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)
This is the kind of book that grabs you from the beginning and then keeps you holding on because the characters are so lovingly revealed and exposed to you. It's a story about vulnerability, love and self-discovery for the two main characters, who are on converging paths.
The ending was a little abrupt for me, but I recognize how it could be satisfying for others, as anything more could be considered redundant. The author had already made her point that love and family can come from unexpected places. But, the characters were so well written, that I wanted to read more and see how things unfolded once they did meet.
Both narrators were great and really captured their characters' voices. I especially felt the weariness in Arthur's voice, with it's gravely deepness.
It's not exactly a light read, but it's time well spent.
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (fiction) - Heft is set in present day New York. It is full of memorable characters -- a pregnant teenager, an alcoholic, an orphan and a morbidly obese recluse. They are all flawed and lonely, and they are all trying to deal with their problems the best way they know how. This is a story about falling down and trying to get back up, and about moving out of your comfort zone and reaching out to others. The story is sad but also heartwarming and happy at the same time. The ending is realistic and wonderful.
PERFORMANCE - This book is read by two awesome male readers. Arthur (the obese recluse) sounds mature and well-educated, with a slight British accent. Kel (the orphan) sounds like the young high school athlete that he is. The story is told alternatively between their respective viewpoints, and the performances are great.
OVERALL - There is a sprinkling of cuss words in this book, and there is only one extremely vague sexual situation. There is no violence. I would recommend this book for mature listeners who enjoy growing with richly painted characters bit by delicious bit.
Say something about yourself!
Years ago everyone was raving about a movie called "Leaving Las Vegas," a tale of two alcoholics spiraling down. I wasted two hours of my life watching this movie thinking, "Yes, the acting is good and the writing is good, but why do I want to watch a movie where NOTHING happens." I feel very much the same way about this book. It was slow to develop, so slow, in fact that I slogged right to the bitter end, thinking that with all those rave reviews, maybe SOMETHING would happen, even in the last five minutes. It doesn't. NOTHING. HAPPENS. Thank God for Five-Hour-Energy drinks or this book would have had me asleep at the wheel. Somewhere out there is a cult promoting this book. There's no other explanation for all the rave reviews.
I enjoyed it, but it took most of the book to get to what I thought would be the main story and left me hanging.
I had never heard of this book but really enjoyed it. It held me from the first page (or minutes?). Only downside is that I hope there is a sequel because it ended a bit abruptly, although you can imagine what would happen next. In other words, not a cliff hanger but I would really like to spend more time with the characters.
Insight of life on two people, usually invisible to most people, lonely, unloved. How look can affect how much love is received.
I loved narrations!! One of the best.
Arthur's pain of being overweight, embarrassment is described so well.
I did have feeling I knew people myself. Amazing performance, like first class theater.
This book is about loneliness which is a large part of life. It takes a particular time in the two characters lives and describes how they got there and hopefully going towards a better period in their lives. I think the author did a beautiful job explaining how loneliness is an integral part of living. The book ended on a positive note. I did not find it depressing. Loved the narration.
Rank it solidly in good novels
The professor who is a recluse and morbidly obese and his latina housekeeper
really liked the relationship between Arthur and Yolanda
First off, Keith Szarabajka's performance of the character Arthur Opp makes him feel so very real, like he is talking to you. Arthur Opp becomes someone you'd like to know, someone I wish I could visit.
The story is a sad one. All of the characters are complicated and very human. I only wish it had gone on longer. I really wanted to know what would happen next. There is hope!
I recommend this book. Well worth the time. Loved the narration.
Didn't read the print version.
great story and narration.
Liked all characters.
Heft of a lot of heart
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