Finn Murphy, The Long Haul

Monday, August 28, 2017 - 7:00pm



Bookshop Santa Cruz is pleased to present Finn Murphy as he talks about his new book, The Long Haul, A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road. 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.

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.

“Like priests, movers shepherd us through life’s transitions; like cowboys, truckers drive the roads we’ll never know. Both see America in ways the rest of us don’t. In The Long Haul, Murphy . . . bring[s] us into his semi-mythic world.” — Joshua Rothman, The New Yorker

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

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

EVENT DETAILS: This free event will take place at Bookshop Santa Cruz. Open seating. Seats are generally set up one hour prior to the event's start time.


 

The Long Haul: A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780393608717
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 6th, 2017

 

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