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Heft Audiobook

Heft

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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.

What the Critics Say

“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 Rating

4.2 (3184 )
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4.5 (2904 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Bettikins Pennsylvania 01-29-13
    Bettikins Pennsylvania 01-29-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
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    "Deeply touching and thought provoking"
    What did you love best about Heft?

    I loved the honesty and lack of pretense. The characters were alive, their problems real. Very well done.


    What other book might you compare Heft to and why?

    The only other book I could think to compare Heft to is Wuthering Heights... Disfunctional characters trying to survive.


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

    The narrators did an excellent job. They were very good with the New York accents of Charlene and the Spanish-New York of Yolanda. They sounded like gum snapping, diner waitresses and I was fascinated that Arthur gave them the time of day. The contrast between them seemed too wide a gap to bridge.


    If you could rename Heft, what would you call it?

    Dear Char...


    Any additional comments?

    I loved the book and was deeply engrossed in the drama. The ending was a bit confounding, but the story never let's you go. It haunts your thoughts even after you put it down.

    24 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    FanB14 11-23-15
    FanB14 11-23-15

    Short, Simple, No Spoilers

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    "The Weight We Carry"

    I'm a little late to the party, reading this three years after original publication. It is one of those rare sale purchases where I feel like offering to pay full price. Arthur is morbidly obese and reclusive. Given the title, I assume this will be an in-depth character study into his psyche, but it gets even better when we're introduced to another narrator complete with interesting backstory and of course the two cross paths. I don't want to give away anything. It's a well thought out book with intense character development and attention to detail. As with all good titles, "Heft" has myriad meanings to be taken from the themes and characters. Fantastic.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AudioAddict 09-15-15
    AudioAddict 09-15-15

    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!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    351
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    "Finding strength to leave the comfort zone..."

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michaelene Gnau Hermitage, TN, US 02-14-13
    Michaelene Gnau Hermitage, TN, US 02-14-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sensitive issues portrayed insightfully."
    Would you listen to Heft again? Why?

    Yes because you find yourself doing a "what if" senario in your head.


    What other book might you compare Heft to and why?

    Five People You Meet In Heaven since it to demonstrates how the simplest things you do can profoundly influence others.


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

    They were believeable and draw the reader into the story.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Often made me sad that otherwise productive, colorful characters can go so far astray.


    Any additional comments?

    I have enjoyed my Audible membership tremendously.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William 12-24-12
    William 12-24-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    2
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    "Quirky story with good message."

    Thorny issues faced in daily life by characters not often given a voice. Sadness and loneliness, love and family all play roles. A book that will definitely get a second listen. Narrators are superb.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bonny 02-03-13
    Bonny 02-03-13 Member Since 2017

    Mother, knitter, reader, lifelong learner, technical writer, former library assistant & hematologist.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Moore reveals the truth behind facades."

    Why should you listen to a book about an agoraphobic, morbidly obese former professor, his former student, and her son? Because Liz Moore excels at storytelling in Heft and she can make you care about all of these characters in a way that doesn't often happen in fiction, especially when the characters have all made some questionable choices. In Heft, Liz Moore writes of several lonely, misfit characters in an extraordinary way. She is able to tell the stories of Arthur Opp, a morbidly obese, agoraphobic, former professor, his former student Charlene Turner, and her son Kel Keller in simple, straightforward, yet beautiful writing.

    Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds, sits on his couch and watches his home fill up with the detritus of his life. After September 11, he realized that he had no one to care about (or to care about him), so he isolates himself in his house and with his weight. He never leaves his house, orders everything he needs, but is clearly cognizant of his situation. His only contact has been letters from a former student, Charlene Turner. He hasn't seen her in twenty years, but one day receives a letter asking Arthur to provide some much-needed guidance to her son, Kel Keller. This letter provides the impetus for Arthur to hire a cleaning lady, Yolanda, who is a very interesting character in her own right. Keith Szarabajka does an amazing narration for Arthur. This is definitely a case where the audio makes the book an even better reading experience than print.

    Every one of these characters is lonely in their own way, and their interactions and intersections may (or may not) change that, but Moore doesn't write their stories in predictable ways. She reveals the truth behind the facades that Arthur and Kel have chosen; it would be so easy to write all of these characters as caricatures, but Moore never does that.

    "I considered the fact that men who come to excavate my house upon receiving complaints from the neighbors will find a fat old corpse who has no relations and nothing but a pile of papers to tell them this was a human being and this was a man with a story to tell."

    Heft is a masterfully told story.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liliana 03-30-16
    Liliana 03-30-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved this book!!"

    This was a great book. When I ready (or download) a book I always hope for one with good characters, a good story and something that makes me feel something. This definitely had all three. It had some weight to it (pun somewhat intended ...). Our main character has been house-bound for years and suddenly he has someone new in his life to help bring him out. Yes, it's an old story, but it is really told in a very sweet way. We learn about his past and it is heart-breaking. We really root for him. Definitely worth a read - I have recommended to so many people. If you are wavering, just go for it. It will be worth it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S.R.E. 03-02-16
    S.R.E. 03-02-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gets better and better"
    Any additional comments?

    The book throws you rather abruptly into a sad life, and it's easy to give up at the beginning. But I found that the book drew me further and further in until I just couldn't wait to find out what happened to this unlikely pair. Infuriatingly, just as I was hanging on one character's every word, the author would switch to the other character. It's impressive that the author could write two such different characters with such depth. I sympathized with both of the main characters. The narration, like the book, was jarring at first but quickly captivated me. Thoroughly enjoyable!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Signed 02-10-16
    Signed 02-10-16

    J

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "excellent narration"

    delves into the inner lives of two main characters linked by a person they have in common.
    in this age of Facebook and Twitter glib, it is refreshing to hear an inner voice with insecurities exposed.
    narrators are excellent and really add to the story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debtwacker 01-31-16
    Debtwacker 01-31-16 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    8
    5
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    "Powerful character study"

    This story of two different males linked by a woman dear to both of them was a good character study. I didn't like the teenage son in the beginning but as the story progressed I was awed by the magnitude of the decisions he faced. And the story helped me understand better the heavy price of weight. This is one of
    those books that will be with me for awhile.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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