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)
Once is enough because you won't forget it.
Don't come in. Just call the police.
Bell to bell in one day
I love action, sci-fi, thrillers etc. - so this book was not one I thought I would enjoy. Boy was I wrong. This is a beautiful story, it's touching and leaves you feeling sentimental – all the things I don't want in a book – but somehow this one worked all the way. Read it.
I liked the development of the main character - Arthur. He was believable, thoughtful and interesting.
The story flowed well, and the parallel development between the two characters was interesting. This is a very well written book, however, the ending dissappointed me. After such great development of each character I felt that the ending was flat.
It was compelling to listen to primarily because the narrator is exceptional - among the best I've heard given his range and choice of voice for the characters. In fact, both narrators and the audible production was very well done. However, as the saying goes, there was no "there" "there." I listened in anticipation for hours, but was felt somewhat cheated at the ending.
The story creates great anticipation regarding the unfolding of the plot, but leaves the reader with a sad sense of unfinished potential at the end of the story. I felt like I invested so much in learning about these characters in detail, waiting to see how the story would unfold, but was left with the same storyline questions at the end.
No. I wouldn't listen to a follow up because I wouldn't trust the author to come to a point.
A beautiful book about the burdens of loneliness and regret, the healing that can take place when we step outside of our comfort zones, and what happens when we allow the love and friendship of others to lighten the loads we carry in our hearts and souls. I loved every minute. The narrators for the audio version really made this book a special one for me.
Yes, this book is very captivating and was hard to put down. I wanted to know more about each character and how they were connected. It's such a unique story that you just get caught up in. I really enjoyed learning more about Kel and Arthur's back stories and they are connected.
When Arthur goes to the park for the first time in years, it's really a turning point of the whole story. The second part is when Kel is finally free and all the missteps he takes after that moment.
I absolutely love when I see Kirby Heybourne as the narrator and have added many books to my wishlist simply because he is reading them. Keith Szarabajka was brilliant and I would certainly listen to other books narrated by him.
Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).
This novel is real. Life is hard and this book is hard and discouraging—and real. If you just finished watching Schindler’s List and still feel a little too buoyant, then give this book a try. It will surely succeed in reacquainting you will life’s harsh reality.
This book follows two very different characters. Both are portrayed realistically. I found the depiction of Arthur Opp to be insightfully tragic and well fleshed-out. I feel now as if I have a better understanding of the plight of the morbidly obese: what it must be like to be so corpulent that going out in public is a burden too massive to bear. Arthur Opp is a sympathetic character; a man who has given into his one besetting sin. Not so far from any one of us if we were to cease resisting the temptation to do the same. He is not beyond redemption, but it has taken him many years to get into his present state, and no quick remedy is possible. This was a human being and this was a man with a story.
Kel Keller the high-school Baseball phenom seems to be everything that is wrong with the younger generation: Secret home life with an alcoholic mother. Popular athlete who is encouraged to be the hero by day and subverted by his very popularity into becoming the promiscuous party boy by night—you know, normal high school life. Kel is so out of touch with the reality of his own situation that he can’t bring himself to tell the girl he loves his true feelings but then has casual sex with another girl he hardly knows—and thinks nothing of it! His only regret is that his real love finds out: something that any right thinking person would surely expect, but that never even crosses his mind. His story is a spiral out of control that is, if anything, more sad than Arthur Opp eating his way into oblivion. I found it a very alienating experience getting inside the head of such a youth so intent on being misspent. I hated the scenes with Kel Keller, dreaded them when they appeared, not because they were trite or cliché, but because they seemed so true that it caused me to lose any hope for this present generation. If they are like Kel Keller, then we are doomed.
The narration, by two different performers, is first-rate. It is fitting that the two main characters should have separate narrators since they are so very different people. This contributes to the reality of the story.
Kirby Heyborne is Kel Keller. He gives an authentic portrayal of a confused teenager stumbling through life with no guidance and no moral compass. Kirby Heyborne earns praise for imparting what seem to me to be authentic inflections of a young boy who doesn't know how to think like a man.
Keith Szarabajka is Arthur Opp. He gives a sensitive reading of the man who wants to be different but is pulled by his irresistible urges. Keith Szarabajka is so talented that he can give an authentic portrayal of not only an obese middlegaed man but also the young Latina housemaid Yolanda. His portions of the book steal the show, chiefly because he is doing the Arthur Opp sections which are the most engaging portions of the story.
Yes. This book is now on the top of all my audible books I have listened to . Both narrators were PERFECT. Can't wait for Liz Moore's next book.
There were many, but I think when Yolanda entered Arthur Ops life.
Everything, but most of all, both of the narrators felt real!!!
I think Charlene. I'd like to know more about her life.
Liz Moore's "Heft" should be on all the Best Sellers list. It should be up there with "A Prayer For Owen Meany" by John Irving. One of the best books I've ever read. I can't believe that I found it by accident. LUCKY ME!!!!
One of the better audiobooks I have listened to for a while. Beautiful narration combined with superb character development by Liz Moore. A touching tale enriched with a penetrating insight to the human mind.
The readers were just very good.I felt the author captured real, true emotions.....not over-the-top, but down-to-earth. I've never liked an open-ended book, I think, because they really do have one obvious outcome-so why not finish it? But not this one.....so many possibilities.
Both main characters were so needy. Yet slowly, slowly hurtling toward each other through no fault of their own. Yolanda was such an unusual character too.
The opening of the door-at last.
After listening to Kel's YA hemming and hawing, I wanted a different ending for him and Arthur. I was really disappointed that Liz Moore, after so much great character development, copped out by not exploring her characters' trajectories. There was so much left undone that it leads me to wonder whether she is writing a book 2 and planning to make this a series.
Arthur's character was so amazingly represented and well written. I enjoyed listening to the narration for his character. Kel's character was also well narrated.
Arthur Opp was wonderful and I appreciated his complexity but I enjoyed spending time with Yolanda. She was bright, knew how to explore opportunities without taking advantage, and seemed to really get Arthur.
Kel Keller's chapters took this book deep into YA territory, which is a genre I have been trying to avoid lately.
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