The Long Haul: A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road
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.
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.
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About the AuthorFinn Murphy grew up in Connecticut and now lives in Colorado. He started working as a long-haul trucker in 1980. The Long Haul is his first book.
Rich [and] insightful.... A well-written story that rarely slows down.--Nathan Deuel
It's a hoot to ride along with Murphy.--Irene Wanner
Exquisite.... Murphy can cross class boundaries as smoothly as changing lanes on the highway.... Readers even passingly familiar with the burgeoning literary genre we might call hillbilly elegiacs... will find Murphy's more nuanced perspective refreshing.--Meghan Daum
An adventure story and... a peek into an occupation whose practitioners we see rolling down the highway.--Jim Higgins
Finn Murphy... bring[s] readers along for a rollicking ride through a trucker's world and [provides] an insider's eye, pairing it with an involving series of encounters.
The Long Haul is funny and sad and wise, and it shows us the lives of people we depend on.--Matthew B. Crawford, author of Shop Class as Soulcraft
The Long Haul delivers because it is a survey of a culture fused to a working man's memoir--and Murphy, smartly, avoids sentiment and lazy comparisons.--Jeffery Gleaves
The Long Haul beguil[es] readers with wit, wisdom and observations born from decades in transit.--Jason Blevins