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The Long Haul: A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road

The Long Haul: A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road

by

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.

Title:The Long Haul: A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road
ISBN:0393608719
Format Type:
Number of Pages:256 pages
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    The Long Haul: A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road Reviews

  • Roxane

    Really interesting book about long haul trucking. I wanted more narrative cohesion. This is more a series of vignettes than a unified narrative. But the writer is fascinating and there is so much info...

  • Rana

    I absolutely love this genre, what I personally call regular-person memoir. There is such a wonderful informal writing style, it's just some dude telling me about his life. And his life is freaking fa...

  • Sheri

    Fascinating read about long haul trucking and the moving industry. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I learned a lot about both industries and definitely have more respect for truckers ...

  • Dorothy Hodder

    I love learning how other people live and how the heavy work of the world gets done. This likable, thoughtful, observant professional mover says most people would be better off to put more importance ...

  • Lynne Spreen

    What a good book. It's the memoir of an autodidactic gentleman trucker. I'd rank it right up with Hillbilly Elegy by J.D.Vance. A thoughtful view of America from ten feet up in a Freightliner, hauling...

  • Jim

    I won this book on Goodreads. An interesting look into the life of a trucker. I am glad that I read this book as I once was interested in becoming a trucker myself and was always curious about the lif...

  • Richard

    This book is a brief (fewer than 200 pages) memoir of the author’s life as the driver of a moving van. Written by Finn Murphy, and published by W. W. Norton and Company in 2017, the book is largely ...

  • Candice

    This was a well written, literate and interesting book. It had particular value to me since i was once a long-haul mover for NorthAmerican Van Lines, like Murphy, many decades ago. So to be reminded o...

  • Mark Mangold

    Loved this book. Mr. Murphy is a charming storyteller, and his memoir here is less about the mythos of truckers and more about entrepreneurship and being an observant and decent person. Yes, there is ...

  • Sam Sattler

    The Long Haul got off to kind of a slow start, but it finished strong and the last one-third or so of the book is really engaging work. Folks curious about a trucker's life on the road will want to re...