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Heft | [Liz Moore]

Heft

Forrmer academic Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn’t left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career - if he can untangle himself from his family drama.
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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Nominee, Literary Fiction, 2013

A heartwarming novel about larger-than-life characters and second chances....

Former academic Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn’t left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career - if he can untangle himself from his family drama. The link between this unlikely pair is Kel’s mother, Charlene, a former student of Arthur’s. After nearly two decades of silence, it is Charlene’s unexpected phone call to Arthur - a plea for help - that jostles them into action. Through Arthur and Kel’s own quirky and lovable voices, Heft tells the winning story of two improbable heroes whose sudden connection transforms both their lives. Like Elizabeth McCracken’s The Giant’s HouseHeft is a novel about love and family found in the most unexpected places.

©2012 Liz Moore (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“A suspenseful, restorative novel from one of our fine young voices.” (Colum McCann, National Book Award–winning author)

“In Heft, Liz Moore creates a cast of vulnerable, lonely misfits that will break your heart and then make it soar. What a terrific novel!” (Ann Hood, best-selling author of The Red Thread)

“This is the real deal, Liz Moore is the real deal - she’s written a novel that will stick with you long after you’ve finished it.” (Russell Banks, Pulitzer Prize finalist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1312 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.1 (1192 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.5 (1191 )
5 star
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4 star
 (347)
3 star
 (98)
2 star
 (18)
1 star
 (13)
Performance
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  •  
    Polly Philadelphia, PA, United States 07-14-14
    Polly Philadelphia, PA, United States 07-14-14 Member Since 2010

    An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    96
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    "Sweet Sadness and Hope"

    I would describe "Heft" as a character study laced with sweet sadness. lost opportunity and loneliness. There is a small mystery in the plot, and, of course, hope keeps the characters afloat and drives the story forward.

    "Heft" is not at all my usual kind of selection, but I loved it and will remember two of the characters - Arthur Opp and Yolanda - forever.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Andreadis San Francisco, ca. USA 07-14-14
    Mark Andreadis San Francisco, ca. USA 07-14-14 Member Since 2011

    Studio5454

    ratings
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    56
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it!"
    What did you like best about this story?

    Liz Moore has created characters so real and sympathetic that you feel you have crawled inside their skins. It is definitely character driven but although there is not a heart pounding plot, it is never boring because you care so much about the characters. They are flawed, sometimes weak, often embarrassingly awkward but she induces you to forgive them and maybe yourself a little along the way.


    What about Kirby Heyborne and Keith Szarabajka ’s performance did you like?

    Good narrators. Particularly liked the older characters voice.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thom Toronto, ON, Canada 06-19-14
    Thom Toronto, ON, Canada 06-19-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    8
    7
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    2
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    "Never fell in love with these characters"

    The book is a reflection on loneliness as revealed in an older, sedate, world-weary man and his opposite, a young, popular, athletic boy. Like the main characters, the book was a bit overly symmetrical in its story arc and seemed too contrived for my liking. After a while, it begins to feel a bit formulaic with the character telling you all the things they'd like to say and then not saying any of those things at all. I probably would not have noticed these things so much except that I didn't really enjoy the characters much.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee HOUSTON, TX, United States 05-31-14
    Lee HOUSTON, TX, United States 05-31-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story,but one narrator better than the other"
    What did you love best about Heft?

    I loved the story and the psychological aspects behind both of the main characters. I liked the ending as well. I loved how the reader got to know both of the main characters through a linking character whom we never got to know first hand except through the thoughts of the other two characters. Very ingenious.


    What other book might you compare Heft to and why?

    I would compare it to other books that are character driven rather than action driven. This book has more thought than action, but it never felt slow.


    Which character – as performed by Kirby Heyborne and Keith Szarabajka – was your favorite?

    The reader who played Arthur Opp (Keith Szarabajka) was fabulous. The reader who played Kell Keller (Kirby Heyborne) sucked, in my opinion. I would have liked to give the performance a 5 for Szarabajka, but had to bring it to a 4 because of Heyborne. I'll tell you why. Heyborne read his part in a sing song voice that you hear so often at author readings. Meaning, he "read" his part rather than "acted" it. I was totally into the story whenever Szarabajka was reading, but was taken out of the story when Heyborne was reading. I tolerated it because the story itself was so compelling. This is the long and short of it: I didn't "feel" Kell Keller through Heyborne. I truly "felt" Arthur Opp through Szarabajka. I think Heyborne could become a better reader if he worked on "being" the character more. It is easy to criticize, I know. I am not an actor, just a reader. I'm just saying how I felt about the narration and hopefully it is constructive criticism for Heyborne and helpful to other readers. My apologies to Heyborne.


    Who was the most memorable character of Heft and why?

    Arthur Opp and Charlene because of the interesting psychology behind both of their characters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    andrea 05-30-14
    andrea 05-30-14 Member Since 2011

    I'm Andrea and i love reading all types of books.

    ratings
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    12
    1
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    Performance
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    "2 stories; 2 lives- one excellently written.."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    kel's narration. It was extremely slow and uninteresting. The author frequently took 20 minutes to articulate a 20 second though or action; very tedious at times..


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Heft?

    Art's past reflections; his visit with his father and the times he share with his housekeeper, Yolanda. I would have love for the entire story to only be about him and his relationship with Kel's mom.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Art's narration was superb! flawless.. very visual. I dislike every utterance of Kel's voice; however I painfully muddled throught it.


    Do you think Heft needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    YES! the story had a horrible and abrubt ending . I had to make certain this wasn't actually an Ann Patchet novel!


    Any additional comments?

    Althought I truly loved parts of this story, if given the option I would not choose it again. short story with a disconected ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vicki Bulverde, TX, United States 05-18-14
    Vicki Bulverde, TX, United States 05-18-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointed"

    Like the other disappointed readers, I found the ending wanting. The entire story was a buildup to something that doesn't happen. Of course, we can speculate on what was going to happen next but why would one want to? If I wanted to speculate on people's lives, all I have to do is go to restaurant, look around and guess what's going to happen next in any random stranger's life. The not-knowing at the end of that would be just as satisfying as this was.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Betty Defuniak Springs, FL, United States 04-23-14
    Betty Defuniak Springs, FL, United States 04-23-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Characters I cared about"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Heft to be better than the print version?

    How would I judge this?


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I loved the book because I loved all the characters. No favorites.


    What about Kirby Heyborne and Keith Szarabajka ’s performance did you like?

    Both talented, distinct and appropriate. Szarabajka also does the voice of Yolanada and it's all great,


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I don't want to listen to anything in one sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    I have been complaining lately that I don't find many books by women to read. I don't like romance or chicklit. This book was wonderful and I was grateful to find it. The only thing I didn't like is that it makes you care about the characters and lets you anticipate something wonderful happening between them but stops before that scene. For me the book had no ending. It really does annoy me. In real life you would be able to find out what happened and have closure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Los Angeles, CA, United States 04-20-14
    Jean Los Angeles, CA, United States 04-20-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "for kids?"
    What made the experience of listening to Heft the most enjoyable?

    I got sucked in at the beginning. the narrator was great and the story could have gone in any direction. By the middle of the book, I felt I had been sucked into a teenage coming of age novel. I finished anyway. Some good points were made. Inclusive of outsiders, I like that.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Arkansas 04-13-14
    Jan Arkansas 04-13-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Multi-Star Rating, But Worth Your Time"

    A frank and sometimes harsh story of a lonely obese man who ultimately accepts himself and who is the object of a young man's link to finding his father. It is heart wrenching at times, but comedy relief comes when a friendship develops between the man and his hispanic young maid. The narrator brings this female forward in a stellar performance.. The story would have been 4 stars if it hadn't left the reader hanging a ltitle and unsatisfied in the end. I am not sure if it was to set up the scene for a second novel or not, but either way, closure could have been better. Both narrator's performance is outstanding, and in fact, may be the reason it's a successful listen

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rock Conner Dallas, GA 04-10-14
    Rock Conner Dallas, GA 04-10-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "braid of two stories"

    Author Liz Moore braids together the stories of a challenged teen and a challenged middle-aged man. Good one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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