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)
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!
Great story line. Want to know how the old man carried on. I bet he really was the boys father. Why wouldn't he admit it what was he hiding? I need book two!
What a captivating story. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know all of the main characters and felt the author, Liz Moore, did a fabulous job with characterization.
The book revealed some of the secrets as you progressed in the story, but not all of them which was nice to give the readers the opportunity to create their own unveiling of the unknown secrets.
Life can be so hard, yet beautiful too. I highly recommend this book and thought the narrators, Kirby Heyborne and Keith Szarabajka, were fabulous!
I loved it. It's a book about love and family, and reminded me of something a therapist told me, decades ago. "There are all kinds of family". Arthur Opp is fat. I mean really fat: 550 pounds. He doesn't leave his house, has his groceries delivered, and his house is a dire mess. (When you're fat, it's a struggle to clean house!) He's been corresponding via letters to an old student of his, on whom he had a small crush when he was a professor. All of a sudden it comes up that she might visit him, and OH NO he simply must get the house in some semblance of order. He calls a maid service, and voilà, Yolanda.
Meanwhile in another part of NYC, Charlene, the former student, has so many health problems, physical and mental, that she's thinking about what will happen to her son should she die. Kel, her son, is a poor kid in a rich school who really doesn't fit in.
It's a terrifically sad yet hopeful story about love and relationships, however improbable. I'm so glad I read it. I'm the richer for it.
It's a story about loneliness, isolation, addiction as solace, and ultimately, the healing power of human connection.
In retrospect, the title is a bit misleading. Because while the main character uses food as his comfort and his self sabotage, each character has different, but equally fierce demons to contend with.
As you might imagine, it’s a bit of a depressing read. But it’s heartfelt and hopeful in the end. I think it will stick with me for some time.
And maybe this is deliberate..it just ends. There is no real ending and many questions are left hanging.!i really wanted to hear about the big Dinner Party and who was Kel's dad after all?we never learn the million dollar question. We learn a lot about shut ins and loneliness which is likely the point. I loved Yolanda in the book who says what comes to mind. She is my favorite but even she is left pregnant....
Will there be a volumne 2 finishing. It ?
I was captivated by this book. The narrators, especially Arthur Ops narrator, was so good I wanted to listen to his story over and over. The storyline is unique and wonderful. I found the ending a disappointment however.
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