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 loved this book. I enjoyed listening to Arthur as much as I enjoyed listening to Kell and usually I tend to like 1 characters POV more than another. Both of these guys are so heartbroken but also so desperately hopeful that you cant help but have hope for them.
As always Kirby Heyborn was great and i thought Keith Szarabajka was such a wonderful match for the character of Arthur.
So, i don't write many reviews although I am always listening to books. I think my new years resolution is to start writing reviews here because I rely heavily on my fellow Audible members for recommendations. That said, listen to this book. well worth a credit!
Exceptionally well read by both readers. I loved all the characters. Difficult, weighty subjects gracefully, tenderly addressed.
I enjoy literary fiction with character depth and psychological exploration. I am in my 50s, work in psychology, and love the outdoors.
What I loved best about Heft was that I felt like I was living the main character's life. The author was able to write the book in a manner that allowed me to feel that I was on the inside of his mind, understanding his motives and choices. He was such an interesting, brilliant, gentle man while at the same time he was trapped within himself and within his home.
I suppose that Heft reminded me of Anne Tyler novels, like "Accidental Tourist" perhaps. Unbelievable character development. The reader gets to live the life of another.
The reading of Heft was brilliant. The story telling with two different voices allowed me to more fully live the lives of the two main characters whose ages were vastly separated.
This book did not make me laugh or cry but did make me feel deeply the importance of development of friendships and the value of creating one's own family of friends as opposed to a birth family. This book allowed me to observe the protagonist's great ability to find love and acceptance of himself and of others.
This is easily the best book I've "read" in 5 years. I felt a deep connection to all of the characters right away. I cannot say enough good things about this book, it is truly wonderful.
My favorite Character was Aurthur, he was charming and endearing.
Both performances were really wonderful, each reader brought a distinct voice to their character.
I wouldn't rename it.
The audio version and performance by two actors was amazing. You feel like you are hearing the voice of the characters. As the story drifts and switches from Author to Kel, the voices become familiar. Almost like visiting two friends!
The most memorable part was the relationship and the feelings you develop for both characters. You feel sorry for Author who finds comfort in loneliness. But he also hates loneliness. You feel sorry for Kel who may be doomed to repeat the mistakes of his mother. But Kel has so much potential with the right guidance that mom could not provide.
I'm not sure about a tag line that is catchy. For me, I would develop a tagline centred on themes of loneliness that we can relate to, and a character who can't find his way. Basically two people who are drawn together but do not know how much they need each other.
This book is an excellent read. I recommend this book highly. Like other reviewers have pointed out, however, the ending is unpredictable and abrupt. See for yourself!
Pure and simple I LOVED this book! Heft is a story of 2 lives running in parallel and the 1 person that connects them. Both of the stories are interesting and heartaching in different ways. I felt so touched by the journey of both characters, their struggle with isolation and aloneness but manifesting in different ways. I was so wrapped up in these characters it was hard to let them go. And in the best possible way they made me reflect on my own life. And you can't review this book without mentioning the perfection of the narrators. They both embodied these characters and brought them to life. So often narrators detract from the story but in this case they made the book even better. This is one of those books that made me so appreciate the art of storytelling and I wish I had this talent. Thank you to Liz Moore for writing a beautiful story!
I thoroughly enjoyed this well written character study. The isolation and loneliness of the three main characters is heartbreaking but not really depressing. There is a hopefulness throughout which is very uplifting. I rarely write reviews but this audiobook is worth recommending and certainly worth a credit.
What an interesting subject for a novel, and what a good job Liz Moore has done with it. I found this listen quite absorbing. The four-star rating is mainly because I felt the book could have been condensed a little. It seemed to go on a little long. But the characters are unforgettable and believable, as is the story. I look forward to her next book.
This audiobook was perfection. The story was extremely interesting, and the narration was ideal. The performances were spot on and I cannot imagine the characters being portrayed in any other way. This is a book that is truly a joy to hear read aloud. The pace is fantastic and the story remains interesting from beginning to end.
This one was not my typical audiobook choice. Given the high ratings I gave it a go. Pleasantly surprised. Truly looked forward each day to my morning commute so I could follow the characters lives. This is a book about interesting characters and their trials and tribulations. The narration made the book. Could not have been narrated better. There is enough action with ups and downs to keep the pace going. No big slow points in the book. Always a good sign. I have to admit, this was not the most uplifting book but it does have a bigger message that brings perspective towards one's life. Well worth the credit in my mind. Most people should enjoy this book.
"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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