The Long Haul

The Long Haul

A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road

Book - 2017
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WW Norton
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.

Baker & Taylor
A long-haul trucker reflects on the changing realities of the working class as witnessed during journeys ranging from the I-95 Powerland and the Florida Everglades to the truck stops of the Midwest and the Rocky Mountains.

Book News
Murphy, a long-haul trucker since 1980, tells stories about his life on the road driving a moving truck. He dropped out of college to become a long-haul trucker and has driven all over the US, and here he describes the people he has encountered and worked with, background on the industry, and his reflections on work, class, and the bonds people have with belongings and places. Annotation ©2017 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (

& Taylor

A rollicking assessment of life on the Big Slab by a decades-experienced long-haul trucker reflects on the changing realities of the working class as witnessed during journeys ranging from the I-95 Powerland and the Florida Everglades to the truck stops of the Midwest and the Rocky Mountains.

Publisher: New York : W W. Norton & Company, c2017
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780393608717
Branch Call Number: 388.324 MUR
Characteristics: xxiii, 229 p. ;,25 cm.


From the critics

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Jun 07, 2018

Much better than I thought it would be. This is an easy, well-written book about an industry I knew very little about. I learned that the work is hard, but the money can keep drivers on the road for years.

Jan 21, 2018

The author doesn't mention it except in the acknowledgments, but he is the son of the creator of the Prince Valiant cartoon. In contrast to a comment below, I found the introduction compelling.

Dec 06, 2017

Written by a long haul trucker this book is less than it could be. The parts of the author's life as a long haul mover and later an executive mover are fascinating and I learned a lot about what movers actually do. As a military "brat", my family moved a lot -- now I have a better understanding of all the things that happened during our various moves. My mother said she lived in 21 apartments and homes in 19 years. I grew up moving.
The book is detailed and readable -- but he leaves out a large part of his life when he wasn't a long haul mover. He also leaves out most of his personal life - if he had one. All that said - it was an good, fast and informative read. If you've moved a lot or may be moving -- give this a look. I would have liked more personal information and what it was like to drive across the United States for so many years. I enjoyed his descriptions of the "shipper" i.e. the client/person being moved. Some of them are unbelievably awful to the movers and others incredibly generous and understanding. I follow a couple of trucker vlogs but none of them are movers like the author.

Sep 20, 2017

Hard to put this book down. Crisp writing on extreme experiences. Indeed a long-haul mover gains rare insights into the human condition.

Aug 06, 2017

I like road trip books such as "Travels with Charlie" so when I saw this book I picked it up and was not disappointed. I would give it a 4 on a scale of 5. It provided a good break from my usual mystery and what is wrong with America books.
Most chapters revolved around a single trip, delivery or experience. Many chapters did give the reader to reflect on life motivations and experiences. In away it spoke to some of the issues that "Hillbilly elegy" attempted to address.
I was repulsed by the portions of the introduction and was ready to return it to the library but did give it one more chance and it did get better.

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