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Publisher's Summary

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 HouseHeft is a novel about love and family found in the most unexpected places.

©2012 Liz Moore (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    1,423
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Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Enjoyable listen

What did you love best about Heft?

I really enjoyed the two narrators, and the two stories, and wondering how they would become one.

What did you like best about this story?

The character development.

What about Kirby Heyborne and Keith Szarabajka ’s performance did you like?

They were each so pleasant to listen to, I thought they did a GREAT job!

Who was the most memorable character of Heft and why?

Arthur Opp, he was so lonely and isolated, I really felt for him. Makes you wonder how many others are like him in the world. Sad.

Any additional comments?

I was glad I listened to this book. I found myself smiling along with the story, although certainly some parts were sad.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • Waltham, MA, United States
  • 12-19-15

a fun two-story novel

This novel is really two interconnected stories. The first is about a 450 pound recluse, looking at his lonely life at present and looking back in his past - his time as a boy being made fun of, as an adult with his career as a teacher, and a crush he had on a young college student of his. The other half of this book follows the teenage son of the recipient of that crush. He is a star baseball player, trying to fit in at a private school where he feels like an outsider and he has to deal with his sick mother. I liked both stories quite a bit. I enjoy coming-of-age stories, and this was a good and original one. Each first person's narration has its own reader, and the older man's reader is especially good. This novel kept me engaged from start to end.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Nice Narration, interesting plot

What did you love best about Heft?

Rank it solidly in good novels

Who was your favorite character and why?

Arthur Oh<br/>The professor who is a recluse and morbidly obese and his latina housekeeper

Any additional comments?

really liked the relationship between Arthur and Yolanda

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

A tribute to narration art

What did you love best about Heft?

Like "Me before you" this book is about ilness and lonelyness. In "Me before you" there is one storyline which makes you either love or hate it. "Heft" !contains one storyline about a 17-year old guy taking care of his mom suffering from Lupus. His escape is baseball. The other story is about the big guy Arthur too big to wish to get out of his house: Then their stories come together. The narration is as great as "The help" the two narrators does an beyond amazing job. The narrators help you navigate between the two stories.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I would either create another chapter or a second book.

Which scene was your favorite?

Yolanda meets Arthur

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

"You before me" came in the middel of this, would have done it in one setting otherwise.

Any additional comments?

If you like "The fault in our stars"<br/>" The help"<br/>" Me before you" you will love this.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Debbie
  • Lake Havasu City, AZ, United States
  • 10-31-12

Absolutely Captivating!

This book was so much better than I expected. The narrator was perfect. He made the characters come to life for me & made me care what happened to each one.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Mary
  • United States
  • 08-06-12

Very readable, but sad.

What did you love best about Heft?

The characters were really fleshed out and real, but so melancholy. So many missed opportunities for each of them. They could have changed each other's lives but didn't have the courage.

What did you like best about this story?

I was interested enough in what was going to happen next that I was drawn back to listen when I had other things to do. But I wished someone got their happiness in the end.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • S
  • new york, NY, United States
  • 12-28-12

sad and lovely...will stick with you...

Any additional comments?

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. <br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>Both narrators were great and really captured their characters' voices. I especially felt the weariness in Arthur's voice, with it's gravely deepness.<br/><br/>It's not exactly a light read, but it's time well spent.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Extraordinarily touching

The publisher's description of the story did little to inspire me to read this book, I picked it up on sale & was blown away.

Arthur is on first meeting, not terribly likeable. I could pity him, but there is a sense of dishonesty because he is dishonest. He doesn't like who he is & is unwilling to let others know what his life is, to the point of putting on a shirt & tie to answer the door to the grocery delivery man so he can pretend he has been working all day, while in reality he is housebound, completely alone & does little more than eat and watch daytime television.

We begin to see through him though & what follows is a deeply moving story of loneliness.

Kel, the popular athletic teenager is equally lonely & his story is heartbreaking from the beginning as he does his best to care for his alcoholic mother without any outside support.

The two stories are told in parallel until their connection becomes apparent.

Some audio books I find I can become involved in doing something else while listening. In the case of this book I didn't want to. I found I quickly became emotionally invested in the stories of the two main characters (and the other characters also).

My only regret is that I didn't pick this book up earlier. It is absolutely a wonderful read.

The narration is spot on.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Beautifully flawed, real characters.

Any additional comments?

I found myself wanting to exercise or drive in the car just so I could keep listening. I loved the characters that Moore created. They were flawed and real and raw. The story was about loneliness and the need for human connection. While I enjoyed listening to both narrators, I was especially drawn to Arthur's character and his parts of the story. Szarabajka did a superb job of speaking Arthur's part. I could listen to that voice for days and days. Also, I loved the character of Yolanda, she was full of personality and charm. My only complaint was the ending. I didn't see the book coming to that resolution and it caught me completely off guard.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • allison
  • MONTEREY,LA United States
  • 12-27-12

Heartbreakingly Happy

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!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful