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The Long Haul

A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road

Finn Murphy (Author)

 

A long-haul mover’s rollicking account of life out on the Big Slab.

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.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • June 2017
  • ISBN 978-0-393-60871-7
  • 6.4 × 9.6 in / 256 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, Singapore and Malaysia, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

Endorsements & Reviews

The Long Haul comes at a politically relevant moment, with a pleasing balance of humor, wisdom and unvarnished insights into a way of life that makes the American way of life possible.” — Mark Vanhoenacker, best-selling author of Skyfaring

The Long Haul can be almost shamefully enjoyable, allowing readers to have their fix of ‘fabulous-life-of’ porn and class outrage, too. . . . [T]he stories Murphy tells . . . my goodness, how astonishing they are, and how moving, and how funny, and how just plain weird.” — Jennifer Senior, New York Times Book Review

The Long Haul is funny and sad and wise, and it shows us the lives of people we depend on.” — Matthew B. Crawford, best-selling 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 Paris Review

“There's nothing semi about Finn Murphy's trucking tales of The Long Haul.” — Sloane Crosley, Vanity Fair

“A rare, fascinating glimpse into the lives of big-rig pilots and the people they move… The Long Haul beguil[es] readers with wit, wisdom and observations born from decades in transit.” — Jason Blevins, Denver Post

“Finn Murphy is my kind of intelligent roughneck. He deploys a keen eye, frank tongue, and muscular thought to show us how the upper class and the working class are acting when they think no one is watching.” — Michael Perry, author of Truck: A Love Story

“Why defy your parents, step out into the world of work, and risk being crushed by it? Read The Long Haul and you will know why: there is a deep belly laugh that comes when you prevail. The book 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

“Like the best works of sociology, The Long Haul illuminates a ubiquitous but curiously overlooked segment of American life. But this is no mere empirical survey: Finn Murphy invites you into the air-cushioned cab of his eighteen-wheeler and along for a coast-to-coast ride that is trenchantly observed, wryly funny, and filled with human drama.” — Tom Vanderbilt, author of Traffic

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