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 House, Heft is a novel about love and family found in the most unexpected places.
©2012 Liz Moore (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“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)
I had never heard of this book but really enjoyed it. It held me from the first page (or minutes?). Only downside is that I hope there is a sequel because it ended a bit abruptly, although you can imagine what would happen next. In other words, not a cliff hanger but I would really like to spend more time with the characters.
I really liked the descriptions the author used and the suspence of how story lines played around the fringes and integrating but it's just a tease.
The scene of Kel taking off from school after his breakdown. The imagery was fantastic.
I am someone who enjoys audible books very much now that they exist. As a young student (real young) I can remember a teacher telling me how books can transport people to different places & open up a whole new world. This is how listening to audible books make me feel. Now if I can just stop falling asleep while listening to them at night I would be fine. Ha ha
Well, first of all if the story emphasis had not been on bad family realionships, alcholism. poverty, obesity, self pity, teen-age struggles. laziness, illness, self-centeredness, dirty houses, depression, people making poor choices all over the place, insecurities everywhere, broken marriages, poor parenting, who knows it may have flown as a decent book. But wait, maybe if the ending had come together in a way that was pleasing maybe, but the end only imploded in on itself. So no, nothing I can think of could have raised the rating on this book
They were the only saving grace I even finished listening to it.
I would suggest they start all over with a story that was entertaining & not so depressing
Had to give this one 5 stars all around. I couldn't stop listening to this character-driven story. Actors are completely believable. Can't recommend it highly enough! One of my favorite audiobooks of all time (and I've been listening over 20 years) Never before felt compelled to write a review....
I am an avid reader and love audio books. I do not watch TV. I also love to do puzzles. Combine the two and I am in Heaven!!! Peace out!
The perspective of the two main characters told by two narrators.
Arthur Opps, the Professor!
An endearing story of tragedy and perseverance!
I just loved this book and am glad that I listened to it rather than read it. I don't think the characters would have had such depth if I had read the book. The tragic figure of Arthur Opps was told in a way that you just had to love the guy. The only thing I would add is more chapters!! I want to know what happened when the two Arthur's met.
The character named Arthur.
Both were wonderful. Keith szarabajka, however made this audiobook. His voice and inflection were perfect.
I have been an audible member for 7 years and this is the first review I have done.
What an amazing story. I feel like I know the characters personally.
An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.
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.
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.
Good narrators. Particularly liked the older characters voice.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Arthur Opp and Charlene because of the interesting psychology behind both of their characters.
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