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on 22 March 2007
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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on 31 December 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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on 14 December 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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on 23 January 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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on 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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VINE VOICEon 14 April 2008
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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on 10 January 2008
You can read this book in less than a day, your fingers feverishly turning page after page. But that's not necessarily a recommendation. The same can be said for an in-flight magazine.

The oilfield (as Mr Carter frequently points out)is a small world, and rumour had been going round for months that a book had been written using a catchphrase used by generations of oilmen as its title: so of course I had to buy it. And I must admit to being disappointed, despite devouring it in one sitting. Because it is not a description of life on the rigs, unknown and alien to most people, full of dangers and hardships yet interspersed with memorable moments and sometimes downright hilarity. Instead the majority of the author's tales deal with life off the rigs, in seedy bars, rotten hotels and dubious airline seats, spanning the less beautiful parts of the world where (by some cosmic joke) oil tends to be found. He describes drunken brawls aplenty, a lot of hurrying around just to wait, and some of the less salubrious sides of third-world life: but very little about the bigger picture.

This was puzzling at first, and I found myself examining the photos in detail and trying to read between the lines to find out exactly why this was. The author obviously knows the difference between a jackup and a whipstock. Then I twigged it: he works for casing companies. Now for those that don't understand these things, 'casing crew' are considered to be just one step up the evolutionary ladder from Orang-Utangs: maybe the missing link between Neanterthal and Homo Sapiens. They have too much time before actually going to the rig waiting around to get drunk, talk too loudly, and generally bringing the rest of us into bad repute than they should be allowed, so the fact that Carter was actually able to remember such misdeeds and then commit them to the printed word (rather than unintelligible grunts) should be applauded. At times his writing can be quite funny, but his kind are odd sort of people, after all.

So no cigar. His Mum never thought he played the piano in a whorehouse: in fact (as the author explains) she was instrumental in getting him employment on the rigs to start with. I wish he'd left the title for the magician who one day actually tells it like it is or was (because things have changed and are changing still).

Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad book as such. There are many worse. And it does have its values. For instance I'm going to take my copy down to a wellsite in the Central African jungle in ten days' time and auction it off with a reserve price of two bottles of beer. With the rider that whoever wins the auction does the same thing but one of his bottles will go to me, etcetera. And thus I'll drink to Paul Carter's health while enjoying an easy 'hitch' on the rig, maybe. Though of course, things never work according to plans like that in our business.
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on 26 July 2015
For a small insight into the oil industry it's worth 2 stars and there's enough in there for you to keep turning the pages but unless you're aged around 12 then don't bother. The stories aren't remotely funny, are largely based around alcohol and toilets and sound wildly exaggerated.
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on 24 January 2015
Fabulous read. Millie Maxwell, South Africa.

Hilarious and very informative read on life on ( & off) the oil-rigs. Not for the weak stomach and can be very crude at times, but nevertheless a brilliant read. Highly recommended.
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on 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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