"An adventure story and… a peek into an occupation whose practitioners we see rolling down the highway."
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Jim Higgins
"Exquisite.… Murphy can cross class boundaries as smoothly as changing lanes on the highway.… Readers even passingly familiar with the burgeoning literary genre we might call hillbilly elegiacs… will find Murphy’s more nuanced perspective refreshing."
New York Times Book Review - Meghan Daum
"Like a Mark Twain behind the wheel, [Murphy] takes us on the road coast to coast and city to city with a voice that’s honest and direct and sometimes even poetic."
The Long Haul is funny and sad and wise, and it shows us the lives of people we depend on."
"It’s a hoot to ride along with Murphy."
Seattle Times - Irene Wanner
A son of Cos Cob, Conn., and an almost-graduate of Colby College, Murphy can cross class boundaries as smoothly as changing lanes on the highway…Readers even passingly familiar with the burgeoning literary genre we might call hillbilly elegiacsa.k.a. white people with some understanding of working-class life explaining American class dynamics to white people who are cluelesswill find Murphy's more nuanced perspective refreshing…[A] terrific memoir…Murphy brings [exquisite detail] to scenes of packing up houses and negotiating tricky terrain in his truck. And even better than the stories of the moving jobs are moments of observation that say an enormous amount about human nature in just a few words.
The New York Times Book Review - Meghan Daum
The Long Haul can be almost shamefully enjoyable, allowing readers to have their fix of "fabulous-life-of" porn and class outrage, too…There's something occasionally mannered and artificial about his dialogue, which tends toward the screwball or the Socratic, depending on the moment. (Though at its best, it's kind of great, as if Hepburn and Tracy were handed their own CBs)…What redeems this book, time and time again, are the stories Murphy tells. My goodness, how astonishing they are, and how moving, and how funny, and how just plain weird. Wait until you get to the one about the unlikely polygamist. Or the client who dies, mid-move.
The New York Times - Jennifer Senior
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."
New York Times Book Review - Jennifer Senior
"There's nothing semi about Finn Murphy's trucking tales of
The Long Haul."
Vanity Fair - Sloane Crosley
"It’s [Murphy's] rich perspective as a mover that makes this story of trucking life so insightful. . . . A well-written story that rarely slows down."
Los Angeles Times - Nathan Deuel
"Finn Murphy . . . bring[s] readers along for a rollicking ride through a trucker's world and [provides] an insider's eye, pairing it with an involving series of encounters."
"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."
The New Yorker - Joshua Rothman
"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."
Denver Post - Jason Blevins
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."
The Paris Review - Jeffery Gleaves
Working at the gas station in high school, Murphy idolized the guys at the moving company next door. Directionless and smoking too much pot, he dropped out of college to drive for the company full-time, specializing in long-distance moves. A few decades later, he now moves high-end corporate clients and has stories to tell. Readers may wonder if some of the details have been embellished over the years, but considering Murphy's engaging style and ability to laugh at himself, the occasional big fish isn't distracting. The author's years of observing every corner of the United States and untangling the reality from the legends give this inviting book weight. Murphy has traversed the nation again and again and spent miles pondering the hollowing of cities, the "silence and vastness" of the Everglades' Alligator Alley, the mythos of the cowboy trucker, and trucking's changing racial makeup. VERDICT For fans of thought-provoking road trip tales.—Jennifer Rothschild, Arlington Public Library, Arlington, VA
A moving trucker shares stories from a life on the open road.Murphy is not your typical trucker. As a moving truck driver, often known as "bedbuggers" hauling "roach coaches," he describes the strict hierarchy among truckers and how his type are shunned as outsiders. He also touts his middle-class background in suburban Connecticut and his nearly completed education at Colby College, a prestigious liberal arts school in Maine, to distinguish himself from the "cowboy truckers" who think of themselves as living out some modern fantasy of the Wild West. The author even mentions his nickname "The Great White Mover," which refers to his talent and indirectly to the industry's widening racial gap. In fact, Murphy decided to leave college a year before graduating (much to his parents' disapproval) to work full-time in the moving business following his experience of the camaraderie of working with a local company as a teenager. Eventually, the author worked his way up as a driver in the "high-end executive relocation" business, where he routinely makes cross-country hauls for his high-profile clients. Throughout his recollections, Murphy maintains an air of armchair philosopher, imparting common-sense wisdom and morals from three decades behind the wheel. With carefully retold anecdotes that illustrate the minutiae of life as a trucker, Murphy sheds light on this unique subculture. More than anything, he uses the narrative to combat the negative stigma against movers, taking jabs at past customers who slighted him. One story in particular fittingly encapsulates the author's background and mission: he purposely placed an abusive customer's antique Chinese gravestones upside down (he took a course in college) to embarrass the owner, who wouldn't have noticed. 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. An entertaining and insightful snapshot of the hauling life.