Book Review: Don’t Tell Mum I Work on the Rigs (She Thinks I’m a Piano Player in a Whorehouse) by Paul Carter

I got this book fairly cheap on my Kindle because the title caught my attention.


The title turned out to be a lie, Carter’s mum knows he works on the rigs and was actually involved in the oil business herself. But that’s a minor quibble, because the book is quite good fun.

Carter seems like a fairly normal, decent bloke and so he’s a good guide into the world of the oil rigs. A world filled with a cast of weird characters, hard drinking men’s men who unwind after the tough, dangerous conditions of work by brawling, carousing and getting into various misadventures. It’s never clear whether the work attracts a certain type of person, or whether the risky business of oil drilling makes them go a little nuts.

The book is filled with anecdotes and crazy stories, and Carter writes them with warmth and verve, kind of like a guy telling you crazy stories down the pub. He seems a bit more mature and sensitive than a lot of the guys he works with, but still down for adventures and pranks.

Over the course of his reminisces he jumps from Australia to Asia, Africa, the North Sea and Russia. Along the way there are grizzly accidents, weirdos, shootouts, brawls and assorted misadventures. It’s a fairly quick easy read, and the constant stream of entertaining stories makes it very good fun.

The writing might not be brilliant or groundbreaking but it’s enjoyable enough.

Verdict: A fun read filled with weird little stories, Carter knows how to tell a good story and it’s a nice insight into what seems like a frankly crazy and dangerous way of making a living. 6/10.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


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