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 enjoyed this book so much that I found reasons to rearrange my tasks sob that I could stay productive and keep listening. I was not prepared for the story to end and wish there were more chapters to the book.
Most interesting were the minor characters. Least interesting was the monotone of the readers.
Please, please, please add more character into the performance. The reading was a drone, with the exception of voicing the minor characters.
Disappointment. There were many loose ends, and the story just seemed to drop off without any kind of real ending.
I never read the print version, but the narrators bring it to life so perfectly I can't imagine reading it myself in print would have done it justice.
Arther Opp, because he has an awkwardness to which I can relate.
The story itself is beautiful and unexpectedly complicated and completely heart-wrenching, but the way the narrators give it depth is...amazing. I found myself counting down until the next time I'd be able to listen to more of the story, and when it was done (both because of the writing and the narration) I found myself wanting SO much more.
Both narrators were excellent but I was disappointed in the story. That may be, however, because it wasn't what I was expecting. I expected the two main characters lives to interact but they're really two parallel stories - related by an important but minor shared character. I enjoyed each story on its own but it felt a little like a set-up for sequel. Again, maybe that was just my misguided idea of what the book was about.
Bottom line is I recommend this book but go into in with an open mind.
I enjoyed this book for the way the work unfolds, the compassion I felt for Arthur, annoyance and then compassion for Cal, and frustration over Cal's mother. Juliana ( pronounced Yolanda), so free of judgement, was my favourite character. The ending was very brief, I wanted more, but now thinking about it, the lingering bit of ambiguity was the right tone
Engineer, wife, audiobook addict. I live for those books that you just cannot put down.
The narrator did Arthur's voice very well. It was easy to imagine what he looked like. However, he made Charlene sound unlikable. But overall, the narration was the most intriguing part of the book and that's pretty disappointing. The plot just fell completely flat and it's another book that just stops instead if having an ending. I get what the author was trying to do but too many story lines were introduced that just stopped instead of reaching any type of conclusion. When the book was over, I felt like, "What, that's it?" I felt like I'd wasted my time. The ending was just lazy. The only reason I gave it 2 stars is because the story did keep my attention for the most part. But I debated knocking it back to one star.
She could have written an ending. Instead it felt like she just stopped writing. Very dissatisfying book.
I really wanted to like it based on reviews and I'm really sad that the ending was so disappointing. My biggest pet peeve is a story that just stops without wrapping up the plot. The author did the characters a disservice by leaving them just floating out there with no direction. I found the book entertaining while I was listening but it got long winded in parts and I found my mind wandering more and more as I approached the end. And then the ending was so utterly flat and lazy that I felt angry that I spent time listening.
Love my family...along with guitars, road bikes, cameras, and a good book!
This novel was quite an eye opener. It helped me to catch a glimpse inside the mind of individuals who struggle with things far beyond what I have had to deal with temporally. People both physically challenged, as well as emotionally broken and bereft. This book challenged ME emotionally. It caused me to evaluate my own life, and the way that I perceive society and those around me. It also made me very thankful for the relationships that I have.
I thought that the character development was far superior to other books in this genre. The 2 main characters were completely exposed and left bare for the reader to examine, dissect, and immerse into. I loved it.
No I would not. Heft (Arthur) was a great character to start. To understand a recluse and the how's and why's they are the way they are was very intriguing to me. But once we get into the why's it was explained at a very high level. His rationale was so basic for being the way he was. Without giving so much away, his struggles in life were far less than most and his secret life was nothing short of just being kind of pathetic. I can imagine him - and I believe there are people like him - just spending their lives on a couch with very little to live for.
So much. If the author is going to tell a story that is likely many peoples same life story then she should take some tips from Donna Tartt on how to build characters, settings and true deep emotions and feelings. This story was about people that didn't know any better than to have a mediocre life and miss out on making the most of their lives. I struggle to write what I am trying to say other than there was no real depth or explanation as to why any of these characters were the way they were.
Arthur was really pleasant to listen tooKel's voice was so irritating, weak, pathetic and annoying - blech
Not really - not unless they have some magnificent revelation and take the world by storm
Just that I kept waiting for something to happen and it was a let down
I love audible books, although I've been a voracious reader before I joined Audible. I long for really good books. I've had a few.
I fell in love with the characters in this book. I'm sorry it didn't go on for hours and hours more.
News photographer, vintage car and motorcycle lover, pie baker, reader, author--not in that particular order.
Compelling characters. Dramatic situations. Great internal depth. Loved the voice for Arthur, so-so on the voice for Kel. The reason I gave this novel a 4 and not a 5, was quite simply, because I wanted more. The build up to the end is so fantastic, but ultimately I felt cheated out of getting to see that end. Still... very much worth a listen. It's actually a testament to the author's character building abilities that I yelled at the narrator when I realized it was over. NO!! I'm not ready to say goodbye!
"well worth a listen"
This book was made especially good by the narrators. A real gem of a story, poignant, thoughtful and touching.
"A book with weight"
The narrator of Arthur Opp is especially excellent.
When Arthur goes for a walk for the first time. Never has a journey to the park being such an adventure.
Many.... This is a sentimental journey.
I have 99 audiobooks in my library. This is one of the best.
"An unexpected joy to read"
I found the narration perfect for the subject matter, and loved both characters. The slow, contemplative style was relaxing and easy to lose oneself in.I was left feeling emotionally drained when I'd finished it, and not ready to jump into my next book. It's a story that gives one a lot to think about, both whilst reading and long afterwards.
This isn't a novel filled with moments of great action, adventure or suspense. It's a story of inner thoughts and regrets, but it's also certainly not without hope and optimism. The most memorable parts of the novel for me are the most emotional, and there are plenty of those. Both Arthur and Kel meeting their fathers. Yolanda's life mirroring that of Charlene, the pregnant, college dropout. Kel's placing of the obituary which Arthur will most assuredly read. This scene wasn't overly long or descriptive, but still leaves a sense of loss and sadness, that lingers.
All characters were very well voiced but I prefered Arthur Opp/Yolanda, not because the narration was any better, but as I felt a greater compassion and connection to them.
I was sorry when the book finished, as the end of the novel was just the beginning of the story, I could have spent many more hours enjoying the company of Arthur, Yolanda and Kel. I will definitely listen to this again in the near future.
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