After three years of college, Finn Murphy gave up his studies to work full time as a mover. He would soon manage his own rig, crisscrossing America hundreds of times for an elite clientele. Murphy remained a lifelong student, an intellectual trucker with an avowed crush on NPR’s Terri Gross.
What results in this memoir is a blend of amusing tales about his career and straight-talking reflections on “the dregs of the American Dream” he sees from his cab. While offering a dim view of society, particularly of his wealthy clients, Murphy defends eloquently the joys of manual labor, of doing a hard job correctly and on time. His language can be at times as salty as a sailor’s (as tart as a trucker’s?), but his overall message is thought provoking and provides an engaging companion piece to J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy. (W.W. Norton and Company)