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

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This jagged hole — which flutters in the middle of the memoir where decades of experience should be woven through — isn’t the only thing that compromises Murphy as a narrator. There’s something occasionally mannered and artificial about his dialogue
-NY Times

Synopsis

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.

 

About Finn Murphy

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Finn 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. Kevin Snyder Photography
 
Published June 6, 2017 by W. W. Norton & Company. 241 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Long Haul
All: 3 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Below average
on Apr 04 2017

Ultimately, the behind-the-scenes appeal of Murphy’s stories fades a bit after several chapters, but they shed light on a world not experienced by most.

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NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Jennifer Senior on May 31 2017

This jagged hole — which flutters in the middle of the memoir where decades of experience should be woven through — isn’t the only thing that compromises Murphy as a narrator. There’s something occasionally mannered and artificial about his dialogue

Read Full Review of The Long Haul: A Trucker's Ta... | See more reviews from NY Times

LA Times

Good
Reviewed by NATHAN DEUEL on Jun 09 2017

But it’s his rich perspective as a mover that makes this story of trucking life so insightful, given how many times life choices are tested with each family he helps relocate.

Read Full Review of The Long Haul: A Trucker's Ta... | See more reviews from LA Times
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