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)
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.
I'm Andrea and i love reading all types of books.
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..
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.
Art's narration was superb! flawless.. very visual. I dislike every utterance of Kel's voice; however I painfully muddled throught it.
YES! the story had a horrible and abrubt ending . I had to make certain this wasn't actually an Ann Patchet novel!
Althought I truly loved parts of this story, if given the option I would not choose it again. short story with a disconected ending.
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.
How would I judge this?
I loved the book because I loved all the characters. No favorites.
Both talented, distinct and appropriate. Szarabajka also does the voice of Yolanada and it's all great,
I don't want to listen to anything in one sitting.
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.
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.
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
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