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Sea State: A Memoir

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A stunning and brutally honest memoir that shines a light on what happens when female desire conflicts with a culture of masculinity in crisis In her midthirties and newly free from a terrible relationship, Tabitha Lasley quit her job at a London magazine, packed her bags, and poured her savings into a six-month lease on an apartment in Aberdeen, Scotland. She decided to ma A stunning and brutally honest memoir that shines a light on what happens when female desire conflicts with a culture of masculinity in crisis In her midthirties and newly free from a terrible relationship, Tabitha Lasley quit her job at a London magazine, packed her bags, and poured her savings into a six-month lease on an apartment in Aberdeen, Scotland. She decided to make good on a long-deferred idea for a book about oil rigs and the men who work on them. Why oil rigs? She wanted to see what men were like with no women around. In Aberdeen, Tabitha became deeply entrenched in the world of roughnecks, a teeming subculture rich with brawls, hard labor, competition, and the deepest friendships imaginable. The longer she stayed, the more she found her presence had a destabilizing effect on the men—and her. Sea State is on the one hand a portrait of an overlooked industry: “offshore” is a way of life for generations of primarily working-class men and also a potent metaphor for those parts of life we keep at bay—class, masculinity, the transactions of desire, and the awful slipperiness of a ladder that could, if we tried hard enough, lead us to security. Sea State is on the other hand the story of a journalist whose professional distance from her subject becomes perilously thin. In Aberdeen, Tabitha gets high and dances with abandon, reliving her youth, when the music was good and the boys were bad. Twenty years on, there is Caden: a married rig worker who spends three weeks on and three weeks off. Alone and in an increasingly precarious state, Tabitha dives into their growing attraction. The relationship, reckless and explosive, will lay them both bare.


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A stunning and brutally honest memoir that shines a light on what happens when female desire conflicts with a culture of masculinity in crisis In her midthirties and newly free from a terrible relationship, Tabitha Lasley quit her job at a London magazine, packed her bags, and poured her savings into a six-month lease on an apartment in Aberdeen, Scotland. She decided to ma A stunning and brutally honest memoir that shines a light on what happens when female desire conflicts with a culture of masculinity in crisis In her midthirties and newly free from a terrible relationship, Tabitha Lasley quit her job at a London magazine, packed her bags, and poured her savings into a six-month lease on an apartment in Aberdeen, Scotland. She decided to make good on a long-deferred idea for a book about oil rigs and the men who work on them. Why oil rigs? She wanted to see what men were like with no women around. In Aberdeen, Tabitha became deeply entrenched in the world of roughnecks, a teeming subculture rich with brawls, hard labor, competition, and the deepest friendships imaginable. The longer she stayed, the more she found her presence had a destabilizing effect on the men—and her. Sea State is on the one hand a portrait of an overlooked industry: “offshore” is a way of life for generations of primarily working-class men and also a potent metaphor for those parts of life we keep at bay—class, masculinity, the transactions of desire, and the awful slipperiness of a ladder that could, if we tried hard enough, lead us to security. Sea State is on the other hand the story of a journalist whose professional distance from her subject becomes perilously thin. In Aberdeen, Tabitha gets high and dances with abandon, reliving her youth, when the music was good and the boys were bad. Twenty years on, there is Caden: a married rig worker who spends three weeks on and three weeks off. Alone and in an increasingly precarious state, Tabitha dives into their growing attraction. The relationship, reckless and explosive, will lay them both bare.

30 review for Sea State: A Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Wow ok, so I have some thoughts on this book. If you're intrigued by the part in the blurb where it mentions that the book is about the men who work on oil rigs, and, like me, you decide to pick up a copy of the book for this reason, I would advise you to proceed with caution. Because while this is a book about men who work "offshore", this is most definitely more a memoir about Lasley herself and her experiences interviewing these men, rather than educating the reader on the offshore drilling in Wow ok, so I have some thoughts on this book. If you're intrigued by the part in the blurb where it mentions that the book is about the men who work on oil rigs, and, like me, you decide to pick up a copy of the book for this reason, I would advise you to proceed with caution. Because while this is a book about men who work "offshore", this is most definitely more a memoir about Lasley herself and her experiences interviewing these men, rather than educating the reader on the offshore drilling industry or what it's like to work on one. The author decides to move to Aberdeen in her mid-30s after a failed relationship, to "see what men are like with no women around". But this is a flawed hypothesis from the outset: so much of the narrative focuses on her interactions with these men - in fact she begins an affair with one of the (if not the) first offshore worker she interviews - that the author is the main protagonist in the book, and, being a woman, means pretty much all she learns about (all that we see in the book, anyway) is about what these men are like around her. It appears that she interviews these men almost exclusively in bars and pubs, whilst drinking herself. A minor niggle, but none of the women in this book were portrayed in a sympathetic manner, which bothered me as well. I appreciate that the above is pretty critical, but in spite of these criticisms I read this pretty quickly and enjoyed the author's writing style. It's just a shame this wasn't the book I was led to believe it would be from the blurb and that I finished it still knowing very little about life offshore - I do know which bars to avoid if I'm ever in Aberdeen, mind. Thank you Netgalley and 4th Estate for the advance copy, which was provided in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Audrey H.

    I really liked this cover, but as somebody who just suffered through this entire book DON’T LET IT FOOL YOU, this is absolutely horrible. I’ll suspend my annoyance that this book wasn’t what I expected and instead rate it for what it is - a memoir-like account of the author thinking about writing a book about offshore rig workers (and in the process having a toxic affair with one). I’d say this book is 50% details on her affair (including her sex life), 10% insulting other women, 20% getting dru I really liked this cover, but as somebody who just suffered through this entire book DON’T LET IT FOOL YOU, this is absolutely horrible. I’ll suspend my annoyance that this book wasn’t what I expected and instead rate it for what it is - a memoir-like account of the author thinking about writing a book about offshore rig workers (and in the process having a toxic affair with one). I’d say this book is 50% details on her affair (including her sex life), 10% insulting other women, 20% getting drunk and stuck in her own mind about how her life isn’t going how she expected by her mid-thirties, and 20% “interviewing” aka flirting with offshore rig workers she meets in bars. Even if you ignore the content, there’s also a lot of issues here with writing style and tone. Lasley loves to drop obscure references to literature, shows, politics or local places and geography (as an American reader I was totally lost here), that only add to isolate unfamiliar readers. There is also a haughty and judgmental attitude that permeates the pages, especially when referring to other women. Apparently she interviewed 103 men to try and write a future book about offshore rigs and the toxic masculinity onboard, but I sure as hell ain’t reading it. I regrettably obtained a digital version of this book free from Netgalley and Ecco in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Katie.dorny

    Dnf @ page 25 I have no time for a woman who feels sorry for herself by choosing to have an affair with a married man. Also this is meant to be about life on oil rigs not a self absorbed woman who wants to describe sex to the reader constantly.

  4. 4 out of 5

    David Partikian

    Caveat Emptor This review is written by a member of the merchant marine with over 30 years of experience with dangerous blue-collar jobs that demand a double life, with three or four months on and three or four months off. This experience comes with an abundance of having to listen to frustrated men bemoan their bad life decisions constantly. From the buzz in The Guardian, one might think that Tabitha Lasley’s memoir adequately taps the soul of the blue-collar British who man the deep-sea oil rig Caveat Emptor This review is written by a member of the merchant marine with over 30 years of experience with dangerous blue-collar jobs that demand a double life, with three or four months on and three or four months off. This experience comes with an abundance of having to listen to frustrated men bemoan their bad life decisions constantly. From the buzz in The Guardian, one might think that Tabitha Lasley’s memoir adequately taps the soul of the blue-collar British who man the deep-sea oil rigs in the North Sea. To be fair, the aperçus at the beginning of each chapter do grant a certain verité and glimpse into the humdrum dangers and pent up testosterone on the rigs; however, this is just a cover for what the memoir is really about: the spiritual crisis of a professional journalist in her early thirties who is purportedly writing an exposé on the above, while actually just portraying the poor decisions and bereft spiritual state of a woman who embarks on a pointless affair with a married worker during the brief turnover period when workers pass through Aberdeen, Scotland during the turnover of their three-weeks-on-three-weeks-off lives. The results are as predictable as they are painful. One need not have embarked on this casual, drama-inducing affair to glean the epiphanies that are too few between the pages of Sea State. Any experienced “other” woman in her thirties who has come to the realization that men are but duplicitous, talking sacks of sperm could have come up with the following dialogue, among the best in the book: Daily, I drilled him on the worst-case scenario. Wipe your texts every time we talk. Leave your phone out where she can see it. No new clothes to go offshore, no smashing the gym before you leave. And if she does catch you, please don’t say, “It was just sex.” But equally don’t tell her I was special. She will ask if I’m prettier than her, if you let her do the things to me she won’t let you do to her (these are trick questions, to which there are no right answers). She will want to know what my cunt tastes like, if I swallowed, if you put it in my arse. Don’t be surprised if she wants to fuck after you tell her these things, if she fucks you harder, more desperately, than she’s ever fucked before. Don’t think this gets you off the hook. (pg. 64). Spoiler alert (Not): The affair ends predictably with the jilted author meandering aimlessly among the sailor town bars of Aberdeen collecting snippets of life on rigs based on interviews with men either on their way to the rigs or home, all of whom make pathetic attempts to bed her; evidently none has the charm of the married guy with eight tv’s in all the rooms of his house and a berating jealous wife. At its best, Sea State, does convey the aura of toxic masculinity and the pent up frustrations of men with relatively lucrative jobs for their skills who are part of a moribund industry. One specific passage is close to my heart, as a sailor who has seen comradery chronicled in sea novels from Melville through Lowry replaced with the gift of isolated technology that gives each worker his own video screen and relatively private stroke chamber: A lot of the old camaraderie was gone. In the eighties, tensions that built up during the day could be worked out in the evenings over a game of darts or pool. If you had a fight with your wife, you discussed it with your colleagues. It was known as tea shack surgery. Now everyone was glued to their devices, and scuttled straight to their rooms after shifts. Twenty years ago, asset holders put televisions in the cabins. It was slick corporate move masquerading as a gift. (pg. 74). If only the entire memoir contained observations such as this—how technology has made things worse-- and wasn’t just a protracted, miserable account of a tawdry affair with an utterly predictable half-life. Tabitha Lasley is very bright with an outstanding sense of sociological class and a knack for dropping an interesting line. Thus, she has managed a first book that, in the US edition, comes complete with hardcover, deckled edges, head band and a very unblue-collar $27.99 price. . .but—deliberately—no author photo. One can save the money and rent Lars von Trier’s Breaking the Waves. “Bess (or Tabitha) is a tart.” (From Breaking the Waves, 1996)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    An exasperating book, which is not the book described on the blurb. Ostensibly a look at the world of off-shore oil workers passing through Aberdeen, if you want to find out about "an overlooked industry and subculture" then read a different book. Despite interviewing over 100 men to create this book, it is really a memoir of the writer's drinking, drug use and an affair with one of the men she was writing about. "Tabitha All At Sea" may have been a more honest title. An exasperating book, which is not the book described on the blurb. Ostensibly a look at the world of off-shore oil workers passing through Aberdeen, if you want to find out about "an overlooked industry and subculture" then read a different book. Despite interviewing over 100 men to create this book, it is really a memoir of the writer's drinking, drug use and an affair with one of the men she was writing about. "Tabitha All At Sea" may have been a more honest title.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Maisie

    Being a female offshore worker I was very intrigued when I saw this book advertised. The author wished to see what men were like without having women around and although other reviewers perhaps did not agree I believe the author achieved her aim. Men are simple beings, not in a derogatory way but they do not require the same as women to carry on with their lives away from home. They work their 12 hour shifts, eat the meals provided to them, have their laundry done for them, facetime/phone home, m Being a female offshore worker I was very intrigued when I saw this book advertised. The author wished to see what men were like without having women around and although other reviewers perhaps did not agree I believe the author achieved her aim. Men are simple beings, not in a derogatory way but they do not require the same as women to carry on with their lives away from home. They work their 12 hour shifts, eat the meals provided to them, have their laundry done for them, facetime/phone home, masturbate/watch porn and sleep. Nowadays there are likely to be the odd female kicking about so the industry is not men only by all means. Some guys, enjoy the chat a female can bring when sometimes it is all just cocks, sports and more cocks. Coming back to the book, yes there are guys similar to "Caden" who use there time in Aberdeen to have their bit of stuff and then offshore to upload Tinder etc. to get some sex chat from faceless women who are unaware they will be deleted when the guys step foot back on dry land. There are guys who moan about the conditions of 40 year old rigs that were only supposed to last 25 years. But there are also the decent ones who talk non-stop about their wives and children or the well travelled who use their downtime resourcefully rather than splurging on cars that will lose 25% of their value when they leave the forecourt, or £600 jumpers that shrink after one wash because their Mammy's didn't wash them correctly or who spend a fortune on the cocaine and champagne lifestyle because it impresses girls. Men are men offshore at then end of the day a place where they can be their true selves.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Hank Stuever

    I'm a little tardy, but apparently it's my job to rescue this book from some of the crappy reviews you all have been leaving here. You're all wrong! (Haha.) "Sea State" is beautifully written, utterly unpredictable, and, yes, you were right about one thing: not at all the book it set out to be. It breaks just about every rule of journalism out there (except for an allegiance to painful truth) and unfortunately verifies a terrible trope (usually seen in movies or TV series), you know the one, abo I'm a little tardy, but apparently it's my job to rescue this book from some of the crappy reviews you all have been leaving here. You're all wrong! (Haha.) "Sea State" is beautifully written, utterly unpredictable, and, yes, you were right about one thing: not at all the book it set out to be. It breaks just about every rule of journalism out there (except for an allegiance to painful truth) and unfortunately verifies a terrible trope (usually seen in movies or TV series), you know the one, about a female reporter having a sexual relationship with a source. I'm not mad, though. Some readers here are miffed that "Sea State" is not an embedded narrative about what it's like to work on offshore rigs in the North Sea. (News flash: It sucks.) As Tabitha Lasley makes very clear in the beginning, THAT book was almost finished, in her stolen laptop, never to return. So let it go! That tragedy (and truly, the idea of losing a manuscript, and its backup copy, is enough to make me nauseous) luckily led to THIS book -- something so much more unique, searching, sad, sordid and penetratingly observant about masculinity, the modern economy and working class of the Brexit era, brought forth in a memoir of a misbegotten affair. Halfway through I started calling her Bridget Joans Didion. I loved it. So there.

  8. 5 out of 5

    TheWomanCalledSun

    Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, so this was disappointing. I was expecting a poignant literary fiction about the men that work on oil rigs. An industry cloaked in so much mystery it would make for a fascinating read. However, this was not that book. Sea State reads like a diary, and not an interesting one. We get the authors' thoughts about the men and their work the on oil rigs. Well, actually it would be more accurate to say that we get her "opinions" of these men and their work, without ever actually unde Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, so this was disappointing. I was expecting a poignant literary fiction about the men that work on oil rigs. An industry cloaked in so much mystery it would make for a fascinating read. However, this was not that book. Sea State reads like a diary, and not an interesting one. We get the authors' thoughts about the men and their work the on oil rigs. Well, actually it would be more accurate to say that we get her "opinions" of these men and their work, without ever actually understanding their work. Or the men for that matter. The author supposedly conducts many interviews and extensive research but we never actually see any evidence of this when reading the book. And as all other reviews have mentioned the affair I suppose I must give my own input as well. I say I must because the author's affair with one of the rig workers ends up being one of the predominant themes in the book. This is unfortunate because it's not very interesting and ends up taking up a good chunk of the book. I feel I also must say, as this was the last nail in the coffin for me, the author's harsh portrayal of literally, and I mean EVREY OTHER WOMAN OTHER THAN HER was harsh and critical and completely unwarranted. This quite frankly destroyed the book faster than all the other criticisms I have. Sea State had so much potential to be great and fascinating and I believe the author even had the ability to accomplish that feat, but in the end, it turned out to be an uninteresting mess of a book that I honestly wished I DNF'D. * I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Gemma

    Beautifully written and ever so slightly unnerving, this is definitely one of the most unique books I've read this year. Although it advertises itself as being about oil rigs and/or men without women present, it's not really about either of those things. It's much more about the societal expectations placed on both men and women, the very human price of capitalism, and how humans choose to engage with one another. Beautifully written and ever so slightly unnerving, this is definitely one of the most unique books I've read this year. Although it advertises itself as being about oil rigs and/or men without women present, it's not really about either of those things. It's much more about the societal expectations placed on both men and women, the very human price of capitalism, and how humans choose to engage with one another.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Louise

    This is not a book about the people who work offshore like the blurb implies. This is the story of a woman who moves to Aberdeen to interview men that work off shore and has an affair with a married man that she starts off interviewing. I couldn’t stop reading it but I’m not sure I like it. The author is very condescending and patronising to those she believes are lower than her on the class scale. She is also awful if talking about the women she sees (she never interviews any) The impression I This is not a book about the people who work offshore like the blurb implies. This is the story of a woman who moves to Aberdeen to interview men that work off shore and has an affair with a married man that she starts off interviewing. I couldn’t stop reading it but I’m not sure I like it. The author is very condescending and patronising to those she believes are lower than her on the class scale. She is also awful if talking about the women she sees (she never interviews any) The impression I got is that if “I’m not like other women, I’m the Cool Girl” could be turned into a book - it would be this one

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Ellis

    A debut from a former journalist who writes with poetic precision. The book couples keen observational journalistic skills (including transcripts from interviews) with lucid prose, so exact, the words are so carefully placed. Some reviews that I have read of this book focus on the moral element of the writer's choice to have an affair with a married man. If this were a novel, the choice of a writer to fictionalise an affair would not be criticised so this point, I believe, is moot. When I read, A debut from a former journalist who writes with poetic precision. The book couples keen observational journalistic skills (including transcripts from interviews) with lucid prose, so exact, the words are so carefully placed. Some reviews that I have read of this book focus on the moral element of the writer's choice to have an affair with a married man. If this were a novel, the choice of a writer to fictionalise an affair would not be criticised so this point, I believe, is moot. When I read, I don't read to make a moral judgement, I don't want to exist above the characters or the writers, looking down on them. Instead I want to experience things along with them; through their words, through what is shown to me rather than what is told to me. When I read 'Sea State' I could clearly feel things that Lasley wasn't explicitly telling me. It is very funny, sardonic even. Lasley is always the cleverest person in the room, she doesn't tell us this, it is patent. It is really sad. There is an pervasive notion of it being a last ditch attempt, after a life time of car crash relationships. Despite the bravado, the slut dress and fake feckles, Lasley says 'I was nobody's wife'. We are sure that she must have been able to see through Caden's vanity, his deceit and his platitudes, she as much as tells us so. It is not however a mystery why she throws everything in for this married rigger, the interwoven anecdotes and memories display to us that what has led to this. At the outset, we are told that the book was planned to be about men without women. We see this in a way that scratches the surface. It the way that they won't let a 'lass' buy a drink, that they pile into the rec room when a girl is wearing hot pants, that they can't talk to an attractive woman without trying to pull her. It is however only men with a herd mentality, only the 'Boro' lads on tour'; occasionally there are moments when there are break throughs in the interviews and a moment of crystal clarity presents itself but only in these isolated moments do we see how men are away from each other. To me, the book was about women. About the sorts of cultures you can get into or opt of out; the cultures of baby showers, dressing up for the races and constant self advertising. It was about Lasley herself, about the moments of varying degrees that turn us into the people that we are and lead us to accept any kinds of shit that are thrown at us. It is about all the women marketed 'like Camargue horses' with no prospects who will fight tooth and nail for a man who has no respect for them or for any women at all. It is about giving your daughter a posh name to give her chances. It is about not having your friends around. For me, the best part is Chapter 4, like a song with an extraordinary bridge, the middle part of the book absolutely sang. The writing about drug taking was glorious and the way it fitted in with a few perfectly pitched paragraphs about the scope of the city and it's vicinity to the Arctic Circle. This was what sold the book to me. After having read a few quotes in reviews, the construct of the prose and the particularity of the language, as if each word had been deliberated over. I had never really read anything about the rigs before and I devoured all of the data and the geeky facts about the rigs along with the social commentary relating the avarice of the oil industry. There was so much in this book that could at any given moment been unpacked further but was contained for the time being in just over 200 pages. Lasley keeps some of her cards close to her chest, I really can't wait to see what she writes next.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joanna Ward

    obsessed ... completely disregards a conventional framework of (ethical) journalism and instead is a v messy account of sex, affairs, drugs, misogyny, and is about the author and her own life as much if not more than it is about the men who work offshore. and it also does actually offer a fascinating and unique perspective on the (dying?) culture of offshore rig workers. also the writing is very good - lucid, poetic, concise. everyone giving this 1* and moralising about the sexism / affair / lac obsessed ... completely disregards a conventional framework of (ethical) journalism and instead is a v messy account of sex, affairs, drugs, misogyny, and is about the author and her own life as much if not more than it is about the men who work offshore. and it also does actually offer a fascinating and unique perspective on the (dying?) culture of offshore rig workers. also the writing is very good - lucid, poetic, concise. everyone giving this 1* and moralising about the sexism / affair / lack of journalistic standards is boring and not hot

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bess

    Lasley writes well but "Sea State" was, for me, a struggle. For every passage I enjoyed, I had to endure three times that in cringe. She's quoted in a Guardian article saying that the first agent who saw her book said, " either she should write about oil rigs, or she should write about her sex life, but this weird hybrid really wouldn’t do," and I think I agree. Two further points: 1) According to the Guardian article, the book was published six years to the day after she arrived in Aberdeen, bu Lasley writes well but "Sea State" was, for me, a struggle. For every passage I enjoyed, I had to endure three times that in cringe. She's quoted in a Guardian article saying that the first agent who saw her book said, " either she should write about oil rigs, or she should write about her sex life, but this weird hybrid really wouldn’t do," and I think I agree. Two further points: 1) According to the Guardian article, the book was published six years to the day after she arrived in Aberdeen, but her depiction of offshore drilling still feels a tad dated. 2) I found some of her writing problematic, for example, "looking demoralized like deportees from some failed state, one sat down next to me, his face had a vaguely Asiatic cast, broad cheekbones, titled eyes...".

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Doheny

    This is a book about the buckled and butchered life experience of a corrosive individual, whose bad behaviours she hopes will shock and awe the reader. In the present climate these toxic child women seem to be given free reign to do as they please, and expect compliments in return (she believes she is Wonder Woman I’ve read)...after they’ve bashed down their stories in books absent of any compassion or empathy, for the victims, caught up in the flux of their horrific adulterous scheming. She see This is a book about the buckled and butchered life experience of a corrosive individual, whose bad behaviours she hopes will shock and awe the reader. In the present climate these toxic child women seem to be given free reign to do as they please, and expect compliments in return (she believes she is Wonder Woman I’ve read)...after they’ve bashed down their stories in books absent of any compassion or empathy, for the victims, caught up in the flux of their horrific adulterous scheming. She seems to be paying homage to the idiot she slept with, putting him up on a pedestal for all to see (including his long suffering wife no doubt). I read she apparently won’t date now, since it would be like treating heroin addiction with calpol. Which is an odd thing to say, since she was dating someone else, for three and a half years, after her sordid affair? She is a mess, desperate for attention and it would appear she has had an empathy/compassion bypass for wives and children included. She will appeal to a certain kind of person, heavily invested in waxing egos of people who lack any respect for themselves or others. The book is solely about, her binding, to an idiot, and everything else is mere decoration. After a cursory research of the Authors interviews, you start to build up a rough picture of what she truly represents, as a voice pushed hard, down the verbose corridors of literately promoted reviews; who was given such a high platform to enter the public conscious flows with ease. She states in one interview the book is tainted with lies, to offset a challenge from the idiots wife, to stop its publication. Can you imagine this poor woman’s humiliation (The wife)? She sounds like a strong woman trying to defend her families reputation (The idiots folly)) from being exploited by a malignant narcissist. Lasley has an indifferent, cold and mocking attitude towards this woman’s plight. A woman whose family is broken; whose trust in her husband is lost, and whose children will feel the weight of that burden. Lasley goes on to say, she has no shame, about taking this man away from his family. That it was his responsibility to be strong for them, and not hers (imagine if we all felt this way...what a cruel World, that would be). Do people understand the gravity of such a statement? She abdicates all responsibility, as though her actions in “flirtations and come-ons” were justifiable, leading to the inevitable seedy act. She is always playing the victim and never looks at her self and the choices she made; in who she allowed into her life (poor baby). She lacks in abundance, a moral core; always projecting her failures onto others. In another interview the story changes somewhat, to blaming her ex (came before the idiot) for her faux pas, claiming it was his fault that her boundaries became skewed. Do you see how the story is always changing and it’s never her fault? As far as I know her ex never held her down or tied her up, preventing her from leaving. She prattles on about “wanting stuff” and wanting the 5 years she wasted on him, back. Again, no one held her down against her will. In other interviews she bemoans looking after her sisters children, further stating “Children are boring and don’t give you much in return.” Are we seeing a picture yet of a deeply flawed character, bereft of compassion and empathy and with a “me me me”attitude? An open feminist who blames men for all her ills. Whilst she behaves in a fashion, fitting of a...well...an immoral woman (let’s say that). But without seeing that. She is scornful of the idiots wife; with her being a stay at home mother. It’s non of her business how other people choose to lead their lives (Is she so deluded into thinking that she’s a good example of how to live your life?...you’ve got to be kidding me!!). She says in a radio talk, she wrote this book for women? Which I would personally find insulting, if I was of that sex. Does she honestly think women are so lowly, that they would get their cheap thrills, from such an immoral story? Is this how she perceives women? Throughout the book, she herself, has a contemptuous attitude, towards every female she speaks of. She obviously doesn’t like women much. She brags about how her ex wrote his own book, that got published, but at a tenth of the initial payment, that she received. She was gleeful (Why is this important to her?...she behaves like a child). I could go on and on, but this isn’t as black and white as the book portrays; as some poor woman who was used and abused, then set adrift. This is a cold woman, who will probably end up alone, with all her new stuff just adding to her misery and isolation. Sometimes you need to dig deeper, instead of being stuck in a trance state of voyeurism, titillated by bumpkin, from the mind of a coldly calculating woman. She is morally, spiritually and mentally bankrupt of any redeeming qualities. She should try to apply the “Golden rule” to her life, in a bid to become a better person. She is awful, and in a disturbing fashion, probably thinks she is a radical thinker and pioneer of feminist doctrine. But the reality is, she is just a sad, lonely and bitter woman. If you’re looking for a heroine or hero in this story, it’s not Lasley or the idiot. The real heroine is the wife, who looked after her children whilst dealing with the trauma of an adulterous husband. Who fought to stop the publication of this mess of a book. And who took him back, even though all trust is gone and her life is tainted with the foul memory of this tawdry affair. Lasley is the villain who feels nothing beyond her own selfish wants and needs. Her cold attitude, towards the idiots wife, is very disturbing to witness. She’s dead inside. She changes the narrative in her interviews, contradicting herself constantly. As one German commenter said “She probably lives alone with three cats.” Because after this book, who could ever be bothered, taking her on, with a reminder of who she truly is, and who she truly wanted, languishing in a book, near by. She probably has been told by the hangers-on, this is fearless writing. It’s not, this is just the normal these days. She gauged the societal acceptance of this kind of material well, and fed right into that toxic flow. She is not brave, or different. Just more of the same same. Maybe a decade ago she wrote an article for a magazine, describing the struggles these families have within the oil industry-barely holding it together-with the men working away, for long periods of time. She mentioned the high degree of marriage failures; in how fragile they are (like she cared). So what does she do, when she gets to Aberdeen?...she beds the very first married rigger she meets, that’s nice to her (it’s a good job she didn’t get into a conversation with the Salvation Army band, then) adding to that destruction she mentioned in her article. The level of hypocrisy pouring from this woman is staggering to behold. In her radio interviews she will only talk about one or the other of these two dynamics (the oil rigs and the men who work on them, or her affair) because to talk about them both would expose her as being the hypocrite she is. She comes across as being cruel, wicked and self absorbed; and as fake as you like. Being a twenty year long, cocaine addict, this is not surprising. This woman is not of sound mind. There really isn’t anything new here, to see. And yes she has every right to degrade herself publicly, but she shouldn’t be held up as a role model for young women to look up to and to emulate. Societies have fallen into chaos throughout history when they’ve lost their moral compass. Don’t be snared by flowery words, that cast shadows upon the mind. She has plenty of acolytes that work within her industry, massaging her ego and claiming she is a fearless woman. She’s far from being fearless. She’s just a mess splattering herself down onto pages, to get noticed. When we don’t call out bad behaviours, it all becomes meaningless. She claims to have loved the idiot, but I don’t think she understands love (or even does, empathy and compassion, well). I truly believe this woman is driven by lust. What do I base my assumptions upon? Well after the idiot, leaves, to return to his family, Lasley, is straight onto tinder, to seek out a new sex partner? (Who knows what else she got up to, that she hasn’t mentioned). In one of her interviews, she willingly divulges, that, she was having sexual encounters with other men (married?)...behind his back. Is that Creepy or what? How does that work in her head? She wants pity? She's a degenerate; a sociopath...just, so-completely-deranged. Does this strike anyone, with one brain cell on active duty, as being a woman who was in love? Love doesn’t work like this!! In one of her articles, she states, that she struggles to go for more than 5 days, without finding a new relationship, after a break-up. Where-as most of us take six months to a year, to process it all. And with the book being replete with sex scenes, it should be obvious to all, as to what drives this woman and what she seeks out, in relationships. It’s certainly not love, but most definitely lust. She admits herself in the book, that there really isn’t much to the idiot, in the way of a having a verbal presence, or personality. So, what about the idiot? What do we have here, that’s so special, that it pushed Lasley to abandon all reason? Well it goes something like this: a barely two dimensional rock-ape type; has shoe fetishes; likes to eat children’s food; shallow; vacant, and a weak man unable to protect his family from a predator. His wife has more testicular bravity than this idiot could ever hope for; no matter how many tattoos, he has painted on his body. And I’m pretty sure, if you could see him, you wouldn’t think he was the winning lotto ticket, either. I can’t help but feel, Lasley, heavily embellishes a lot into her writing. He sounds exciting doesn’t he? yeah...(yawn). In her latest article, Lasley states...”she writes, because she bares grudges”...(and she hints at something; that this was the impetus, to push the book in a desired direction, which wasn’t mentioned in the blurb, obviously ..so it changes again?). Something that has filtered down through her family lineage, apparently. Which is absolute rubbish in regards to her articles, save one instance (her best friend invited her to the reception of her wedding, and not the main event, which Lasley took badly...one wonders why she wasn’t invited to the church?). Most of her articles are puerile and banal. Anyway, it begs the question, “Who was the book aimed at, to hurt, or to get revenge upon?” Well, the obvious answer would be the idiots wife, for daring to stand up, and fight, to get her husband back. The sad thing is, Lasley, feels so wronged by this woman, who was so completely wronged by these two sad souls, scheming behind her back. It all starts to verge upon the insane. There is no more crueller way, to torture any woman, or man for that matter, than to expose them to the sexual shenanigans of their spouses intercourse with someone else (the book). Lasley must be so pleased with herself. Life has a way of throwing back-like a boomerang-the wrongs we throw out. Maybe the idiots wife will throw him out, with the shame he’s brought to her doorstep, and then find someone who’ll respect her more. Maybe he will crawl back to Lasley. But whatever happens, I don’t think this woman will ever be satisfied, or even happy maybe. If that’s even possible for someone so completely empty inside. She believes, the idiot left her, because he couldn’t afford the alimony payments (is that all it took?) and couldn’t afford to keep them both. Again, this isn’t how love works. Love overcomes all obstacles. This woman lives in cloud cuckoo land. You really do need to strap your mind in, to combat her naivety (or stupidity...I don’t know which?) that flows from this woman’s “conscious” streams of delusions and banality. She definitely has major issues, that run deep, and that she needs to address. The wife’s family and friends will know about this book. They will read it, and she (the wife) will hear the whispers, and feel the pity, or sense the ridicule from others, flowing her way. This book is an abomination. There is a hint in the book, as to why she wrote this story. When she scribed, with her finger, upon the steamed mirror in the bathroom, their initials...whilst reciting in her mind “bound together,” she wasn’t kidding. Because that’s what she did; she bound them together in the pages of a book (inseparable) and in spiteful revenge, for losing the idiot, to his wife and family. Bound for life!! Speculation of course, but as she says herself...”she writes, because she bares grudges." It’s the wrong reason for writing the book, though...a very sad, cruel and pitiful woman!! She sold her soul, for wrongly projected vengeance, and temporary fame and fortune (from her vicious intrusion upon a sacred bond). The wife and children were the only victims, although Lasley would like you to think otherwise; whilst haemorrhaging a “poor me” mentality. I would not be surprised if this woman ends up as a bitter spinster. Anyway, she’s made her choices, and now she needs to live with them. I’m surprised, that some women seem to be all over this book, like a bad rash-with praises? I thought women were supposed to be the more emotionally in-tune sex? The sex with the nurturing ingredient, that brings balance to things. No shame, seems to be the theme, with many. But, if it came to their doorstep, with someone as fridge-cold as Lasley, stealing away their husbands; abandoning their children, you can guarantee they wouldn’t be so glib. Thankfully there are still real women left, pointing out the horror, of what this book stands for; it’s like a parasite bleeding through societies. The idiots wife, needs to ignore Lasley; it’s the only way to get under her skin. Lasley feeds off negativity. In the interviews, that I’ve heard and read, Lasley talks about the wife, like she was a dirty cloth that needs to be discarded. Such a heartless mess. I hope the wife lets this woman go; to drift away, and to eventually be forgotten (or at the very least, to become just a blip of recognition). And pity her, she is pitiful, and be thankful that she isn’t the same. And I hope his wife finds her way here, and sees that not everyone is buying into the horse _ _ _ _ (fill in the blanks), that the tabloid press put out, in regards to what this book was about. Some, of course, are praising it (lost souls, that are unredeemable) but others are seeing this trash for what it is. This is a Grudge Book. She admits it herself, in her latest Esquire article. It’s designed to destroy the idiots family. If you ever do find yourself reading this comment (the wife) know this; the book was written, to destroy what’s most precious to you. Your clown of a husband, invited a vampire into your lives, and she wants your blood, and to weaken your family. Possibly, in the vain hope, of getting the idiot back. She cares not, that your children are going to be infected by this book (if they ever get to know about it) and she cares not, about you (you are the main thrust of her vengeance). To defeat her, move away from the area you are in, if you have to. Away from people who know. Protect your family. This is how you defeat a narcissist. This book will fade away eventually, just like Lasley. Don’t let her destroy you, or your family. If the idiot ever goes back to her; that’s fine, let him. Because she will make him as miserable as sin. Just don’t let him back in. Moving on...a question!! Why do you think Lasley felt the desperate need to inform, all and sundry, that she masturbates? “Yes we know, Lasley, it’s a thing!! Many people do it, but most don’t feel the urgent need to advertise it to the World. You’re not the first to do it, and you won’t be the last, believe it or not (shock horror)...get over yourself.” Has anyone worked this out yet? What did she hope to achieve revealing this, do you think? I’ve read a few comments from dirty old men, who allude to something, sexually arousing, about these revelations. With a little chuckle about an article she had in place, in the Esquire magazine, that coincidently happened to be on page 69. Is this what she wanted? She just cheapens herself. I mean she’s 40 years of age, and the wear and tear is starting to show. However she was 35 when she started the dairy, but being a serious drug abuser, and with a drink habit, this combination would have aged her considerably. So as well being a grudge book, was this also a last ditch attempt at garnering desire? To feel wanted? (sexually of course). And was this “diary” also in part, about her launching herself, onto that feminist walk (a certain kind of “women” walking down the streets, exposing their saggy bits and pieces, for all to see...you know the one) but in a book? However, ultimately, it all comes together, and makes sense, when you realise this is the narcissist within. And a part of that mentality is the attention seeker. It’s the only thing that makes any sense. Two things came to mind when I read that part of the diary. The first was a word, and the second was a sentence. The word was...”gross”...and the sentence was...”this woman needs help.” It wasn’t impressive or smart. But again, she is an extreme narcissist. I feel sorry for the poor sod who takes her on, having to deal with this foul book coming up in conversation, from time to time. I hope she stays a spinster. No man should take this burden, upon themselves. This woman has no self-control; no dignity; no morals; no empathy and compassion for those she’s wronged; no respect for herself or others; no shame for her debaucheries; no love inside. She is an irrelevance caught up in her own delusions, desperate for attention. She adds nothing of worth to societies, and feeds a narcissistic personality, with a ravenous appetite, for all sicknesses and poisons; and to bolster up an inflamed ego that is beyond redemption. If karma is a real thing, this woman is in for a shock; and quite rightly so. She deserves to live the experience of the wife (minus the children thank goodness...can you imagine?) but without reconciliation. A barren spinster alone, and forgotten. These women who adopt ideologies, that bleed, in victimhood mentality-unable to think for themselves-end up destroying normal people’s lives; feeling no remorse for their actions. Stuck in a me-me-me mentality. These cry-babies, whose destructive behaviours are condoned by others of equal measure; caught up in the wake of these poisonous programs. Pathetic!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Duncan Vicat-Brown

    Being on a rig sounds OK! Take a lot of books, podcasts, a Switch, hot water bottle, sounds alright. Having an affair though, jeepers. No thank you!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    It's weird that depending on where you look, this is dually framed as a memoir and an investigative piece - it's solely Lasley talking about a man she had an affair with, who both has no personality and is also her obsession. If you think journalism is recounting racism and sexism with absolutely no challenge to it, plus the obvious personal bias - then sure, this is journalism. There really isn't any conclusion, though, because it's 100% self-indulgent pity. It's weird that depending on where you look, this is dually framed as a memoir and an investigative piece - it's solely Lasley talking about a man she had an affair with, who both has no personality and is also her obsession. If you think journalism is recounting racism and sexism with absolutely no challenge to it, plus the obvious personal bias - then sure, this is journalism. There really isn't any conclusion, though, because it's 100% self-indulgent pity.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Oriana

    From an Atlantic roundup of "backdoor memoirs": After Lasley’s laptop containing four years’ worth of work on a novel about oil rigs was stolen from her London apartment, she broke up with her boyfriend and moved to Aberdeen, Scotland. There, she spent six months with the men who work for weeks and months at a time on oil and gas rigs in the North Sea, many miles from civilization. On the second night, though, she slept with one of her sources, a married rigger she refers to by the pseudonym Cade From an Atlantic roundup of "backdoor memoirs": After Lasley’s laptop containing four years’ worth of work on a novel about oil rigs was stolen from her London apartment, she broke up with her boyfriend and moved to Aberdeen, Scotland. There, she spent six months with the men who work for weeks and months at a time on oil and gas rigs in the North Sea, many miles from civilization. On the second night, though, she slept with one of her sources, a married rigger she refers to by the pseudonym Caden. This breach of ethics ends up making Sea State a far more interesting book than the distanced, sociological reportage on riggers that Lasley had planned. The hybrid work of memoir and unconventional journalism chronicles Lasley’s doomed romance with Caden alongside a consideration of the dangers of a life of oil extraction. Along the way, she learns not to trust her assumptions about men like Caden, places like Aberdeen, and women like herself.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    (I'm following convention from articles and interviews and using she-her pronouns for the author). I picked this book up due to reviews in the Guardian Newspaper. Between those, and another in a monthly magazine, I was intrigued enough to want to read it and I also knew the outline of more or less every narrative event in the book. I'll try to avoid spoiling these. Sea State is, in part, a book about its own making. The author, who previously worked on a magazine, quits her job in order to write a (I'm following convention from articles and interviews and using she-her pronouns for the author). I picked this book up due to reviews in the Guardian Newspaper. Between those, and another in a monthly magazine, I was intrigued enough to want to read it and I also knew the outline of more or less every narrative event in the book. I'll try to avoid spoiling these. Sea State is, in part, a book about its own making. The author, who previously worked on a magazine, quits her job in order to write about the experiences of oil rig workers. The workers are usually working class men. She interviews them at pubs, and starts a relationship with one from the first group she sits down with. The frame of the book is the course of their relationship, and her relationship with other oil rig workers she befriends. The focus of the book therefore is more about the life of the author, and her attempts to discover what working offshore is like, than the actual experience of the workers themselves. There are books considered classics that follow a similar journalistic experiment. More or less every Hunter S. Thompson book, for example, is constructed in this way. Here however I found the style to be quite personal and, for the most part, very compelling. I grew up reading women's magazines and newspaper columns written by or for women, and this seems very familiar. The closest comparison I can make is with Liz Jones, the Mail on Sunday's weekly columnist who journals her life through the prism of her relationship problems. The book is also fairly short - combined with the punchy style, it makes for an easy, satisfying read. In that sense, I think it's succesful -the tendency of the author to digress did get a bit much for me though. The vocabulary is also fairly complex and seems just a bit engineered to convey the impression that the author is very intelligent (as compared to the rough beasts on the rig, see below). I got through over half the book in a single sitting. What I disliked about the book, I will explain related to the quote on the cover: "...one of the best I've read about men and women..." - the book does dwell on the subject of relations between the sexes. A lot of the observations, though, aren't examined further, especially in the light of class, which I'll explain next. "...about social class..." If I recall correctly, the author made a comment in a Guardian interview that she's "obsessed with class", as opposed to what I assume is what she thinks as "cancel culture / social justice warrior politics". This being said, she frequently makes derisive remarks about the oil rig workers based on their non-cosmopolitan tastes, lack of erudition, lack of interest in highbrow literature and even their accents. The author's reactions and sometimes rather complicated vocabulary, sets up a very English kind of tension that exposes the author somewhat, in my view. As a result the book was really filled with classism for me, and that's a real shame. No concerted attempt is made to explore or examine class any further, I did get the impression that she looks down on the people she interviews. Conclusions you can draw from the book in this matter (and gender, capitalism, and whatever else) will be your own. Tabitha Lasley points out the facts in this regard - and that's it. If you already had a dim view of the working class, Northerners, or industrial workers, this book does nothing to address or change that. "...and, above all, female desire" - sometimes the author does speak about this generally, however everything is so personal and filled with self criticism, insight and analysis about how it relates to her (and not to class or society in general) I don't think much is generally applicable. There's quite a lot of sex in this short book too, and, surprisingly, it's fairly sensitively written, with a little modern vulgarity added in. Lastly, there's a lot of digression about house music, and a LOT of brand name dropping, to the extent that I thought the book might have been part sponsored by Nike. On the whole, this is an entertaining read for the insights it does occasional give into the tough world of working on the oil rigs, and into the capitalist culture of the businesses that run them. This definitely takes a very far back seat to the author's confessional description of her relationship, and anecdotes about going out with oil riggers she meets, where the focus is on their interaction and not the insight the oil rig workers impart. I was very surprised to find that, at the end, over 1oo of them had contributed somehow to her book (mostly making awful, aggressive attempts at flirting with her it seems), seeing as how little of the book is directly concerned with what they had to say about their lives on the rig. If however, you're interested in the experiences of a woman heading towards 40 and starting an intense relationship in a new city with an exciting man from across the class divide, you'll really enjoy this.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Maytal

    Ugh…

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

    It started off well, and then came the affair, the misogyny, the woe-is-me bullshit which completely detracted from what could have been a genuinely interesting insight into offshore workers. I mostly thought the writer an obnoxious dickhead.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shoshanna

    Different than I thought it would be. I thought it would be a straight sociological study of life offshore. The foreword has some good history and of course there are sociological observations sprinkled throughout, but this is more of a memoir of a woman studying life offshore with musings about sex, gender, class, culture, and geography. It's interesting, throughout the book she speaks of interviewing men who work offshore with a focus on gender relations for a project, a book she is writing. A Different than I thought it would be. I thought it would be a straight sociological study of life offshore. The foreword has some good history and of course there are sociological observations sprinkled throughout, but this is more of a memoir of a woman studying life offshore with musings about sex, gender, class, culture, and geography. It's interesting, throughout the book she speaks of interviewing men who work offshore with a focus on gender relations for a project, a book she is writing. At the end, I'm left wondering, is this the book she is working on? Or is this a memoir about another book? I learned so much, and this is a very human way to learn about a very different part of the world than I'm in.

  22. 5 out of 5

    T

    The author quits her job and moves to Aberdeen to interview oil rig workers. As a book of self-discovery and a type of now-or-never experience, it was captivating.

  23. 4 out of 5

    ❀ Carla ❀

    Maybe in another world we would get a longer, more in-depth version of this story that would delve into the emotional and socio-economic issues at the heart of this memoir, but this isn’t that. It’s a shame because it seems that the author had enough content to write a much more lengthy and complete narrative, but decided against it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Hatwell

    I read most of this book in one sitting, I have goosebumps now

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty Keddie

    The author tells us numerous times in this autobiography how difficult it is to write a book. Her first novel, four years in progress, was lost on a stolen laptop. This kicked off a series of decisions that ended with her in Aberdeen where she went out night after night to drink in bars and strip clubs with offshore workers, she collected we are told 103 interviews to be the basis of her new book. Out of these only a tiny sample of quotes make it into this, her debut. It’s not clear how a book a The author tells us numerous times in this autobiography how difficult it is to write a book. Her first novel, four years in progress, was lost on a stolen laptop. This kicked off a series of decisions that ended with her in Aberdeen where she went out night after night to drink in bars and strip clubs with offshore workers, she collected we are told 103 interviews to be the basis of her new book. Out of these only a tiny sample of quotes make it into this, her debut. It’s not clear how a book about offshore life ever could have been constructed from such a flawed approach. Instead she writes on a far more compelling topic - her ill advised affair with interviewee number 1. She actually writes very well and I really enjoyed the book. I grew up in a part of Scotland where everyone knew someone who worked off shore, I’ve heard the same stories as Tabitha about the suicides, accidents and experiences of female workers on the rigs and don’t doubt the authenticity of the stuff she was told. If you are actually interested in a journalistic account of off shore life you certainly won’t find it here. It’s good writing though and I look forward to what she writes next! One star deducted for the rather odd ending chapters where she loses direction somewhat. She should have ended at Aberdeen airport. Maybe for her next book she should hang out with the wives and girlfriends... there is a story to be had there too in my observation!!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Annette Morris

    Lightweight and anecdotal. The author trawled around the bars and nightclubs of Aberdeen flirting and chatting with offshore oil rig workers and having an affair with at least one of them. She recorded some of her so-called interviews and regurgitated parts of them are scattered throughout the book. Some of them are quite interesting as snippets of bar room talk but she doesn't appear to have done any fact checking or indeed any other kind of objective research whatsoever. Nevertheless these sma Lightweight and anecdotal. The author trawled around the bars and nightclubs of Aberdeen flirting and chatting with offshore oil rig workers and having an affair with at least one of them. She recorded some of her so-called interviews and regurgitated parts of them are scattered throughout the book. Some of them are quite interesting as snippets of bar room talk but she doesn't appear to have done any fact checking or indeed any other kind of objective research whatsoever. Nevertheless these smatterings are by far the most interesting bits in the book with the bulk of it being dedicated to the author herself and her affair with a married man with children which was really not interesting at all.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kathrin Peters

    As others have pointed out, the marketing blurb for this book is misleading. Rather than focus on the lives and problems of the people working on offshore structures, this book focuses on the author's life and I did not find it very compelling. There are glimpses of interesting facts and some insights but they are swamped by Lasley's views and perspectives. The use of language at times is patronising, as if she has to demonstrate that she is more educated than her subjects. Altogether disappoint As others have pointed out, the marketing blurb for this book is misleading. Rather than focus on the lives and problems of the people working on offshore structures, this book focuses on the author's life and I did not find it very compelling. There are glimpses of interesting facts and some insights but they are swamped by Lasley's views and perspectives. The use of language at times is patronising, as if she has to demonstrate that she is more educated than her subjects. Altogether disappointing.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Pam Strachan

    Having lived in Aberdeen from 1969 to 1983, I recognise the town. My ex husband worked for Schlumberger for a brief period. All of his mates got jobs on the rigs. This is why I was interested in this book. However for 100 interviews there is not a huge amount of information about oil workers. I can only deduce the interviews were boring. I'm not really interested in the authors love life, which was really depressing. I cannot believe the hype for what I believe to be a very slight book. Having lived in Aberdeen from 1969 to 1983, I recognise the town. My ex husband worked for Schlumberger for a brief period. All of his mates got jobs on the rigs. This is why I was interested in this book. However for 100 interviews there is not a huge amount of information about oil workers. I can only deduce the interviews were boring. I'm not really interested in the authors love life, which was really depressing. I cannot believe the hype for what I believe to be a very slight book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Jameson

    A strange hybrid of memoir, primarily during the research period, interspersed with interviews and facts about the lives of offshore workers. I found the description of her affair and its aftermath the most impactful and interesting part of the book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rick Wilson

    False pretext. This is a coming of age, finding yourself memoir masquerading as a sociological study. As a sociological study it’s not good. As a memoir it’s middling to ok. I wanted to read a good literary nonfiction book about what this book ostensibly proposes to be about, masculinity and oil rig workers. I imagined maybe a George Orwell esque, Road to Wigan Pier, perhaps a sort of sexed up ethnography about this topic. Instead, this is essentially Eat Pray Love among the oilfield workers whe False pretext. This is a coming of age, finding yourself memoir masquerading as a sociological study. As a sociological study it’s not good. As a memoir it’s middling to ok. I wanted to read a good literary nonfiction book about what this book ostensibly proposes to be about, masculinity and oil rig workers. I imagined maybe a George Orwell esque, Road to Wigan Pier, perhaps a sort of sexed up ethnography about this topic. Instead, this is essentially Eat Pray Love among the oilfield workers where the author finds herself by making bad decisions with a married man and journeys around commentating on things, less so on the overall dynamic, and more on how she feels about it. Which is an acceptable type of book, just not not what I was looking for. The writing is decent. Content was frustrating.

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