Be advised, the opening pages of The Long Haul contain an adrenaline-inducing narrative placing the reader behind the wheel of a big-rig semi loaded with heaven knows how many tons, hurtling down a steep mountain pass. Everything that could go wrong--and every way the driver and truck could end up in a mangled heap--is described in terms guaranteed to keep the reader confined to a nice safe station wagon on nice flat land. That such a ride is a commonplace experience for truckers is shocking.What’s even more shocking for us long-time Nantucketers, however, is that the author and truck driver in question are none other than our very own former Selectman and cashmere purveyor(!), Finn Murphy.
Finn easily ranks among the top five most vocal, engaged, and opinionated members of our island political scene in recent decades, so the fact that he has the passion and intelligence to craft a book was never in question. But the topic, whoa! What many of us never knew is that, before coming to Nantucket, Finn had had a career as a long distance mover, driving semis all over this great land, and it was to this career that he returned, at least in part, when he moved off island some years back, and it’s this rich territory that he mines in The Long Haul: A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road.
Lucky for us then and now, Finn is a student of life, the universe, and everything in it, and he is a great writer with a tale to tell. As a bookseller, I’m thrilled to share this book – it is a fast-paced, compelling read, populated by a great cast of characters. It will be so very much fun to have Finn at the Nantucket Book Festival to talk about everything that went into the living and the writing of trucking life. Who knew?!
I confess that I’d expected a little more political commentary, cultural criticism, and at least one mention of the word “Nantucket” in these pages, but sources tell me that all that has to wait for his next books. That’s right – this one is so good he’s been signed for more. That’s great news for all of us curious to see what comes next in the life of a very interesting narrator.
- Wendy Hudson