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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 (2247 )
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4.1 (2038 )
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4.4 (2036 )
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Performance
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  •  
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 05-27-14
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 05-27-14 Member Since 2015

    I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.

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    "Heartbreakingly beautiful"
    If you could sum up Heft in three words, what would they be?

    The Lonely Heart


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    Have you listened to any of Kirby Heyborne and Keith Szarabajka ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, I have never heard either of these narrators before.


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

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea Marshi Marina Del Rey, CA 05-03-14
    Andrea Marshi Marina Del Rey, CA 05-03-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Loved This Book"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa ROSWELL, GA, United States 05-01-14
    Lisa ROSWELL, GA, United States 05-01-14 Member Since 2013

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Was totally able to put myself in their shoes"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian C Robertson South Australia, Australia 04-02-14
    Ian C Robertson South Australia, Australia 04-02-14 Member Since 2010

    Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "As Heavy as it Sounds"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judi Vancouver, BC, Canada 01-03-14
    Judi Vancouver, BC, Canada 01-03-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Heft is beautiful!"

    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!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Overland Park, KS USA 10-30-13
    Paula Overland Park, KS USA 10-30-13 Member Since 2012

    Enjoying one good listen after the next!

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    "Family Is What You Make Of It"

    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!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stacy INDIANAPOLIS, IN, United States 05-19-13
    Stacy INDIANAPOLIS, IN, United States 05-19-13 Member Since 2015
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    "I want to go to Arthur's party :("

    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...

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jen 05-17-13
    Jen 05-17-13 Member Since 2007
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    "Unexpected Gem!!!"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matheref11 Colorado, USA 08-19-15
    Matheref11 Colorado, USA 08-19-15 Member Since 2009
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    "entertainment"

    loved it well written loved the narrator would pass on to others to read and enjoy

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathy 08-16-15
    Cathy 08-16-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Charming story beautifull read"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I liked both main characters, felt they were both well developed and felt great empathy for both their stories.


    What does Kirby Heyborne and Keith Szarabajka bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    Who was the most memorable character of Heft and why?

    Kirby Heyborne's character- so sorry I have forgotten his name.


    Any additional comments?

    A jewel of a story. I would highly recommend it to young and old. Finished listening and felt the world was a better place.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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