Cover Image: Sea State

Sea State

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Member Reviews

Thank you to both NetGalley and Ecco for this ebook. In Sea State, we meet Tabitha – newly single, quitting her job, and moving to Aberdeen, Scotland, to accomplish her goal of penning a book about the men who work on off-shore oil rigs. 

The first man she interviews crosses the line from a journalistic relationship to an intimate one. We are provided an unflinching look into the progression of this relationship, and the emotional toll it takes on both of them as they negotiate around his existing marriage.

That said, I entered into reading this memoir expecting more accounts of the men on the oil rigs. I feel that we could have been privy to more backstories and viewpoints of these men – how their approach to life on the oil rig differed by their age, marital status, and home place.
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Thanks to Netgalley and Ecco for the ebook. After the end of a toxic relationship, Tabitha decides to quit her job at a London magazine and move to Aberdeen, Scotland, to finally write her book about men who work on offshore oil rigs. She dives in with interviews with the men who work the demanding shifts of three weeks on and three weeks off, as the spend there disposable income, drink and take drugs and tell stories about how hard the work is, but also how hard it is to acclimate when they get back home to their wives and kids. Tabitha throws herself into this world, even dating a married off shore worker that she expects more from than he can deliver. She gets emotionally twisted from her time there, but has this lovely book as a reward.
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This is an absolutely EXCELLENT memoir! Lasley picked an interesting subject to write about: the lives of oil drillers in Scotland. At first, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, but anything set in Scotland grabs my attention. I was really fascinated by the politics surrounding this particular career, and I like how she humanized the men and their traits. Overall, I really enjoyed this and I think other people who like memoirs, especially in another country, will find this subject fascinating and hopefully learn something at the same time. I know I did!
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This was a really I retesting premise, and I really wanted it to live up to my hopes. Overall, I thought it was a little boring, and the story arc a little flat. I would’ve like the secondary characters to have more depth. I don’t think this will be a memorable one for me.
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I DNF'd this book at about 50 pages in, because I thought the way the author narrated/wrote was incredibly boring. As far as memoirs go, this was not enthralling and it did not capture any of the atmosphere of where Ms. Lasley was interviewing this oil riggers. Overall, a disappointment.
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Though I found this book’s premise intriguing, and I love memoirs, I found Sea State’s narrative disjointed. The choppy writing style and meandering storytelling didn’t hold my interest, and I ended up skimming the last half.
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Messy and unapologetic. A glimpse into a unique world through an intimate lens. Gritty and brazen memoir.
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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 <i>thinking about writing a book about offshore rig workers</i> (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 both 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>I regrettably obtained a digital version of this book free from Netgalley and Ecco in exchange for an honest review.</i>
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This book was interesting, but seemed to be more about the author's experiences instead of the life of off shore workers. Still, it is a memoir worth reading.
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I was expecting a nature memoir and instead got an incredible look at love, masculinity, and life. This is a really special and unique book. Recommended!
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Sea State by Tabitha Lasley is incredibly well written and filled with information unknown to me previously. It is interesting to get further insight into the lives and minds of the men who work at the off-shore oil rigs. She tells about their state of mind, how torn they feel about what most describe as a double life. How they cope with their lifestyle and the sacrifices they had to give up. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys insight into the affects blue collar jobs have on employees. The dangers of rigging, the way the men interact with each other and their views on women and families. The affects on the children for having a father who works on an offshore rig and spends much of his time drinking, gambling and cheat on their wives.
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Lasley's novel is modern prose at its best!  Her work is a mix of memoir and nonfiction in sharp, sometimes gut-wrenching, detail. Written in six parts, the work explores Lasley's personal life as much as detailing the lives of oil riggers on the North Sea. Hard to put down, this is a not to miss, fine piece of contemporary writing.
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I was initially afraid that this book would be too niche for me to appreciate, but Lasley’s wit and blunt storytelling kept me hooked till the end. Sea State is a memoir that feels more akin to having an intimate conversation on life with a friend over a couple pots of coffee. 

Tabitha Lasley is a journalist in need of a fresh start. She leaves her life in London and makes her way to Aberdeen, Scotland in search of a story on the lifestyle of men on oil rigs. Men who go without seeing women, and the rest of the outside world for that matter, for weeks at a time. The more she learns about these men, the more she learns about herself as well.

Although her journalistic endeavors lead her through some pretty questionable decisions, I have to give her credit for owning her actions. If it weren’t for Lasley’s frankness, I’m not sure that I would have enjoyed this book as much as I did. But, because of her great storytelling ability, Sea State is engaging, evocative, and actually quite informative. Coming from an American gal with absolutely no prior knowledge on oil rigs, I was thoroughly hooked.
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“Sea State” is a startling, memoir by local Londoner Tabitha Lasley. After a terrible car accident and a burglary that ended in the loss of her life’s work, Lasley makes the decision to break up with her boyfriend and move to Aberdeen, Scotland. Lasley hopes to fulfill her journalistic. She meets with 103 North Sea oil riggers, and strategically investigates their lives using the narrative of ‘friend’. Lasley soon falls for one of her interviewees, who happens to be married, and engages in a relationship with him. 

This memoir is not like most memoirs I’ve read, for one, it expands only 6 months of Lasley’s life. It is an autobiography but is also a first-hand account of what men are like without women around. There are traces of education on the dangerous job of offshore drilling, but they are few and far between. 

This memoir was definitely entertaining, so much so, that if I didn’t know better, I would think it was a fiction novel. I have the most respect for Lasley seeing how she put her whole life on hold to chase her dreams, even when her dreams require her to socialize with inebriated men in order to extract information from them. In a way, it’s true journalism! She is real and raw. She doesn’t hold back in her articulations, even when she’s talking about her own misgivings.

In my opinion, Lasley’s writing was hard to comprehend at times. As an American reader, I found some of the terms/slang uncompressible (for example, using the word ‘bird’ to mean women). I also became confused about what was happening in time, the transitions between past and present were slightly confusing and messy. 

A great read for someone looking to read more about the sketchy investigative life of a journalist!
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Having read this the same week I read GHOSTS by Dolly Alderton, I got a little spooked that my life as a thirtysomething singleton was irrevocably doomed? But that is not the book's fault. I thought this really was great in the parts where the author is not rutting a married guy. Some folks might find that the compelling part of the story? All this is to say that I hope this book becomes a big hit because I want to know more about the author's scrapped memoir TRAINERS FOR PROPER DANCING.
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