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)
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.
I loveed this book! The characters were very interesting and the story compelling. The relationship between the characters is compelling. I loved the changes wrought by the changing circumstances faced by one very laege man and those around him.
Rabid Listener/Reader and Shopper!
Narration: Kick Ass!!
In the beginning, I kind of questioned the narration of Keith Szarabajka, but as I got to know the character he was portraying, he was perfect. And loved his Yolanda!
I love everything Kirby Heyborne does as a narrator and he was perfect for Kel.
I thought it was a great story. Love, love, loved the characters and was so excited for how this was going to conclude and what impact the two main characters were going to have on each other. I've interupted my hubby on four different occasions to tell him what was going on and then...
Did I miss something? Please someone else who's read this, help me out! What am I missing?
It doesn't appear to be a series, and I feel like there is so much more that I want to know about their futures. I was listening along happily and then BAM that's it. It was over... sigh
That's the only reason it's not 5 stars across the board.
GIVE ME A SEQUEL!!!!
The two main characters narrate their own stories, often in present tense and with heart-breaking beautiful simplicity and humility. The author makes it impossible not to love and root for these characters in every way.
Arthur Opp was my favorite character. Through simple and elegant descriptions of his thoughts and actions as he moves through his daily life, I was left feeling that I knew and loved this very, very large man. I cried when the book ended, both in joy for the hopefulness, and in sadness for having to lose my connection to Arthur.
If these readers were acting in a movie, they would have stolen the show and won academy awards for best actor and best supporting actor. The love and compassion and tenderness they bring to the characters is so touching that it changed the way I saw people.
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