Strengths: A light read and very funny.
Weaknesses: Some might find the swearing a bit much.
Why I read it: My mum gave it to me.
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Setting: Anywhere there’s an oil rig!
Rating: 8 out of 10
If you liked this, try: Charley Boorman’s travel adventure books (eg. Long Way Round, By Any Means)
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 action around the world, he comes into contact with remote tribes, guns and what being stuck on a rig for a long period of time can do to you – such as becoming friends with spiders. He also experiences the traveller’s worst nightmare – dysentery at 30 000 feet. There are other serious points, such as the downside to relationships when you’re stuck in a remote area of the world and accidents in the Aussie Outback.
For those who are worried that the vagaries of oil rigging may be beyond their knowledge, Carter provides a helpful diagram and brief explanations – not that you need it, because the laughter is pouring out just like, dare I say it, an oil strike!
This is a simple, fast read – perfect for standing out in a crowd because everyone will be wondering what on earth you’re laughing about.
Note: a shortened version of this review was originally published in The West Australian in July 2011.