Some books are meant to be heard and this is one of them. The narrators really bring the story to life and you really want the characters to be real live people you could go have a coffee with and get to know. I didn't want it to end and was sad when it did..it left me wanting more. Please, please please Liz Moore write a sequel!
I listen to audio books on my M-F 40 minute commute into Raleigh NC. I am the founder of The Shore Grief Center, a nonprofit.
Learning how a teen deals with grief.
The teen due to his battles and conquests during the hard teen years.
I was pleasantly surprised when the first character's reading changed over to a teen boy's reading! It made the story more interesting rather than listening to an overweight adult moaning about his life. I am hopeful for a part two of "Heft."
Heft was an unexpected excellent read. A unique experience
I have never read another book quite like this one.
I would read this again.
I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books.
Heft deals with the subject of loneliness and how it can make life quite difficult to bear. There is a time when two people, Charlene and Arthur, meet. Arthur is a professor and Charlene is his student. These two lonely people, gravitate flawlessly towards each other, driven by the loneliness they share. Arthur and Charlene are misfits who need one another.
There is a brief time when they do get together and share a few dinners, where Arthur notices that Charlene does enjoy drinking rum and coke. However, they drift apart as lonely people are wont to do. Surprisingly, Charlene writes a letter to Arthur and he responds. This communication continues for 20 years until Charlene's illness, Lupus, consumes her life.
Mel quits his job and goes home and does not venture outside for a decade. During this time he uses food to comfort himself. Mel balloons from a plump man to an obese man who weighs 550 pounds,.
Charlene quits her job as secretary to the director of a high school where only the rich attend. Charlene used her cunning to get the board of the school to allow her son, Mel, to attend. She knows that Mel wants to become a professional ball player but Charlene has other ideas. She had only been able to attend college for one semester due to finances. Charlene has an intense desire for Mel to attend college and she suspects that his excellent education will be the catalyst to her dream coming true.
Charlene has suffered from the mild form of Lupus for years. However, her need to quit her job results from the disease progressing from mild to progressive. Charlene begins to drink heavily. Her choice of comfort is rum and coke. She has not left her home for the past 2 years.
Charlene never shares this information with Mel. Therefore, when her behavior becomes all consuming, Mel does not understand why. He thinks that Charlene lies when she tells him that she is in pain. Mel stays away from home as much as possible. He is ashamed of his mother and does not bring any of his friends home to meet her. Mel purchases the rum and coke that Charlene so desperately needs. He buys her junk food because that is all that she will eat. Charlene becomes thin and wasted after spending the last two years trying to slowly kill herself.
Charlene knows that Mel will need a mentor and this need inspires her to write one more letter to Arthur, asking for his help. Arthur attempts to telephone Charlene but without success because when he hears Charlene's voice, his voice freezes and he cannot speak.
Mel is given Arthur's name, phone number and address by his mother. She instructs him to call Arthur, whom Mel is aware of because of the many letters that his mother has received from him throughout those many years. Mel knows that Charlene is smiling and therefore happy when she retreats to her bedroom to read the letters.
Mel is never privy to their correspondence. Mel puts the information in his wallet for reasons he's not aware of. His future is a mystery just as everyone else's is. Mel isn't aware at the time but he will need that information as his only life line.
The book is sad but does have its redeeming qualities. Listen and you will understand how one man's loneliness may have a resolution.
The character that I've not talked about is Yolanda. She is a a young girl who comes to Arthur's home to clean. Yolanda is pregnant and her mother has made her quit school to become a housekeeper for a stranger. That stranger is Arthur.
Yolanda plays a pivotal role is helping Arthur to want to try and experience the joy of living as before. She encourages Arthur to get outside and to acknowledge his neighbors, which Arthur could never have done without Yolanda acting as his coach. Walking is something that Arthur knows is impossible for him to do. However, Yolanda proves him wrong. Yolanda sparks a fire in Arthur that does not want to be extinguished but he does need her help.
There is awesome character development that reverberates while listening to this book. You as the listener will come to know them all well. The narrator is exceptional who adds another whole realm to this book. Don't miss this book that will truly touch your heart.
I sometimes find audio harder to get into than print. However I was fully immersed into this fiction from the moment it started. The development of the characters where rich and complete. I felt for each individual and found them believe able.
What's up with Gilbert grape is comparable. The characters being prisoners of their homes and their bodies. The social and psychological themes run quite similar but different. The gentle characters that though their own actions ultimately hurt themselves.
Kindness comes in many shapes and forms!
I loved the characters in this book. They're the kind I miss when the final few sentences draw the story to its conclusion. I have to "close the book", and wonder what will happen next in their lives.
A family member mentioned she'd read the book rather than my preferred method of audio reading. I cannot imagine knowing the personalities in Heft without the incredibly insightful performances of the two readers. Especially tender was Kirby Heyborne's depiction of the lead character.
The story was fascinating, surprising, never slow but instead seemed to get better and better as it progressed.
I couldn't put it down therefore I finished it all too soon!
I enjoy listening to audio books because they entertain me while doing other mundane life's chores!!! I am taken to other places and have an eclectic taste!
I really enjoyed the performance and the story....not exactly what I expected at the end, but a great listen by the elder Arthur and younger Arthur...And I loved Yolanda!! Listen, and you will learn!!
This truly was a great book. I listened to it in less than three days -- usually it takes me weeks to listen to a book.
The characters were rich, the emotions were real, the story was great.
That being said, the book ended very suddenly. It wasn't a bad ending, It left more to the imagination than I prefer. I prefer closure. The ending is the only thing that kept me from giving it 5 stars.
family of book worms
My only complaint is that I wanted one more chapter. It hints at resolution, but you don't get to hear it.
I have a busy career, travel a lot and don't have much time to read, so I listen to Audio books. I love reading!
A really good story of a lonely overweight man and a young man with a sick and dysfunctional Mum. The book is two stories in one, the older man and the youner man and the Mum that is the connection between the two. It is beautifully written and the dialogue is thought provoking, gentle and poignant.
A very lovely story.. not too disimilar to Water for Elephants in style and narration.