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

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Staff Reviews


I like books that illuminate a corner of life you don't normally know (or want to know) about.  The Long Haul is such a book.  Murphy describes the life, methods  and travails of a long haul truck driver -- if you've ever been moved a long way, you've used one.  And it's pretty fascinating, from the quirky terminology to the logistics of packing thousands of pounds of, well, stuff.  Read this and you'll never look at your mover -- or how he or she works -- the same way.  (By the way, if you like the book...he's coming to the store.....November 8)
 

— From Carin's Picks

Summer 2018 Reading Group Indie Next List


“A thoroughly enjoyable memoir of the romance and reality of a life on the road—specifically, a long-haul mover, or ‘bedbugger,’ in the terms of the trade—that manages to be as wise about class and culture in modern America as any academic treatise.”
— Tom Nissley, Phinney Books, Seattle, WA

Description


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.



Coverage from NPR



Product Details
ISBN: 9780393608717
ISBN-10: 0393608719
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: June 6th, 2017
Pages: 256
Language: English