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Oil Notes Paperback – October 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Southern Methodist University Press (October 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087074383X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870743832
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #688,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In journal-form entries, Bass relates oil to life--certain that neither will last forever; he reflects on his relationships with his family and his career. "With the awareness and eye of a naturalist and a writer's gift with language, he offers a low-key, upbeat work that celebrates youthful energy and optimism," stated PW.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

RICK BASS is the author of many acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction. His first short story collection, The Watch, set in Texas, won the PEN/Nelson Algren Award, and his 2002 collection, The Hermit's Story, was a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. The Lives of Rocks was a finalist for the Story Prize and was chosen as a Best Book of the Year by the Rocky Mountain News. Bass's stories have also been awarded the Pushcart Prize and the O. Henry Award and have been collected in The Best American Short Stories. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jake on October 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
Oddly enough, I was far from home doing field work in North Georgia when I found Oil Notes in a little bookstore. I am a geologist. However, unlike Rick Bass my job was to look for fresh drinking water, not oil. I found time to read his book between logging boreholes and setting wells. By the time I was finished I (with the book) I had a renewed interest and spirit in my profession and in the environment around me. Rick Bass found a way to express in words, the excitement and passions associated with being a field geologist, environmentalist and a man in love.
Oil Notes is a fantastic book, and Rick Bass is an equally outstanding author. I have since read everyone of his books. He vividly defines his feelings and passions in everything he writes about, be it drilling for oil or studing wolves.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "aubrigail" on December 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
...on reading one of my new favorite books, Oil Notes. I was not interested in reading a book about oil. Fortunately, after much convincing, I read the book and loved it. It is a beautiful book about Bass's passion for life, the outdoors and geology. It is my favorite Rick Bass book by far, and it has a permanent place on my book shelf. Don't make the mistake that I almost did...buy it, borrow it or whatever...Just don't miss out on this wonderful book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "llees" on February 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
Rick Bass, a petroleum geologist and environmental activist is known for his knowledge of the earth and oil. The book, Oil Notes, written by Bass, gives the readers the feeling that they are petroleum geologists. Bass allows the reader to understand what he is referring to and how everything on an oil rig works. At first glance or first read, the reader might think that the book is solely about oil. But as the reading goes on, the reader finds out differently. Oil Notes is not only about oil; it is an analogy for life. Bass also uses searching for the number one oil field, the one that will make someone rich, as an analogy for a man trying to find his place on earth.
Throughout the book, many facts that are in oil exploration also coexist in life. For example, Bass claims that "Nothing lasts. Old seas are buried" (42). Not only is Bass talking about the soon to be scarcity of oil, he is talking about life. No matter how much you try, you will not live forever. Rocks do not last forever; eventually they become stones, pebbles, and eventually sand. That is the same with life. Life does not last forever. Unfortunately, death is inevitable. Everything that is thought to last forever...love, hatred, and friendship...will cease to exist when the person dies.
Another example of life being told in terms of oil is when Bass talks about leadership in the field of geology: "A leader-in a profession of men and women who cannot be led, and will not" (135). Bass says that those are the type of geologists that everyone needs to stay away from. They are the geologists with the egos that are bigger than their head. In life, staying away from people like that would help a lot. People with big egos refuse to help people and also refuse to be helped.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
I both read the book and listened to the audiotape. I think the cadence of Bass' voice (he reads his own material) really enhances Oil Notes. This is a wonderful book for those who have enjoyed his later works.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 31, 1998
Format: Paperback
Geologist and writer Rick Bass muses about time and natural processes, both human and geological, creating a metaphorical experience for the reader. In his journal, he tells each anecdote with lyrical descriptions, but then goes one step beyond with some illumination about love, living, human beings, even existence itself. At this point, the body of the text becomes a secondary experience as the reader begins to feel the truth in his 'illuminations.' Many entries make the reader laugh out loud while others will instill the deep impulse to go hug a loved one. This book will make anybody remember how lovely life really is.
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