I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Long Haul: A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road by Finn Murphy
on June 6, 2017
Pages: 256 pages
A long-haul mover’s rollicking account of life out on the Big Slab.
More than thirty years ago, Finn Murphy dropped out of college to become a long-haul trucker. Since then he’s covered more than a million miles packing, loading, and hauling people’s belongings all over America. Known by his trucker handle as U-Turn, he spends his days (and many of his nights) in a 53-foot eighteen-wheeler he calls Cassidy.
In The Long Haul, Murphy offers a trucker’s-eye view of America on the move. Going far beyond the myth of the American road trip, he whisks readers down the I-95 Powerlane, across the Florida Everglades, in and out of the truck stops of the Midwest, and through the steep grades of the Rocky Mountains. As he crisscrosses the country, Murphy recounts with wit, candor, and charm the America he has seen change over the decades, from the hollowing-out of small towns to changing tastes in culture and home furnishings.
Some 40 million Americans move each year, and very few have any idea what they’re getting into or the kind of person to whom they are relinquishing their worldly goods. The Long Haul is also a behind-the-scenes look at the moving industry, revealing what really happens when we call in “the movers.”
Through it all, Murphy tells poignant, funny, and often haunting stories of the people he encounters on the job: a feisty hoarder in New Hampshire; a Virginia homeowner raging when Murphy’s truck accidentally runs down a stand of trees; an ex-banker in Colorado who treats Finn and his crew with undisguised contempt; a widow who needs Murphy to bring her archeologist husband’s remains and relics to a Navajo burial ceremony in New Mexico. These experiences inspire Finn’s memorable reflections on work, class, and the bonds we form with the things we own and the places we live.
Brimming with personality and filled with great characters, The Long Haul is a resonant portrait of the enduring appeal of manual labor in the dark underbelly of the American Dream.
In The Long Haul, Finn Murphy gives the reader a glimpse into the trucking life, which he did by grabbing my attention with the Introduction and keeping me engrossed until the final chapter. I don’t know when I have enjoyed reading a true story this much.
Because I have an affinity for truckers, meaning when I travel I respect them and look to them for help with traffic seeing how they can see the road and the like, I was delighted to read this book, and I wasn’t disappointed one bit. Finn is a natural storyteller and he put me right there beside him as he traveled cross-country, met with folks whose possessions he packed and moved and even reading about the interaction or not with other truckers was great. Who would think that some drivers would not care for drivers based on the load they carried? That was a wow moment for me.
I loved the stories he told about the different moves, and the last story in the book is worth the price of the book alone. He helps a widow move her things in a short time frame, and the end results of making that move that I didn’t see coming yet it had me teared up was magic.
As this is an advance reading copy, there were a few typos that should be corrected before release but they in no way took away from the story. I also would have liked that he call Indians, Native Americans but I still get it why people still use that term.
I recommend folks read this book even if you never thought about how truckers roll because Finn Murphy gives us a glimpse into that world with excellent stories that are well written, never boring and fun to read. I admit to already telling folks they need to read this.
Thanks, Finn Murphy for writing this wonderful book about the trucker life and I will be on the lookout for your next work! This is non-fiction at its best! Buy this book!
Review: Linda C