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

Into the Wild

Read The Long Haul: A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road Online Free - 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
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0393608719
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 256 pages


Roxane rated it ★★★☆☆

August 02, 2017

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 information here about how moving works. Also some unexpected insights on race and class. The book is...

Rana rated it ★★★★★

July 03, 2017

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 fascinating.

Sheri rated it ★★★★★

August 01, 2017

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 and movers. Even if he didn't know it in the beginning, Murphy was made for this job. He has the...

Lynne rated it ★★★★★

June 13, 2017

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 furniture cross-country. The writing is excellent and the narrator impressive and relatable. Her...

Dorothy rated it ★★★★★

May 03, 2017

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 on the people in their lives and less on their stuff. His stories are informative and reassuring...

Nancy rated it ★★★★☆

August 17, 2017

Finn Murphy is an endearing story teller who let me know what a Jake brake is (page xii) without my even asking. (This is something I've wanted to know every time I've driven past a sign prohibiting them, even after I figured out I probably don't have any). I learned lots more reading this intell...

Jim rated it ★★★★☆

June 04, 2017

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 life they lead and the things they do. This book is a fascinating glimpse into the very hard and und...

Richard rated it ★★★★☆

July 11, 2017

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 anecdotal, covering two periods of the author’s life. The first period was the time when Murphy fir...

Candice rated it ★★★★☆

July 10, 2017

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 of all the ARDUOUS work I did as a young, small-boned woman - all the complicated physical, emotio...

Mark rated it ★★★★★

July 23, 2017

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 plenty to romanticize driving trucks, but Murphy's story is more about how the blue collar Americ...

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