Heft

Heft

4.1 66
by Liz Moore, Keith Keith Szarabajka, Kirby Heyborne
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Audio
The characters in Moore's second novel have both physical and emotional weight—heft to be lifted, balanced, and carried. Arthur, a professor-turned-obese urban hermit, and Kel, a high school student yearning for a life in professional baseball, have a known and unknown connection through Charlene, Kel's mother and Arthur's former student. Her decisions shift the balance in everyone's lives. Narrators Kirby Heyborne and Keith Szarabajka do an excellent job of portraying Arthur (late 50s with a gravely, lonely voice) and Kel (young and brash yet old before his time), leaving the reader gasping for a sequel. VERDICT Recommended for readers who enjoy evocative, emotional, absorbing, and intriguing fiction. ["Moore's lovely novel…is about overcoming shame and loneliness and learning to connect. It is life-affirming but never sappy," read the review of the Norton hc, LJ 10/15/11.—Ed.]—J. Sara Paulk, Wythe-Grayson Regional Lib., Independence, VA
Carole Burns
…engaging, quirky…Arthur's voice is engaging. His honesty is funny, even if the revelations of his haplessness are painful…Without archness or overly artistic sentences, Heft achieves real poignancy. [Moore]'s explanation of Arthur's psychology is perhaps too neat, but the warmth, the humanity and the hope in this novel make it compelling and pleasurable.
—The Washington Post
People Magazine
“Arthur Opp is heartbreaking. A 58-year old former professor of literature, he weighs 550 lbs., hasn’t left his Brooklyn apartment in years and is acutely attuned to both the painful and analgesic dimensions of his self-imposed solitude. Kel Keller, a handsome and popular high school athlete whose mother drinks too much to take care of him or even herself, faces his own wrenching struggles. The pair, apparently connected only by a slender thread, at first seem unlikely as co-narrators and protagonists of this novel, but they both become genuine heroes as their separate journeys through loneliness finally intersect. Though Moore’s narrative is often deeply sad, it is never maudlin. She writes with compassion and emotional insight but resists sentimentality , briskly moving her plot forward, building suspense and empathy. Most impressive is her ability to thoroughly inhabit the minds of Arthur and Kel; these are robust, complex characters to champion, not pity. The single word of the title is obviously a reference to Arthur’s morbid obesity, but it also alludes to the weight of true feelings and the courage needed to confront them. Heft leads to hope.”
NPR.org
[W]hen you've finished and returned Heft to the library or lent it to a friend or archived it on your e-reader, you'll find yourself missing having the characters around. You'll wonder, while you're waiting for the light to change or kneading bread dough, what happened next. ...Moore [has] created characters that I'll probably never forget.— Nancy Pearl
Colum McCann
“A suspenseful, restorative novel from one of our fine young voices.”
Russell Banks
“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.”
Mary Gordon
“Heft is a work that radiantly combines compassion and a clear eyed vision. This is a novel of rare originality and sophistication.”
Ann Hood
“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!”
Nancy Pearl - NPR.org
“[W]hen you've finished and returned Heft to the library or lent it to a friend or archived it on your e-reader, you'll find yourself missing having the characters around. You'll wonder, while you're waiting for the light to change or kneading bread dough, what happened next. ...Moore [has] created characters that I'll probably never forget.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781455160150
Publisher:
Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date:
03/01/2012
Pages:
8
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.20(d)

What People are saying about this

Russell Banks
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.
Ann Hood
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!
Mary Gordon
Heft is a work that radiantly combines compassion and a clear eyed vision. This is a novel of rare originality and sophistication.
Colum McCann
A suspenseful, restorative novel from one of our fine young voices.

Meet the Author

Liz Moore is the author of the acclaimed novel Heft. A winner of the 2014 Rome Prize in Literature, she lives in Philadelphia.

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Heft 4.1 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 66 reviews.
Alex_Gilvarry More than 1 year ago
Liz Moore pulls you in and never lets you go. I found myself so wrapped up in the characters of Arthur Opp and Kel Keller, two people whose lives orbit each other, that they are still with me today. This novel is enormously affecting, and it takes a big heart to tell a story with this much empathy and passion. I recommend with absolute vigor.
Bookie-Wookie More than 1 year ago
A genuine page-turner that unabashedly pulls at your heartstrings - an experience I find myself rarely succumbing to lately. It's got both the sweet and the bitter of a hard life lived everyday, and it's endearing, and it's sad. I could not put it down. HEFT is just plain lovely, and Liz Moore is an author to get excited about.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You will cringe, you will laugh, you will cry and you will be thinking about Heft long after you've read the final paragraph. A must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished this book having read it over the past two days. I, too, want to know what what will come? How does Ms. Moore feel these things? I hope that she and her characters are safe. Extremely thoughtful, painfully real.
Boncar More than 1 year ago
If you like your novels all tied up with a little bow on top, no loose ends, this may not be the novel for you. If, however, you love a story that leaves you with a few "Hmmmms" at the end and keeps you thinking about it for hours afterwards, this is your story. Heft is the perfect choice for a reading group discussion as it's characters are lovable, yet exasperating; the storyline easy to follow yet full of questions. I'm hoping there's a sequel. Highly recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very well written and leaves one thinking about it long after finishing. The loneliness of the characters that are all connected is heart wrenching and the choices they made are very painful to read. Arthur talks about the oversoul and the lonely people.... and he feels comfortable because that is the only world that accepted him. I cried when I read this because there is an entire world of invisible and unbeautiful people that we don't see even when they live right next door....because we choose to not see. Easy to read and gives a lot to think about.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Needs one more chapter. I like at least a little resolution.
Goodreadercarol More than 1 year ago
this book has absolutely wonderful characters--the best book I have read this year. (and I've read a lot)--you won't be sorry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never write reviews for books but had to for this one. The characters are so well developed and Ms. Moore's compassionate writing makes you really drawn into their lives, not to mention tearful at times. Highly recommend!!
readtheroad More than 1 year ago
Very well written. Inspiring and utterly heart-breaking, I highly recommend.
hollylewis More than 1 year ago
WHERE IS THE ENDING??? I thought this book had a good story and well-drawn characters, but I hated the complete lack of an ending!! The author didn't have to tell us everything about the rest of the characters' lives, but I would have liked to have had a little more "tieing up" of their stories. It seemed that the author wanted us to take the progress the characters were making in their lives and imagine the rest of the story ourselves, but I prefer more conclusion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written and thought-provoking. I am inspired to spend as much time with my sons as possible.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couln't put it down. Would be a great discussion for Book Clubs. Everyone could write the Epilogue
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fiction. This one covers primarily the lives of two people, I won't reveal how they are or are not connected, that is one of the driving forces of the book. The main character is a former professor who no longer leaves his home because he is over 500 pounds and has become a charming agoraphobic of sorts. The other primary character is a young college-bound guy who is trying to get a baseball scholarship so he can go to college. The specific story details of this one are not so important, as it is about the lives of the two men and the challenges they face, both physical, psychological, and social. I would recommend this for a fictional read that makes you think and evaluate life today.
Sassyg1rl More than 1 year ago
Disjointed storyline and stereotypical characters behaving as expected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A unique, interesting story that keeps you interested from start to finish. Not one of my favorite books, but worth the read.
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TalleyRoss More than 1 year ago
This was a really unusual, but touching and enlightening story. Heft is the story of two men, a 58 year old morbidly obese recluse, and a 18 year old high school senior athlete. They are linked together by one woman and a mutual sense of loneliness even though they do not know each other. Their story is told in two separate points of view, both allowing the reader an insight into their lonely and difficult worlds. Moore does an excellent job of creating believable characters whom you come to care for. She spells out the differing worlds of these to men in a careful and believable manner, offering a sympathetic view into behavior. As I read about Arthur Opp, the recluse, I could understand how he came to be a 500-600 pound man who is afraid to leave his home. Likewise, learning Kel Keller's story, I hurt for the boy, for the things he longed for that eluded him in his short life. The story moves at a good pace. The writing is accomplished, although there were some gimmicky touches that I found distracting at first. As the story progresses, the gimmicks became less of an annoyance, and I wondered if Moore wasn't using the gimmicks to tell us something about the characters. If that was her intent, I missed it. The ending is hopeful without being saccharine, but also a touch unsatisfying. There is a lot left hanging, but with her technique you intuit that the end is happy. A good read. There is some harsh language, but it is not gratuitous - it really is part of the character development. If the language is not an issue for you, I highly recommend this one!(less)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a pleasant surprise, not at all what I expected. I thoroughly enjoyed it and wanted to know what happened after the ending.