read over and over again just for the giggle.
Published 1 month ago by happyshopper
4.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyable
I read this book in two sittings, found it very entertaining and written in a way that I found engaging and funny. Read more
Published 1 month ago by tracyduque
1.0 out of 5 stars cynical rubbish
This was an awful waste of my time and money; no stars at all would far better reflect my opinion
Published 2 months ago by brenda apsley
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read
As an Offshore worker this is a must read.
The stories of working around the world are great.
From mad orangutans to getting caught short on the plane. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Paul M
5.0 out of 5 stars A laugh out loud read
Thoroughly enjoyed this book.
I now know a little more about the oil industry and a lot more about those that work within it. Read more
Published 4 months ago by KeithM
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