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Truckers Hardcover – July 28, 2009
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
Discover books for all types of engineers, auto enthusiasts, and much more. Learn more
Top customer reviews
The life of truckers - from very young men to near retirement fellows to the women in between - is not unlike that of a mobile prisoner. Locked in a 'cell' of a truck cab for endless hours and days and weeks as they transport the necessities of our lives across the USA, their lives are isolated, relieved only by truck stops along the lonely way where they may shower, watch a little television, eat, and sleep. What Richardson has done is collected photographs from three fine, sensitive photographers of the road of trucking - Phil Andrews, Jenny Williamson, and Meshakai Wolf - and has bound them with brief descriptions of just what the lives of the truckers are like. She breaks her examination into five parts: Understanding, isolation, sleep; Passing time, everyday life, needs; Fuel, costs, labor; Health, mental and physical; Terminology, freedom and family. Her information is scattered in and around the many black and white and full color photographs of the truckers, the cabs, the rigs, the destinations, and the road with its pit stops.
While this topic may not appear at first to be a song, relating just one small paragraph of Richardson's writing will give evidence of the poetic quality of her message: The following is titled 'Holdover'
'Qualcomm (DEF.) A device that let's them know where you through an onboard computer. His name is The Snowman. His previous job was Vietnam and cocaine. 'I don't do drugs. Thank God I got off that crap in '75. That's why I got the handle Snowman.' He's wearing a padded plaid jacket with a quilted nylon lining, impressing upon an aloof ad fume-soaked winter the sentimentalities of trucking in its golden age. Life was in the palm of his hands, tearing through a young, unclogged Interstate, unattached and flying. His real name is Ray McMillan. Behind him is an ad for Bluetooth CB radios. Payphones are a rarity and The Snow man is now tracked by satellite. His route and speed are provided to his company by Qualcomm. An automated voice from his GPS device gives him driving directions. He communicates with his dispatcher through an onboard computer on where to pick up, drop off and fuel up.'
Or in this excerpt: Shower No. 3 'Before I did this, I was a guard at a maximum security prison for 12 years. There was at least human contact. Now look at who is shelled inside a box. Truckers sit for twice as long as office workers, ears ringing, hearing shot from the sound of the engine running and the trailer rattling. Never a kindness, soft skin. I cannot hear a whisper if there were one. Wispy dry hair and the sun is going down. I watch from the window inside, waiting for a shower to open up. Coffee, wash off the coffee. It is dirty in my head. They want me to pick up another load 500 miles away before I head home. Eyes blurry, squinting all the time, the pee bottle spilled on the floor this morning. Can't s**t right anymore after holding it in so many times.'
This book deserves wide attention, not only for its look at humanity in such a special way but for the underlying pathos Mary Richardson and her colleagues have captured so well. Grady Harp, June 2010