Such a brilliant book about long haul movers--yep, you read that correctly. Finn Murphy has moved his customers from one place to another for over 20 years. He is in charge and responsible for the packing, stacking, driving, and unpacking at each move he does. Long haul movers know a lot about their customers’ private lives from the clues they leave around to be packed up. It is wise to be nice to them! Along the way, Finn makes some very astute observations about America's heartland and the evolving workforce of today. Completely engrossing and worth the read, even if you don't plan to use movers.— Jason Kennedy
While most folks think moving furniture requires brawn only, a great mover has to use the skills of negotiation (I can’t get from here to there in that amount of time), spatial memory (I don’t have space for all this stuff in my truck), social skills (Why are you moving this crap anyway?) and problem solving (There’s no way I can get my truck up that unpaved hill to your house.) Why are long-haul movers shunned by other truckers? What about the job has changed the makeup of the labor force? And why one bad move can impact the reputation of all movers, unlike, say, the impact of one botched operation on doctors? Murphy, an independent contractor who specializes in high-end locations, is a great storyteller offers shocking, amusing, and sometimes sad tales of moves blended with free-ranging observations of contemporary America. And yes, all questions raised in this recommendation are suitably answered, except that thing about doctors.— Daniel Goldin
Summer 2018 Reading Group Indie Next List
“A thoroughly enjoyable memoir of the romance and reality of a life on the road—specifically, a long-haul mover, or ‘bedbugger,’ in the terms of the trade—that manages to be as wise about class and culture in modern America as any academic treatise.”
— Tom Nissley, Phinney Books, Seattle, WA
More than thirty years ago, Finn Murphy dropped out of college to become a trucker. Since then he's covered hundreds of thousands of miles packing, loading, and hauling people's belongings all over America. Murphy whisks listeners 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. He tells funny, poignant, and haunting stories of the people he moves: a hoarder in New Hampshire; a Virginia homeowner raging when Murphy's truck accidentally runs down a stand of trees; a widow rushing her archaeologist husband's remains and relics to a Navajo burial ceremony in New Mexico. Brimming with personality and great characters, The Long Haul explores the appeal of manual labor and shows what happens behind the scenes when we call the movers.