Over and Over the Road: A Truck Driver’s Stories
The long-haul trucker has become a mythic figure, representing 20th-century America and an indefatigable mantra: the freedom of the open road. Everything from songs and movies to reality shows and the CB radio subculture have been spawned by trucking, and everyone has an image in their head of the stereotypical truck driver.
Over and Over the Road takes us much deeper, cataloguing the hard-won advice and colorful anecdotes of driver V.W. Sheperd. Some of these stories are little more than poetic observations, moments stolen in time, while others place the reader behind the wheel of these behemoth machines. Funny and bittersweet all at once, this book is a curious mishmash that nonetheless yields a cohesive, engaging, perspective-rich whole: a life spent crisscrossing the country, encountering all the weirdness and kindness this country has to offer.
Sheperd repeats a few notes throughout the book — moments with panhandlers and wrong turns crop up fairly often — but he closes with a personal saga of bad luck-turned-worse. Although the final tale doesn’t tie up all the loose ends, it is a fitting finale, running Sheperd through an emotional gauntlet that only serves to reaffirm his characteristic tenacity. And the reader, having gotten to know the author over the previous hundred pages or so, can’t help but root for our good-intentioned protagonist.
But the book offers more than one man’s stories; it gave me a fresh perspective on how pedestrians and drivers interact with long-haul truckers, and what not to do when big rigs are around. From idiots cutting him off to the oblivious endangering themselves and others, it’s a testament to the skills of folks like Sheperd that more people aren’t hurt by reckless and thoughtless behavior.
Over and Over the Road brings a lot to the table, with plenty of charm and some terrific yarns. With a bit more writing experience under his belt, Sheperd will no doubt shine.
|Page Count||154 pages|
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|Category||Biographies & Memoirs|