This book is about what it says in the title, told from the viewpoint of a “bedbugger” which is a long-haul mover. The intro made me realize I had a pThis book is about what it says in the title, told from the viewpoint of a “bedbugger” which is a long-haul mover. The intro made me realize I had a preconception about truckers. “This guy Finn Murphy could write,” I thought. And, well why not? Just because he drives a truck doesn’t mean he isn’t intelligent. The only “trucker” I really know is very intelligent.
Murphy early on tells us in the hierarchy of truckers they are the lowest, and don’t find much comradery with other truckers at the main stops and fuel stations. The reason he muses later is that they don’t have a regular route, they are all over the country from one day to the next. Without that regular route you don’t establish a strong connection with the waitresses, fuel personnel or other folks that service the trucks that move all of our goods.
As I read on I found that while he can turn a phrase his book needed something more, it lacked a little focus or purpose. There are some good stories here, but there just didn’t seem to be the arc of purpose like, why is he writing this book? If it’s just to tell the readers what it’s like driving a truck and being a moving guy, well then that should have been stated goal. But if it was more about, what I suspect it is: why Finn Murphy started to move people’s stuff and what he learned during his life being a mover and trucker, well, the book didn’t end on that note. Close though. And there were moments where the trail was lost. Also there were moments when he had strong social commentary, such as the mom-and-pop business gone, downtown’s gone. While I agree with his sentiment, the way it was told in the book wasn’t the best way to write about it. A stronger way would have been to show what happens, and not create curse words either. Also, there were occasions where the jargon was a little too much, or not explained.
Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the book, but it didn’t end up being a five star great book, like I initially hoped it would. I did learn about his life on the road, a few more things about trucks I didn’t know before. I also may look at my stuff in a different light the next time I move.
May 3 update: I forgot to thank the publisher for an advance free copy of this book for review. Thank you W.W.Norton!
Technically, I did not get a free copy of the book, only temporary access to an electronic copy, but I am grateful for that access. I was not required to write a review, but felt like it and, of course, the above opinions are my own....more
This is very short book developed out of Paul Madonna's personal experience of being evicted out of his home in San Francisco. Yes, a renter, but at tThis is very short book developed out of Paul Madonna's personal experience of being evicted out of his home in San Francisco. Yes, a renter, but at the same place for about ten years. Seemed unfair, especially since the landlord was likely breaking tenant rights law.
The surreal experiences talked about in the book reflects what Paul felt going through this process. His drawings were good, but sometimes didn't seem to me to match what was going on in the story.
As I said, a very short work, and most the time while reading this I felt like the book was written for just people of San Francisco. I felt like such an outsider. Sometimes the specific reflects to the larger, but in this case I didn't get that sense at all. I'm no stranger to San Francisco, although I do not now, nor in the past, lived in the city. I have been a frequent visitor for the past, (wow) thirty years now (i'm getting old!). My frequent visits have caused me to know the place better than Los Angeles, which is near where I live now and spent most of my life. So why do I feel like such an outsider with this book?
PS: Final thought, little funny to me as it opens with "Imagine you're on an airplane...." well that was easy for me, because I was on one while I read this book. :)
Update - May 3, 2017: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a review, but felt like it and, of course, the above opinions are my own....more
The best autobiography told by a comedian that I've read. Okay, I haven't read many (4 or 5), but this is the best yet. Trevor has a way of telling aThe best autobiography told by a comedian that I've read. Okay, I haven't read many (4 or 5), but this is the best yet. Trevor has a way of telling a good funny story. Most of his childhood is not humorous, growing up very poor and having an abusive step-father, let alone the extreme racism in his country, and still he tells a good funny story. Actually the book is very eye-opening about what it's like to live in South Africa. Since there is that lighter side it isn't overwhelming in sadness. I hope his life only gets better.
I recommend the audio book which is narrated by Trevor. His voice adds another layer of enjoyment of the tales....more