Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Books: Interstate Trucking

This week's book is In the Driver's Seat: Interstate Trucking - A Journey by Marc Mayfield. This is a self-published memoir. Mayfield had admired 18-wheelers ever since he was a kid, but he didn't take up trucking as a career until he was 45. He instantly loved it and stuck with it for many years. He loved the solitude and the opportunity to see sights all around the U.S. and Canada, and he was good at the job.

I found the inside look at trucking to be pretty interesting. One hears of the lack of sleep, the poor condition trucks may or may not be in, the hazards of the job... so it was interesting to learn about those from the driver's perspective. I'll be looking at trucks and truckers in a new light as I travel along our highways.

The story, however, isn't successful at what Mayfield attempts - showing how through his trucking years he "met someone he didn't know he'd been looking for: himself." (Quote is from the back cover.) I waited for the introspection, the self-discovery, the life-altering awakening, but didn't find it. He constantly wonders whether or not he wants to stay married or should he be a lonely trucker for the rest of his days. His poor wife, waiting for his infrequent stops at home, claims she loves him, but I never felt that he reciprocated that love. His final decision is made by default, or inertia; certainly not by any self-discovery.

Not a well-resolved story, IMO. It's a little bit interesting, but needs the help of a good editor and publisher.

I don't even know where I came across this book. I must have received it free somehow; I'm guessing either as a give-away at Goodreads or as a free book from the Little Free Library warehouse when I purchased the LFL box. In any case, I'm glad I didn't pay for this book. It was a little interesting, but I don't recommend it if you're looking for a well-written piece of literature.

Heath Ledger reading... now he can do as much of this as he likes up in Heaven (I found the photo, via Google image search, in a collection called "awesome people reading").

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