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Oil on the Brain: Petroleum's Long, Strange Trip to Your Tank Paperback – February 12, 2008
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“By giving voice to the people who are the links in the global oil chain, Margonelli invites us to leapfrog all the rhetoric, dry statistics, and dire pronouncements about oil in order to truly understand it.” —Fast Company
“Hugely enjoyable, compulsively readable, and brilliantly reported.” —Po Bronson, author of What Should I Do with My Life?
“From the corner gas station to the oil fields of Nigeria, there couldn't be a better traveling companion than Margonelli. She's fast, fearless, funny, and a brilliant observer."
—Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed
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Top Customer Reviews
This is my favorite type of book: a painless and fun way to learn important stuff. It's comprehensively researched and usefully annotated, and the perspective is balanced.
There is no particular failing that causes me to give 4 stars rather than 5. I would only give 5 stars to one of my dozen or so favorite books of all time. This book is merely excellent.
"must-read" for everyone who complains about the high cost of gasoline
Alas, the chapters on foreign countries - Venezuela, Nigeria, Chad, Iran - are less informative. Not nearly as much factual data and intellectual rigor as in the first few chapters. More quotes from biased and limited sources, much more opinion. As a result, the book became a struggle to finish, with all the opinion. Interesting for an author who claims to know little about oil and gas at the outset, to pen such broad and sweeping conclusions and statements in the later chapters. The last chapter deals with Chinese attempts to build smaller more fuel-efficient cars. This is ironic, as the Chinese National Petroleum Company is making acquisitions of marginal oil and gas properties all over the world - desperate to gain access to oil. The author doesn't mention deepwater oil and gas production in Nigeria (almost 1/3 of the country's production comes from 4 deep water developments) or Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
As an alternative to this book, I recommend John Ghazvinian's Book 'Untapped-The Struggle for Africa's Oil' which features chapters on several countries in Africa that have gained prominence in recent years for their oil potential. More data, more reporting, less bias, less barely-concealed contempt for the oil and gas business. Ms.Read more ›
The book is well written, interesting, and provides a detailed overview of our friend gasoline.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Enjoyed the first chapter the most.Good insight into the complicated world (literally) of petroleum.Published 9 months ago by Sunshine63
A great unbiased look at the petroleum supply chain. Margonelli spends time at all the steps from well to tank to show how the resource is used and where the money goes.Published 16 months ago by FuelScience
Only halfway done reading and I'm sold on this book already! Just gathering in one place all the info you need to know and never knew makes 'Oil On The Brain' a great must read! Read morePublished 16 months ago by S. Rogers
A thought provoking look at the life cycle of oil, from its geological formation to its use at the pump and the politics in between. Read morePublished on November 29, 2013 by P. D. Nelson
our book club read this book...it was very educational and made for a good discussion. I have passed it on to a son who works at our local refinery.Published on September 7, 2013 by A. Walter
Written like a story book, rather than a factual reflection of what, where and how oil affects us. It begins where the end product is sold and works it way back in a way that... Read morePublished on August 26, 2013 by L. Rost
the book held my attention from the beginning to the end. It was amazing to read how this product affects and infuences many facets of our life. Read morePublished on May 18, 2013 by 3 db down