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)
Somehow, tragic characters came together to form a touching, sweet, moving, sad, yet hopeful story that really struck a chord with me. The narrations are incredible, especially the voice of Arthur. I couldn't get over how good they were. There was a bit of redundancy, and at times, I felt that the author was writing unnecessary information to meet a higher word count. It tends to drag a bit in spots, but nothing terrible. The characters are very well developed and I'm sad the book has ended.
The blurb advertised a relationship between two lonely characters that could potentially heal their loneliness. Lies! Spoiler alert – the two characters do not actually meet… Ever! I loved the performances, the characterization was phenomenal, but I waited the entire book for the two characters to meet and heal each other of their loneliness, and the book ended before that happened. This is a wonderful story but with absolutely no ending whatsoever. Instead of an ending, the book just has an ellipsis. You might like it more if you go into it with a realistic expectation, but I just feel robbed.
We make many decisions every day. Some of our decisions end up being trivial, some innocuous, and some momentous to the point of changing the course of our lives for good or bad. No one lives in a vacuum. The things we do affect others, not only us.
We have joys as well as burdens in our lives. Joys are light and lifting. Burdens are weighty and dragging. This book is about the latter.
Some burdens are thrust upon us, some are self-made, and yet others are imagined. This book is about all of these.
The story unfolds revealing complicated father-child relationships, abandonment, insecurity, guilt, fear, addiction and enabling. We see that everyone is dealing with something, no matter how put-together they appear in public. The combined weights of these burdens cause different people to respond in different ways, which in turn may add to the baggage one carries, or even to that of others. Parents saddle kids with their own fears and insecurities or even sins. Kids respond by imagining yet others. Sometimes these imagined burdens are heftier than the real ones.
Yet, all it takes to change the life course of one sad, lonely recluse (and both main characters are recluses in their own way) is one person brave enough to see beyond, to see within, to build trust, and then to do or say something so frighteningly honest that the other becomes strong enough to take a first step in a new direction. And with this decision to go on a new path the burdens of the past begin to change. They may still be there, but they begin to lose their weight and power.
This book is performed by two voices, those of the two main characters. The readers could not have done better. You can hear and feel the weight and loss of Arthur, and the youth, hope, and hopelessness of Kell. You will cry with Kell in the police station, partly because of the reader's voice. Superbly done.
This book is very reflective, there is not a lot of action, but you will want to continue listening straight through because it is so real, so human. There is a lot of pain, and you will want to reach in and help. This book will stay with you and haunt you. You will want to see the people around you differently, and you may be moved to action for good. You will want to heave off your own burdens and to help other do so too. You will want to step outside into new possibilities.
And, best of all, this book ends with an opening door.
This book exceeded my my expectations. The characters were so rich and endearing. I cried with the Kell and wished him well the entire story. I loved it!!!!
This is a very different book than I expected - instead of the author describing or explaining anything, the actual thoughts reveal all we need to know. The insight into the mindset of the morbidly obese man causes me to question why there isn't more compassion and tolerance for people suffering from obesity.
This level of honest insight should be better understood - such a sad, sad lifestyle.
I have never read anything about this or this author but what a great book!!!! I highly recommend it. I was blown away how good it is!!!
The narration was fantastic! I felt such a connection to the characters in this book - it truly draws you into its world.
I loved this story, but I think I might have loved the way it was narrated even more. I felt as if it were being acted, rather than simply read. The characters were beautifully defined by the actors who spoke their lines.
Decent story. Kind of hoped it would have ended differently but overall a good story. Worth the listen. Good narration.
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