I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?
Arthur Opp says "the pleasure of finally making a clean break into misery after always dangling above it's canyon...." sums up the depth of this character's journey in life, and for me the depth of this story too.
I was hooked, I wanted to get back to the book each time I set it down. I loved the way the author entwined the characters, it all worked so well.
I cannot begin to sing enough praise for these amazing narrators who made the characters, each one, truly alive. This is the best narration I've ever heard in a book, I think.
I can only say I couldn't give the story 5 stars because of the abrupt ending, I didn't quite get that, a bit of a disappointment. But overall such a winner.
I loved the honesty and lack of pretense. The characters were alive, their problems real. Very well done.
The only other book I could think to compare Heft to is Wuthering Heights... Disfunctional characters trying to survive.
The narrators did an excellent job. They were very good with the New York accents of Charlene and the Spanish-New York of Yolanda. They sounded like gum snapping, diner waitresses and I was fascinated that Arthur gave them the time of day. The contrast between them seemed too wide a gap to bridge.
I loved the book and was deeply engrossed in the drama. The ending was a bit confounding, but the story never let's you go. It haunts your thoughts even after you put it down.
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (fiction) - Heft is set in present day New York. It is full of memorable characters -- a pregnant teenager, an alcoholic, an orphan and a morbidly obese recluse. They are all flawed and lonely, and they are all trying to deal with their problems the best way they know how. This is a story about falling down and trying to get back up, and about moving out of your comfort zone and reaching out to others. The story is sad but also heartwarming and happy at the same time. The ending is realistic and wonderful.
PERFORMANCE - This book is read by two awesome male readers. Arthur (the obese recluse) sounds mature and well-educated, with a slight British accent. Kel (the orphan) sounds like the young high school athlete that he is. The story is told alternatively between their respective viewpoints, and the performances are great.
OVERALL - There is a sprinkling of cuss words in this book, and there is only one extremely vague sexual situation. There is no violence. I would recommend this book for mature listeners who enjoy growing with richly painted characters bit by delicious bit.
Yes because you find yourself doing a "what if" senario in your head.
Five People You Meet In Heaven since it to demonstrates how the simplest things you do can profoundly influence others.
They were believeable and draw the reader into the story.
Often made me sad that otherwise productive, colorful characters can go so far astray.
I have enjoyed my Audible membership tremendously.
Thorny issues faced in daily life by characters not often given a voice. Sadness and loneliness, love and family all play roles. A book that will definitely get a second listen. Narrators are superb.
This book was so much better than I expected. The narrator was perfect. He made the characters come to life for me & made me care what happened to each one.
The characters were really fleshed out and real, but so melancholy. So many missed opportunities for each of them. They could have changed each other's lives but didn't have the courage.
I was interested enough in what was going to happen next that I was drawn back to listen when I had other things to do. But I wished someone got their happiness in the end.
Mother, knitter, reader, lifelong learner, technical writer, former library assistant & hematologist.
Why should you listen to a book about an agoraphobic, morbidly obese former professor, his former student, and her son? Because Liz Moore excels at storytelling in Heft and she can make you care about all of these characters in a way that doesn't often happen in fiction, especially when the characters have all made some questionable choices. In Heft, Liz Moore writes of several lonely, misfit characters in an extraordinary way. She is able to tell the stories of Arthur Opp, a morbidly obese, agoraphobic, former professor, his former student Charlene Turner, and her son Kel Keller in simple, straightforward, yet beautiful writing.
Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds, sits on his couch and watches his home fill up with the detritus of his life. After September 11, he realized that he had no one to care about (or to care about him), so he isolates himself in his house and with his weight. He never leaves his house, orders everything he needs, but is clearly cognizant of his situation. His only contact has been letters from a former student, Charlene Turner. He hasn't seen her in twenty years, but one day receives a letter asking Arthur to provide some much-needed guidance to her son, Kel Keller. This letter provides the impetus for Arthur to hire a cleaning lady, Yolanda, who is a very interesting character in her own right. Keith Szarabajka does an amazing narration for Arthur. This is definitely a case where the audio makes the book an even better reading experience than print.
Every one of these characters is lonely in their own way, and their interactions and intersections may (or may not) change that, but Moore doesn't write their stories in predictable ways. She reveals the truth behind the facades that Arthur and Kel have chosen; it would be so easy to write all of these characters as caricatures, but Moore never does that.
"I considered the fact that men who come to excavate my house upon receiving complaints from the neighbors will find a fat old corpse who has no relations and nothing but a pile of papers to tell them this was a human being and this was a man with a story to tell."
Heft is a masterfully told story.
I am a miracle worker. Doing what I can to choose love over fear.
Like "Me before you" this book is about ilness and lonelyness. In "Me before you" there is one storyline which makes you either love or hate it. "Heft" !contains one storyline about a 17-year old guy taking care of his mom suffering from Lupus. His escape is baseball. The other story is about the big guy Arthur too big to wish to get out of his house: Then their stories come together. The narration is as great as "The help" the two narrators does an beyond amazing job. The narrators help you navigate between the two stories.
I would either create another chapter or a second book.
Yolanda meets Arthur
"You before me" came in the middel of this, would have done it in one setting otherwise.
If you like "The fault in our stars"
" The help"
" Me before you" you will love this.
Life's good when I am listening to a great book.
What I loved best about Heft was that I felt like I was living the main character's life. The author was able to write the book in a manner that allowed me to feel that I was on the inside of his mind, understanding his motives and choices. He was such an interesting, brilliant, gentle man while at the same time he was trapped within himself and within his home.
I suppose that Heft reminded me of Anne Tyler novels, like "Accidental Tourist" perhaps. Unbelievable character development. The reader gets to live the life of another.
The reading of Heft was brilliant. The story telling with two different voices allowed me to more fully live the lives of the two main characters whose ages were vastly separated.
This book did not make me laugh or cry but did make me feel deeply the importance of development of friendships and the value of creating one's own family of friends as opposed to a birth family. This book allowed me to observe the protagonist's great ability to find love and acceptance of himself and of others.