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Heft: A Novel by Liz Moore
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Heft: A Novel (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Liz Moore (Author)

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5485618,269 (4.05)25
Member:jayne_charles
Title:Heft: A Novel
Authors:Liz Moore (Author)
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2012), Edition: 1st, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:fiction, USA, New York, university, sport, bereavement, addiction, obesity, single parents, absent fathers, alcoholism

Work details

Heft by Liz Moore (2012)

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» See also 25 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
Wow, this is such a well written book. It's about mental health, addiction, families, sport, death, absent fathers...there are so many themes and the author navigates them with such skill; it's like a highly polished work of art. I particularly liked how she nailed the feeling of awkwardness when an outsider (in this case a cleaner) witnesses the shocking state your house is in - the whole not knowing what to do with yourself situation while they are in the house that I coincidentally experienced myself while reading the book, as a plumber announced he had to access my shockingly overstuffed loft. What a perceptive piece of writing. Also impressive was the subtle differentiation of the voices of Arthur and Kel. Arthur says "Oh" a lot, but it's rendered as "O", giving him a slightly Shakespearean feel. When reading Kel's sections I realised several chapters in that he was omitting speech marks (one of my pet hates) and I hadn't even noticed. The story itself is essentially sad, but there are uplifting elements to it, and I realised shortly before the end what was going to happen (or more to the point, what wasn't going to happen) and I didn't mind a bit. ( )
  jayne_charles | May 16, 2018 |
Heft by Liz Moore is the story of Arthur Opp, a now 550 pound man who has not left his Brooklyn home in over 10 years. Across the city is Kel Keller from Yonkers who has a drama queen for a mother and who has pinned his hopes on a walk on tryout with the Mets. This story is about how eventually their lives will intersect; or they won't. This is a great book about obesity and dysfunctional families. Don't read this book if you need a neat, tidy ending. 368 pages 5 stars ( )
  tess_schoolmarm | Apr 30, 2018 |
This is a wonderful, character-driven novel told from two alternating points of view. Arthur Obb, a former professor, is now unemployed and morbidly obese. He hasn't left his house, or even the ground floor of his house, in 10 years. Meanwhile, Kel Keller, a 17-year-old high school student, lives in poverty with his single, alcoholic mother -- something that stands in contrast to the new, upper-class school he is currently attending. He dreams of breaking free and making it to the major leagues rather than attending college. These two characters become connected when the boy's mother, a former student of Obb's, calls him in a plea for help.

Without going into too much detail and giving too much away, Heft is ultimately about the heavy weight of loneliness and the hope that often comes from daring to reach out to others. It is an impressive novel by a young author who apparently published her first book before she even graduated from college. I look forward to more by her in the future.

I should note that I thought the audiobook was brilliantly performed, particularly by Keith Szarabajka as Arthur Obb. In fact, at times, I nearly forgot I was listening to an audiobook and instead felt like I was actually sitting with a flawed, lonely man as he humbly told me his story. Very well done. A beautiful, thoughtful, compassionate book.
( )
  Brightraven | Apr 26, 2018 |
A random read based solely on the Brooklyn setting. I wasn't sure what to make of this novel, which defied my superficial expectations (Brooklyn - no, Nero Wolfe-esque characters - not really) to become an engrossing story for different reasons.

The first section, from the point of view of Arthur Opp, an obese gentleman living an almost agoraphobic life in a Brooklyn brownstone, is quite slow and - perhaps intentionally - claustrophobic. The reader shares every laboured breath and panicked twitch of the curtains. Then 'Kel' Keller, the son of a former student of Arthur's, takes over the narrative, and I was hooked. Kel's is a sad, scary life - he has to look after his mother while cherishing dreams of a baseball scholarship to help him escape his narrow existence in Yonkers - which gets steadily worse, but his story is both sympathetic and captivating. There is a light at the end of the tunnel for both characters, but again, not what I expected.

More emotional than eventful, for a novel like this to work, the characters have to be strong enough for the reader to believe in them, and they certainly are - Kel in particular. I could see this being adapted as a film, with Arthur, Kel, Charlene and Yolanda being brought even more vividly to life. ( )
1 vote AdonisGuilfoyle | Jan 15, 2018 |
I am now a big fan of Liz Moore. Such a heartwarming, depressing, triumphant story (not necessarily in that order). ( )
  CarynPic | Nov 14, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
The writing is quirky, sometimes to a fault, yet original . . . Moore’s second novel wears its few kinks well
added by nsblumenfeld | editPublishers Weekly (Nov 14, 2011)
 
Only a hardhearted reader will remain immune to Kel’s troubled charm.
added by nsblumenfeld | editKirkus Reviews (Nov 3, 2011)
 
Moore's lovely novel (after The Words of Every Song) is about overcoming shame and loneliness and learning to connect. It is life-affirming but never sappy.
added by Christa_Josh | editLibrary Journal, Lauren Gilbert (Oct 15, 2011)
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Liz Mooreprimary authorall editionscalculated
Heyborne, KirbyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szarabajka, KeithNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my mother, Christine
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The first thing you must know about me is that I am colossally fat.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393081508, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:23 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Arthur weighs 550 pounds and hasn't left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Kel navigates life as a poor kid in a rich school, and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career. An unexpected connection transforms both their lives as they find sustenance and friendship in the most surprising places.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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