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 am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.
The Lonely Heart
I loved everything about this story. My heart broke over and over again as I listened to Kel's story and his frustration as he sought out his real father, and as I empathized with Arthur throughout his struggle with loneliness. The relationships in this book were very real and painful. Was the book "fun"? No! Peoples' pain is never enjoyable, but this was a very special narrative that will follow me for a very very long time.
No, I have never heard either of these narrators before.
If I could have, I would have listened in one sitting. I was drawn to the book with such a strong pull as to have been magnetic.
This was a wonderfully written and narrated story. I can't recommend it highly enough. Many reviewers give a précis of the story but I feel that takes something away, for the potential reader of the book. Just buy this book... you will never regret it.
When I saw that this book was partially narrated by Kirby Heyborne (Gone Girl), I had to give it a listen and I was not disappointed. This story grabbed me from the first moments. Themes of loneliness and belonging are wound into the parallel tales of an extremely overweight shut-in and a high school baseball star, grappling with a secret home life he's ashamed of. Keith Szarabajka (whom I had never heard before) and Kirby Heyborne provide remarkable narration and exquisitely bring this book to life. This pure, simple story, not unlike Labor Day, just stays with you in a way that's hard to articulate... but I've recommended it to friends who have all been equally touched by it. For a contemporary novel, I thought it was very unique and the ending surprised but not disappointed me.
Say something about yourself!
Awesome book! The story and the readers were so real. Gave me true insight into the life of an obese person and someone who lives with an alcoholic. Hit very close to home and helped me to feel compassion.
Was sad when the book ended. Wanted to follow along their path.
Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.
According to the Online dictionary, "Heft" means (amongst other things), "the weight of someone or something". As such, this title is appropriately named. It is very heavy, indeed. In my opinion, it is unnecessarily bleak and so I do not share the stellar reviews of this story. I kept waiting for something, but it never arrived. To me, these were two short stories forced to collide. The resultant accident presented more victims than virtues. Some might say, "such is life". My reaction is to say that life is short enough; sure, provoke thought, but let us be entertained in the process. In this respect, I guess it didn't help that I juxtaposed this listen with "Mother Night" (as to which, see my review).
The performance of Arthur Opp (Szarabajka) was I thought a good one. It reminded me occasionally of his anime characters, but he got into Arthur. By contrast, I just couldn't warm to Kel (Heyborne). I thought that voice to naggingly shrill (my 12 y.o. who knows her stuff said it sounded boring, I think for its sameness).
I guess I am in a minority on this one, but it's not on my list. Sorry.
Pure and simple I LOVED this book! Heft is a story of 2 lives running in parallel and the 1 person that connects them. Both of the stories are interesting and heartaching in different ways. I felt so touched by the journey of both characters, their struggle with isolation and aloneness but manifesting in different ways. I was so wrapped up in these characters it was hard to let them go. And in the best possible way they made me reflect on my own life. And you can't review this book without mentioning the perfection of the narrators. They both embodied these characters and brought them to life. So often narrators detract from the story but in this case they made the book even better. This is one of those books that made me so appreciate the art of storytelling and I wish I had this talent. Thank you to Liz Moore for writing a beautiful story!
Enjoying one good listen after the next!
This is a captivating story that redefines "family" while exposing the loneliness people of all ages can experience. Not a happy book per se, a bit heart wrenching at times, but well worth the time and credit. The narration is terrific and the characters are well defined and relatable. This was a good listen!
I got this book based on your reviews and I wasn't disappointed- really enjoyed this story and the characters...I wish there had been more, but I understand why it ended like it did...
This book was completely different than I expected it to be. It was the high praise and the fine reviews that kept haunting me to purchase this book and I am so glad I did. From the name and scanning reviews, one thinks it has to do with weight in a physical sense when the weigh in the title has more to do with the emotional weigh we carry.
Heft is a fine example of a heavy book dealing with a lot of sad issues that, rather than being a depressing story, it’s compelling and hopeful tale that keeps you hooked from beginning to end. Yes, there could have been more resolution – but, there is always hope for a sequel.
I loved this story, having just returned from New York myself, wanting to feel closer to the city and its people. Touching and well crafted loved it from beginning to end.
I liked both main characters, felt they were both well developed and felt great empathy for both their stories.
They brought a depth and roundness to their characters, that I certainly would not have felt by simply reading the book. Their use of different accents to bring out other smaller characters in the book only added to the enjoyment. Kirby Heyborne's reading was beautiful, warm, endearing and totally the flesh ,bones and heart of his character. I felt his every sad,happy or hard drawn breath.
Kirby Heyborne's character- so sorry I have forgotten his name.
A jewel of a story. I would highly recommend it to young and old. Finished listening and felt the world was a better place.
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