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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 as a mover, packing, loading, hauling people’s belongings all over America. In The Long Haul, Murphy recounts with wit, candor, and charm the America he has seen change over the decades and the poignant, funny, and often haunting s 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 as a mover, packing, loading, hauling people’s belongings all over America. In The Long Haul, Murphy recounts with wit, candor, and charm the America he has seen change over the decades and the poignant, funny, and often haunting stories of the people he encounters on the job.


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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 as a mover, packing, loading, hauling people’s belongings all over America. In The Long Haul, Murphy recounts with wit, candor, and charm the America he has seen change over the decades and the poignant, funny, and often haunting s 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 as a mover, packing, loading, hauling people’s belongings all over America. In The Long Haul, Murphy recounts with wit, candor, and charm the America he has seen change over the decades and the poignant, funny, and often haunting stories of the people he encounters on the job.

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

  1. 4 out of 5

    Petra-X Off having adventures

    The last chapter in the book is brilliant but unusual because the author says he was asked not to say anything about what went on, so he isn't going to, and he doesn't! And it is still the best chapter, genius writing! I loved the book. Yesterday driving up the interstate I was looking at all the trucks, tractors and trailers and seeing the furniture movers and thinking to myself, 'bedbuggers. Bottom of the truckers' hierarchy but top of the high rollers for money." I don't know if Finn Murphy wo The last chapter in the book is brilliant but unusual because the author says he was asked not to say anything about what went on, so he isn't going to, and he doesn't! And it is still the best chapter, genius writing! I loved the book. Yesterday driving up the interstate I was looking at all the trucks, tractors and trailers and seeing the furniture movers and thinking to myself, 'bedbuggers. Bottom of the truckers' hierarchy but top of the high rollers for money." I don't know if Finn Murphy would earn as much money writing books as he does trucking, but he would sure move up in the pecking order and I'd buy his books. __________ (The author is talking about packing up a house for a move) "Books are completely disappearing. Remember in Fahrenheit 451 where the fireman's wife was addicted to interactive television and they sent fireman crews out to burn books? That mission has been largely accomplished in middleclass America and they didn't need the firemen. The interactive electronics took care of it without the violence," True. And electronic books can be altered to reflect the changing times if someone in power, a government, Bezos, or the author deems it necessary. Music to listen to: Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen's Mama Hated Diesels so Bad....

  2. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    The Long Haul: A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road by Finn Murphy is a 2017 W.W. Norton Company publication. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from this book when I started reading it, but it sounded like it might be pretty interesting. I’m sure truckers see all manner of interesting things, meet a variety of different people, and have probably had their fair share of odd encounters out on the road. So, I settled in, ready to hear some interesting tales, perhaps a few suspenseful moments of The Long Haul: A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road by Finn Murphy is a 2017 W.W. Norton Company publication. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from this book when I started reading it, but it sounded like it might be pretty interesting. I’m sure truckers see all manner of interesting things, meet a variety of different people, and have probably had their fair share of odd encounters out on the road. So, I settled in, ready to hear some interesting tales, perhaps a few suspenseful moments of danger, and maybe a human -interest story or two, as well. What I got, though, was so much more than that. Finn Murphy has such an honest and genuine voice and seems like he would be quite an interesting person, if I were to ever meet him in person. I haven’t moved in over twenty years, but if I ever do relocate and employ a mover to haul my belongings from one place to another, I will remember this book, as it has given me a new -found respect for truck drivers in general and for movers in particular. ‘To put it in a nutshell, the long-haul driver is responsible for legal documents, inventory, packing cartons, loading, claim prevention, unpacking, unloading, diplomacy, human resources, and customer service. The job requires an enormous amount of physical stamina, specialized knowledge, and tact. I am, as John McPhee called it, the undisputed admiral of my fleet of one.’ Finn relates the story of his career with humor, anger, and pragmatism, but also with a keen eye and lots of heart. Finn’s tells it like it is with no holds barred, and provides a surprising insight into race relations and immigration. Discovering the ins and outs of his business was fascinating, and because I spent my entire working life dealing with the public I could relate to some of his frustrations when it came to customer service and overblown expectations. I admired his unapologetic approach, exposing his stubbornness, but also revealing the pride he takes in his job. If he didn’t care about his work, he wouldn’t have bothered to write this memoir or taken the time to explain to the general population how things are out there, the regulations, the dangers, the people you encounter, and the rules you must adhere to, or provide so much insight into the challenges drivers face, while debunking a few misconceptions many people may have. This book is very informative and is certainly a learning experience, but it was also quite touching and emotional at times. I liked Finn’s style, intelligence, ethics, and straightforwardness, and I definitely admired his dedication, discipline, and loyalty. He chose, with great care, I think, which experiences he wanted to share with the reader, and I believe he chose well. Overall, this was an educational memoir, which was so interesting, I read it in one evening. I think it's always important to try and understand what it might be like to walk a mile in another man’s shoes. It’s so easy to take people or certain occupations for granted, or to complain about how they do things, but until you do their job, you have no idea what goes into it. Once you hear Finn's story, and get an idea of what it might be like to make long distance hauls, or work in the moving business, you will have a much greater appreciation for the job they do! I highly recommend this book and I think most of you will come to like Finn and respect him, and his job, a great deal! 4.5 stars

  3. 5 out of 5

    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 information here about how moving works. Also some unexpected insights on race and class. The book is worth reading for that and also just the love this guy has for his work.

  4. 4 out of 5

    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 and movers. Even if he didn't know it in the beginning, Murphy was made for this job. He has the disposition, discipline, and intellect needed to be successful in the business. Murphy is straightforward and personable; his memoir is one that the average American can relate to in many ways. 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 disposition, discipline, and intellect needed to be successful in the business. Murphy is straightforward and personable; his memoir is one that the average American can relate to in many ways.

  5. 4 out of 5

    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 fascinating. 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.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Patti

    I probably would never have picked this up if it hadn’t been a book club reading selection but to my surprise it was a fun read. Finn Murphy is a long distance mover who has seen and heard it all. Atypical of truckers, he is white, educated and from a middle class background. Murphy cherishes his personal autonomy on the open road, where each job brings its own set of challenges and characters.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Regan

    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 intelligent memoir: the theory of tier-building to organize the contents of a bedbuggers' trailer and where to store my dainties before calling in the movers. Write lots more, Mr. Murphy! 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 intelligent memoir: the theory of tier-building to organize the contents of a bedbuggers' trailer and where to store my dainties before calling in the movers. Write lots more, Mr. Murphy!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Pies

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really wanted to like this book. I requested that my library purchase this book, and to my delight, they did. I excitedly made a special trip just to pick it up when it arrived and started reading at the first opportunity. Things went downhill from there. The introduction screamed "pretentious", and the rest of the book just embraced that as a theme and ran with it. The author went to great pains to assure the reader that he was really a white collar guy who CHOSE to do a blue collar job, and I really wanted to like this book. I requested that my library purchase this book, and to my delight, they did. I excitedly made a special trip just to pick it up when it arrived and started reading at the first opportunity. Things went downhill from there. The introduction screamed "pretentious", and the rest of the book just embraced that as a theme and ran with it. The author went to great pains to assure the reader that he was really a white collar guy who CHOSE to do a blue collar job, and he did it better than all of those "real" blue collar guys. You know, the ones that drive trucks because they aren't smart enough to do anything else. He wants you to know that he is nothing like everyone else. Also, those other truck drivers are all bullies who shun him. It has to be simply because he is a mover, it can't have anything to do with his amazing personality. It could be because he is so much smarter and better than them, too. Hmmm, maybe. It doesn't matter, he knows that he's better than all of them anyway. Instead of "tales of life on the road" as the subtitle states, the stories are all moving stories. He uses these stories to illustrate how awesome he is and how horrid shippers are. In several of his stories, he mentions how shippers don't trust movers and thinks that they are dishonest. In another story, he brags about cheating an old lady by making her pay shipping costs for 1,000 pounds of fuel. I guess that doesn't count as dishonest, because the old lady was annoying and had a lot of junk. Clearly, she had it coming. He did seem to get along with a few people, and he used these stories to illustrate how much better he was than someone else: a specific mover, the husband of a family he was moving, all other movers in general. Also, he is really awesome because he hires minorities, and Native Americans love him and think he really is the Great White Mover. I know that there are a ton of real "tales of life on the road" that would make for interesting reading, but they are not in this book. Maybe some day, someone will collect a few and make an anthology. If so, I will buy a copy and donate it to my library to make up for encouraging them to spend money on this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    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 furniture cross-country. The writing is excellent and the narrator impressive and relatable. Here's a sample: "A Jake brake...sounds like a machine gun beneath my feet as it works to keep 70,000 pounds of steel and rubber under control." Also, this: "I was running north in a convoy with nine other tr 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. Here's a sample: "A Jake brake...sounds like a machine gun beneath my feet as it works to keep 70,000 pounds of steel and rubber under control." Also, this: "I was running north in a convoy with nine other trucks...We flew together for 130 miles doing 65 the whole way...it was wonderful...We all fell into a groove. Everybody was driving well, everybody was professional, everybody was going fast but not crazy fast, and there was a plane of consciousness that we had together. It's the closest thing to a Zen experience I know, except when I'm in my loading trance." And finally: "Terry dropped his trailer and hooked up (another). He pulled away in a glob of diesel smoke and a toot from the air horn. Gone. It's unlikely I'll ever see him again. He was a smart, thoughtful, and defeated man caught in the amber of class, education, and diminished expectations for himself and his progeny." Especially since the last election, many Americans are trying to learn more about their fellow countrymen, and the reality of the life of people they don't interact with. There should be a category of books called, "Learn about the Real America." The Long Haul and Hillbilly Elegy would be on that shelf.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    I know of no other memoir of a long-haul mover's life. So we're fortunate that Finn Murphy has written a good one. Early on, he gives a nod to John McPhee, and I'm guessing he once wrote McPhee offering his life story. In his current "Draft No. 4", McPhee mentions that he gets a lot of these, but has taken up only maybe half-a-dozen in his career. He'd already done a trucker.... The big attraction for top-rank long-haul movers is the money: $250,000 in a good year, per Finn. He has a white-collar I know of no other memoir of a long-haul mover's life. So we're fortunate that Finn Murphy has written a good one. Early on, he gives a nod to John McPhee, and I'm guessing he once wrote McPhee offering his life story. In his current "Draft No. 4", McPhee mentions that he gets a lot of these, but has taken up only maybe half-a-dozen in his career. He'd already done a trucker.... The big attraction for top-rank long-haul movers is the money: $250,000 in a good year, per Finn. He has a white-collar background, so his parents were *very* unhappy when he dropped out of college to be a mover. But it worked out for him, more or less. The good money is corporate moves for fat cats, who expect near perfection and pay accordingly. Of course, things don't always work out, and you don't start at the top. Finn's account of his first day on the job is classic, culminating with setting his new boss's Cadillac on fire. Amazingly, he didn't get fired.... Along the way, he befriends Willy Joyce, an ugly long-haul mover with a talent for attracting pretty college girls. Finn tells of a music-major girlfriend sitting cross-legged in Willy's cab, singing 16th-century madrigals. The girl likes to celebrate crossing each new-for-her state line by stopping to screw. They celebrate crossing 45 state lines before breaking up. The book is somewhat uneven, and I skimmed some dull patches, on the advice of my wife, who'd read it first. Don't miss the Baby Grand move! And Mr. Big's Chinese gravestones! The ending is classic, too. After getting his tractor-trailer flipped in a freak Colorado windstorm, he gets to bed at 1 AM, up at 6AM to get a Penske rental for his morning pickup. At the client's home at 8:30, smiling and presenting his business card. Response: "You're late." 4.4 stars, maybe better. Highly recommended

  11. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Non-fiction book about long haul moving, explaining to the layperson all the interesting, mundane, and arcane details of a trucker's life. It varied from interesting, thought-provoking, way too detailed (I don't need to know pages of minutiae about weight, volume, percentages of payments, etc.), and mostly irritating in the way of a long, endless vent session. This guy really likes to complain about humanity. Which, I could not agree more, but it has to be more than just an endless string of bitc Non-fiction book about long haul moving, explaining to the layperson all the interesting, mundane, and arcane details of a trucker's life. It varied from interesting, thought-provoking, way too detailed (I don't need to know pages of minutiae about weight, volume, percentages of payments, etc.), and mostly irritating in the way of a long, endless vent session. This guy really likes to complain about humanity. Which, I could not agree more, but it has to be more than just an endless string of bitching to be interesting. I became aware that he is a jackass when he said he told a young-looking tollbooth worker "isn't it past your bedtime?," clearly expecting the reader to think this was funny and he was not simply being a jerk. The long, drawn-out conversations with different people throughout the book were supposed to come off as unexpectedly intellectual and philosophical, but instead they just really rang false. It's like everyone he spoke to had the same manner of speaking, and every conversation was about deep, meaningful human connection (sprinkled liberally with lots of insults and puns). I've never been less convinced at the accuracy of dialogue in a memoir. It was (at times) an interesting window into the peripatetic and always-frantically-on-the-move life of a trucker.

  12. 4 out of 5

    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 on the people in their lives and less on their stuff. His stories are informative and reassuring for anyone hiring movers, and motivational to anyone who wants to let go of stuff. This review is based on a free review copy sent to my library by the publisher.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Donald Powell

    I cannot explain why I read this book. It is the memoir of a moving van driver. It did hold my interest as well written and so entirely unique. He has some chips on his shoulder. The people he move can often be difficult. What he fails to realize is those people are difficult with everyone with whom they come into contact, their doctors, lawyers, hairdressers, grocery store clerks . . . We all have difficult people on whom we depend for our livlihoods. Being a bedbug (his name for movers) sounds I cannot explain why I read this book. It is the memoir of a moving van driver. It did hold my interest as well written and so entirely unique. He has some chips on his shoulder. The people he move can often be difficult. What he fails to realize is those people are difficult with everyone with whom they come into contact, their doctors, lawyers, hairdressers, grocery store clerks . . . We all have difficult people on whom we depend for our livlihoods. Being a bedbug (his name for movers) sounds like a very demanding, lonely and complicated life. He had some insights into our culture very in tune with mine. It was fun to read a totally random non-fiction book way out any of my normal genres.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    I like to read about different career paths that people have chosen and I like to read about people that like to read. Finn Murphy covers both. My helpers are almost all Hispanic, and I don’t see any profound cultural chasm between an immigrant from Mexico and a middle-class white American. Your standard-issue Mexican or Brazilian is a hardworking Christian who shares a Western historical experience, speaks a Romance language, uses the same alphabet and numbering system, and has similar aspirati I like to read about different career paths that people have chosen and I like to read about people that like to read. Finn Murphy covers both. My helpers are almost all Hispanic, and I don’t see any profound cultural chasm between an immigrant from Mexico and a middle-class white American. Your standard-issue Mexican or Brazilian is a hardworking Christian who shares a Western historical experience, speaks a Romance language, uses the same alphabet and numbering system, and has similar aspirations. Just because someone doesn’t have a grasp of English doesn’t mean they don’t have a grasp on disparagement. "though it would be incorrect to think that truckers constitute some harmonized bloc of redneck atavism." Heard about it from Terry Gross on Fresh Air. Great title. Downloaded it on Audible. I’ve got an Audible habit that needs a twelve-step program.” But my favorite story told is about the archeologist and and his wife.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sabine

    A "normal person memoir" and an interesting view into the trucking world. I thoroughly enjoyed the visit in Finn's life and learned a lot about about movers and their daily life. He is an amazing story teller and not once did I find myself bored or overwhelmed with technical information but I did learn a lot and realized that my idea of trucking and reality are not exactly the same (of course). A collection of some of his adventures on the road and the people he moved. A "normal person memoir" and an interesting view into the trucking world. I thoroughly enjoyed the visit in Finn's life and learned a lot about about movers and their daily life. He is an amazing story teller and not once did I find myself bored or overwhelmed with technical information but I did learn a lot and realized that my idea of trucking and reality are not exactly the same (of course). A collection of some of his adventures on the road and the people he moved.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Katie B

    Finn Murphy's parents were not to pleased when he dropped out of college and became a truck driver. Thirty years later he is still packing, loading, and moving other people's prized possessions all over the country and he wouldn't have it any other way. In this memoir, he shares stories about the people who trust him to move their stuff in one piece, his fellow movers, and the truck drivers he has met along the way. I honestly had low expectations for this book because trucking is not something I Finn Murphy's parents were not to pleased when he dropped out of college and became a truck driver. Thirty years later he is still packing, loading, and moving other people's prized possessions all over the country and he wouldn't have it any other way. In this memoir, he shares stories about the people who trust him to move their stuff in one piece, his fellow movers, and the truck drivers he has met along the way. I honestly had low expectations for this book because trucking is not something I know a lot about or am usually interested in, but The Long Haul really turned out to be an enjoyable read. I was fascinated with his stories about how moves are executed from the mover's perspective because my husband and I have to move every few years due to his job. (It's comforting to know I am very easygoing with the movers compared to many people.) I thought it was interesting that movers are looked down on in the trucking world and I liked Finn's attitude about not caring what others think because he is making a ton of money. It is obvious that his attitude and hard work have contributed to his success in the industry. My only minor criticism of the book is I would have liked for the author to talk a bit more about his relationships. It seemed weird to never discuss dating, being involved in a long-term relationship, or his thoughts on having a family. I also would have liked a little more detail about what he did during his time spent away from trucking. Overall, this was a fun read and I felt like I learned a lot about the moving industry. I received a free copy of this book but was under no obligation to post a review. All views expressed are my honest opinions.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dick Reynolds

    Reading this book was an unexpected pleasure. Author Finn Murphy dropped out of college after three years and chose to become a long haul truck driver for a company that moves family possessions from one city to another. In the industry these kind of movers are called bedbuggers and their trucks are called roach coaches. Car haulers are nicknamed parking lot attendants and hazmat truckers are dubbed suicide jockeys. Murphy tells many fascinating stories about shippers, the folks who own the fu Reading this book was an unexpected pleasure. Author Finn Murphy dropped out of college after three years and chose to become a long haul truck driver for a company that moves family possessions from one city to another. In the industry these kind of movers are called bedbuggers and their trucks are called roach coaches. Car haulers are nicknamed parking lot attendants and hazmat truckers are dubbed suicide jockeys. Murphy tells many fascinating stories about shippers, the folks who own the furniture, dishes and other belongings that he carefully packed and loaded on his trailer. Some are nice people and others are a pain in the backside. In all cases, Finn and his crew of packers and loaders get an intimate glimpse of the shippers and know everything about them within thirty minutes of arrival at their homes. Murphy made pretty good money but he worked long hard hours. Some of that time was devoted to heavy lifting and movement of furniture and cartons, on and off the trailer, with other hours navigating our country’s highways. In the latter case, he made sure that his audio system gave him plenty of options, that his tractor/trailer rig was in good repair, and his beverage container had plenty of a drink he called Dr. Cola, a mix of Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper. He recalls the best part of his job was the independence it gave him along with the constant variety of people served and an ever-shifting landscape. A successful move, as he called it, was everything in the truck delivered on time and the shipper signing off that there would be no claim for loss or damage. This book may not be of interest to everyone. I wanted to read it because I’ve moved twenty-three times in my life. The majority of those moves were during my career in the Marines when I drove the same highways, from one coast to the other, a total of six trips, along with a move to Hawaii and back, plus one to Viet Nam. Thanks to Finn Murphy, I now have a greater appreciation of the men who got my gear safely from one duty station to the other.

  18. 5 out of 5

    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 of all the ARDUOUS work I did as a young, small-boned woman - all the complicated physical, emotional, technical and business details that come with it, not to even mention what it takes to drive a big rig all over the US under all sorts of circumstances and in all kinds of weather and the inherent d 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, emotional, technical and business details that come with it, not to even mention what it takes to drive a big rig all over the US under all sorts of circumstances and in all kinds of weather and the inherent danger of simply being on the road 24/7, made me appreciate the book, the drivers (and myself!) even more.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kasa Cotugno

    When I moved from Connecticut to California in the late 1980's, I was astounded by what it took for the trucker to pack my entire house into his van. And there already was one house, including a car, packed inside. As Finn Murphy puts it, that's the skill of the mover - to create a cube out of layers of belongings, and then dealing with the quirks of the "shippers" who sometimes haven't washed the morning coffee cups or emptied the diaper pail. Murphy is not a professional writer, but he does a When I moved from Connecticut to California in the late 1980's, I was astounded by what it took for the trucker to pack my entire house into his van. And there already was one house, including a car, packed inside. As Finn Murphy puts it, that's the skill of the mover - to create a cube out of layers of belongings, and then dealing with the quirks of the "shippers" who sometimes haven't washed the morning coffee cups or emptied the diaper pail. Murphy is not a professional writer, but he does a fine job of putting personality behind that guy who you've trusted to pack your dearest possessions. My only complaint is that I wish there were more. I could've spent much more time with U-Turn in his cab with his memories.

  20. 5 out of 5

    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 life they lead and the things they do. This book is a fascinating glimpse into the very hard and under-appreciated life of a trucker. There are some very memorable stories written in this book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    TK421

    Finn Murphy breaks the rules. He's not supposed to be an articulate, intentional, and accomplished storyteller; he's supposed to fit nicely in a box constructed by our society that demands he acts a certain way, communicates a certain way, and behaves a certain way. I loved this book! (Plus, I have a newfound respect for all Drivers.) Finn Murphy breaks the rules. He's not supposed to be an articulate, intentional, and accomplished storyteller; he's supposed to fit nicely in a box constructed by our society that demands he acts a certain way, communicates a certain way, and behaves a certain way. I loved this book! (Plus, I have a newfound respect for all Drivers.)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Gayle Hart

    Disclosure — I received this book as an ARC. I don't rightly remember how I came by it, but I probably signed up for it, or entered a drawing, or something. At any rate, I have it. Growing up in a trucking family (we have a dozen or so truckers in the family including loggers, freighters, and chippers; drivers of skateboards, dump trucks, vans, and refers; cab-overs and conventionals; cummins, corn binders, Volvos, and Detroits; owner-operators, drivers who lease on with companies, and drivers wh Disclosure — I received this book as an ARC. I don't rightly remember how I came by it, but I probably signed up for it, or entered a drawing, or something. At any rate, I have it. Growing up in a trucking family (we have a dozen or so truckers in the family including loggers, freighters, and chippers; drivers of skateboards, dump trucks, vans, and refers; cab-overs and conventionals; cummins, corn binders, Volvos, and Detroits; owner-operators, drivers who lease on with companies, and drivers who just drive company rigs; local routes — home every night, N/S routes — generally home on weekends and maybe one night during the week, and long-haul coast-to-coast routes — who the hell knows when they'll be home again), I thought I would really enjoy this book. I used to make runs with my dad during summers and school breaks between the ages of 7 to about 14 (or whenever it was that the insurance companies changed their policies regarding non-employee passengers) and I loved nearly every part of it, from waking up before dawn, to strapping down loads (when he drove a flatbed), to shrink wrapping cargo on pallets when the loading dock crew was shorthanded, to climbing up on the catwalk to connect the ABS and electrical suzies/pigtails, to walking a safety check before setting out, to scrubbing giant grasshoppers of the grill at the truck stop, to watching the miles of blacktop slide by and knowing how many times road crews had repainted the fog line, to learning how to communicate with other drivers — from CB chatter, to callouts used on specific routes (northbound 48-footer coming through the narrows), to hand signals (to this day, I still catch myself throwing hand signals at oncoming drivers about speed traps — not that many even know what it means anymore; I'm sure they just see some middle-aged lady slapping a hand up to the windshield and probably think she has a few screws loose), to manually transferring and stacking a full load of 100+ pound R-1 tractor tires to another trailer (when he drove a van), to seeing long stretches of beautiful open country, to watching dad "make" his logbook and explain how to plan out when we'd hit the next set of scales (or how we'd get around them), to being rocked to sleep in the sleeper while dad made more miles. It's a wonder I did not become a driver myself. But I didn't. Instead, I found myself working in the publishing industry, and then publishing aspects in other industries. My dad doesn't drive freight any more: he's mostly throwing a wrench doing maintenance and repairs on the rigs when they roll into the yard, but he still gets out on the road with the draggin' wagon when somebody has a breakdown. So, as much as trucking has been an integral part of my family life and shaped my personality and identity, I could not force myself to get through the introduction of this book — not even halfway. I think this was largely due to the author's views and attitudes on the hierarchy of truckers and essentially equating movers to the proverbial red-headed step-child of the group. But the kicker, for me, was when Murphy disparagingly spoke of other truckers as not having respect for the mountains and roads. Good Lord, man, those drivers are making their living driving the road you're driving. They absolutely have to have respect for the mountains and roads; they wouldn't be driving for long if they didn't. (Or they'd be driving for Swift. More on that later.) What Murphy characterized as a lack of respect is really more a matter of "knowing" the mountains and roads. Those freight drivers are regularly on those roads. They've driven them in spring, summer, fall, and winter; in rain, snow, sleet, blistering heat, wildfire smoke, and when the wind is blowing sideways. They eat, sleep, and pray on those roads. They know where they can push it, and where they can't. They know what to expect from those roads, and they know what those roads expect of them. They have a relationship with those roads. It's not an issue of respect — it's an issue of intimate familiarity. And as far as all the drivers ending up at the same truck stop for the night and starting out from the same place come morning — that may be true, but guess who had to spend more time on administrative tasks to "doctor" the logbooks to show them arriving "on time" rather than late so they are not in violation of DOT driving regulations instead of spending that time showering, or eating, or sleeping, or otherwise enjoying some down time. So yeah, they may have been throwing some shade your way when they passed you, but it had absolutely nothing to do with respect for the road. Okay, lemme put my soapbox away. For me, Murphy's tone came off as pretentious and better-than-thou (which is funny when I read all the other reviews here saying that they thought he didn't) and really led me to believe that his feelings of "otherness" in the world of truckers were mostly self-imposed and the book an exercise in validation. I have never once heard any driver talk down about movers (if any of the drivers in my family speak poorly about another group of drivers, it's usually because they drive for Swift — if we see a rig on it's side in the ditch, jackknifed on the road, stuck under an overpass, or trailer marks down the side of a building, we immediately start taking odds on whether or not the driver's a Swiftie). When it comes to truckers, there seems to be a duality in popular public imagination: they're either lone knights of the highway willing to assist stranded motorists, or outlaws with a loose network of solidarity who travel in speeding convoys. They're both. Both and everything in between. Anyhow, I just couldn't bring myself to push through — I have far too many books in my "To Read" stack to spend time reading something that is not enjoyable. I've caught myself on more than one occasion about to throw the ARC in the recycling bin, but as disgusted as I was, throwing away a book is sacrilegious. And I just keep thinking that if I skip the intro and start reading the chapters, I might actually be able to enjoy it. Except I've already been exposed to this part of the author's attitude, and that will color everything I read from him going forward. We'll see. Heading out on the road with dad in a couple weeks (in a passenger vehicle, though), maybe I'll give it another go when I'm not driving.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    I really enjoyed this insight into a truckers world and the moving world in general. Some good tips inside as well. I would have like more personal info in this memoir-like what impact did all the driving have on his ability to have relationships, what did he do when he wasn't driving (he took a hiatus),etc. but really that info was not essential in appreciating the various encounters he described. I really enjoyed this insight into a truckers world and the moving world in general. Some good tips inside as well. I would have like more personal info in this memoir-like what impact did all the driving have on his ability to have relationships, what did he do when he wasn't driving (he took a hiatus),etc. but really that info was not essential in appreciating the various encounters he described.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Paulas

    For someone who's driven through 42 states in the continental US, this book was an absolute delight! The author lives in Boulder so loved all the Colorado references. +1 star for the Conifer shoutout!! Finn, will you come do a book talk at the Denver Public Library??? For someone who's driven through 42 states in the continental US, this book was an absolute delight! The author lives in Boulder so loved all the Colorado references. +1 star for the Conifer shoutout!! Finn, will you come do a book talk at the Denver Public Library???

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gina Beirne

    This book was completely fascinating to me. I love learning about unusual jobs like that of long haul trucker. And now I know why it has taken so long to have my parents' belongings and those of their friend moved from New York to Florida. Would love to meet the hauler who delivers it! This book was completely fascinating to me. I love learning about unusual jobs like that of long haul trucker. And now I know why it has taken so long to have my parents' belongings and those of their friend moved from New York to Florida. Would love to meet the hauler who delivers it!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    Murphy is a great storyteller. A moving book in more than one sense. I hope he has a sequel in him. I've listened to a lot of audiobooks while driving over the years, and this one is nearly perfect for that purpose. Murphy is a great storyteller. A moving book in more than one sense. I hope he has a sequel in him. I've listened to a lot of audiobooks while driving over the years, and this one is nearly perfect for that purpose.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sandie

    The beginning of the book was strong but faded.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Scottsdale Public Library

    Life is what you make it whether you sit behind a desk, out in the fields, or behind the wheel of an 18 wheeler. Long haul driver Finn Murphy lets us ride shotgun as he traverses the continent packing up peoples' lives and on the flip side unpacking hopes, fresh starts, and sometimes broken dreams. Mr. Murphy shares insights into his life on the road doing what he loves, trucking culture, society, and the changing landscape of American attitudes and values one move at a time. For readers of Hill Life is what you make it whether you sit behind a desk, out in the fields, or behind the wheel of an 18 wheeler. Long haul driver Finn Murphy lets us ride shotgun as he traverses the continent packing up peoples' lives and on the flip side unpacking hopes, fresh starts, and sometimes broken dreams. Mr. Murphy shares insights into his life on the road doing what he loves, trucking culture, society, and the changing landscape of American attitudes and values one move at a time. For readers of Hillbilly Elegy, Shop Class as Soulcraft, Dirty Jobs t.v. series, and memoirs. The Long Haul is an entertaining, enlightening read. I highly recommend you go along on the ride. -Amy O.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kim Thada

    A collection of thrilling stories Finn is sure a good author filled with interesting stories to tell. His experiences on the road are precious. Yet such things have rarely been shared as, I think, truck drivers are busy working their own jobs and are no keen to share them. This even makes Finn’s stories one of a kind. Besides the roadside stories, I also enjoyed learning about trucking business and how to Finn handled when troubles arose. Also, several moments of humanity in the book were really A collection of thrilling stories Finn is sure a good author filled with interesting stories to tell. His experiences on the road are precious. Yet such things have rarely been shared as, I think, truck drivers are busy working their own jobs and are no keen to share them. This even makes Finn’s stories one of a kind. Besides the roadside stories, I also enjoyed learning about trucking business and how to Finn handled when troubles arose. Also, several moments of humanity in the book were really moving me. From a perspective of a theoretical science student, this book is a collection of great stories completely outside my circle that I would’ve otherwise not learned if not reading the book myself. Thanks Finn for sharing them. You rock!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tama

    This one got me right from the start. Didn’t want to stop—was aggravated that I had to go to work, couldn’t wait to get back to it. A definite 4.5 stars until I reached the best chapter. I won’t spoil it. It’s one of the best I’ve read in many years, and I’ll not forget it. You’ll know it when you get to it, I promise. I read this book in the digital audio version and the reader, Danny Campbell, was practically perfect in every way.

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