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)
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.
What a poignant tale of loneliness "Heft" is. Riveted, once I started this story I finagled my life so that I could listen at every opportunity until I finished it.
The two main characters, as opposite and yet similar as can be, are expertly read/acted.
Told with honest, raw emotion, their stories will touch you and draw you in, and you will feel like you know them.
I loved this story, more than any other audio book I've "read" so far.
If stories about ordinary and invisible people appeal to you, then you can't miss with this one.
the "whining" was annoying at times, story was a bit predictable
characters were well developed and good insights into the inner worlds of the characters
clear, listenable, expressive
yes, all in all, though the story certainly could have been reduced a bit
Narration was excellant. Good switching up of voices.
Ending seemed abrupt. I would have liked the story to go a bit further. Don't want to be a spoiler, so can't be specific.
The reader for the young boy was robotic sounding. The reader for the adult character was a bit boring at times.
The story had promise which kept me with the book. Then it had an ending that fell flat on its ass.
the narration was great. the characters were more than I thought they world be. I took a chance on this book and I am glad for doing so. I wish there was a bit more at the end. then again, who does want their books to end?
I think this is one of those lovely finds where the performance really adds to the book rather than just delivers it. The two voices are well-chosen and do such a good job. I was genuinely sorry when it ended.
I was able to relate to every major character in this excellent book on at least some level. Arthur Op, the main character, is an intelligent, caring, and reclusive ex-professor who managed to get morbidly obese over the last 20 years. Charlene Turner is a woman who had similar trouble dealing with the outside world as Arthur, (this is what drew them together), but reacted in a dIfferent manner. Kel Keller is Charlene's son who is coming of age at a difficult time in his life, and is finally getting to know the mother he always thought he understood.
These very real characters will stay with me for a long time and that is the highest compliment I can give a book.
"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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