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Heft Paperback – 3 May 2012

85 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Hutchinson (3 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091944201
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091944209
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 496,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Liz Moore’s skill as a tight storyteller is matched by her sensitivity to the things people do to stay safe … Moore, whose love for her characters is palpable, helps them ease off their heavy cocoons before they suffocate … astonishing second novel … Every kiss, every mouthful of food resonates with a gorgeous revelling in life’s physicality; so much so that the big ideas behind this quietly impressive narrative show themselves as naturally and beautifully as Yolanda’s suddenly swelling belly.. Full of surprises and love and healing, Heft is the most unsentimental sentimental journey you will read this year." (Melissa Katsoulis The Times)

"Read it: you'll like it." (Observer)

"The clarity of the prose… consciously avoids stylistic showiness or literary pretentions… the novel ends up providing a gentle but complex understanding of what it is, as Arthur neatly points out, to lose one’s “connection to the world” and end up a self-styled “noble hermit”." (The Sunday Times)

"A gentle fiction as big-hearted as its star is heavy" (Vogue)

"Moore's lovely novel is about overcoming shame and loneliness and learning to connect. It is life-affirming." (Library Journal)

Book Description

You can find love in the most unexpected places

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Both the Macs VINE VOICE on 21 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It was the cover that first attracted me. I guess that is often the case, and the blurb on the back was fascinating, introducing as it does Arthur Opp, former college professor, who is a very large guy at 550lbs. Arthur, now in his 60s, and as big as a house, lives in a brownstone in Brooklyn. He doesn't get out at all, living on a generous allowance from his estranged and very elderly father, and ordering food and everything else on the internet. He hires a cleaner, Yolanda, a very young, and pregnant Hispanic who proceeds to put his house in order.

Arthur has been writing, for 17 years, to Charlene, who once attended one of his evening classes, and who he fell in love with, but could not bring himself to tell. She has a son, Kel, 17 and at high school and aiming for a career in baseball; and she also has Lupus, a painful disease, and an alcohol problem.

Kel is looking for his father, Charlene is looking for a good life for her son, Arthur, praying every night that he might loose weight whilst spending all day eating, is looking for - something.

What a wonderful set of major characters - all damaged in some way, but all of them lovable for various reasons. A book that may make you question that old chestnut about blood being thicker than water. And a new writing style for me. Sections told by Arthur and Kel, both in the first person, which you may think you don't like, but which make you get to know and love those characters because you are in their heads, as it were. Written by a woman, but gentlemen, do not let this put you off! You will recognise yourself somewhere in one of the characters. I read it at one sitting, wishing at the end of each chapter that I could put it down because I was enjoying myself so much that I didn't want it to end but rushing toward the finish just wanting it to come to the right conclusion!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Denise4891 TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Heft is a delightful book, heartwarming (but not schmaltzy) with two very different but equally endearing lead characters.

Arthur Opp is a morbidly obese, housebound former professor who once had a very brief but meaningful liaison with a former student, Charlene Turner. He hasn't heard from Charlene for 20 years, during which time his life has shrunk (unlike his body) to a point where his only contact with the outside world is through online shopping and visits from delivery men. Charlene telephones him out of the blue to ask that he help her son Kel with his college applications. This unexpected contact gives the reclusive Arthur a new lease of life as he sets about sprucing up his home in anticipation of the visit of Charlene and her son , but unfortunately for Arthur things don't go according to plan.

The story is told from the viewpoints of Arthur and Kel and they both make very likeable and engaging narrators. Kel is a happy and well-adjusted teenager, a gifted sportsman who is popular and respected amongst his peers. The only dark cloud in life is the responsibility he bears in looking after his mother Charlene.

In their own very different ways, both Arthur and Kel are two lost souls who come to symbolise what it means to be lonely and isolated, but also how even the briefest human contact can lead to hope and opportunity. Liz Moore has created two very empathetic and memorable characters as well as an engaging and believable supporting cast. I was totally absorbed in their worlds and was sorry to leave them behind when I finished the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By the lambanana TOP 100 REVIEWER on 15 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Set in America, at over 39 stones Arthur Opp is morbidly obese. The type of fat that people point at, stare at, or tell their children not to gasp at. I did find it interesting to have a character who was overweight and had eating issues who wasn't female.

I certainly had some preconceptions about Arthur who over the past 20 years has become a solitary and housebound individual.

But the book isn't about the weight, it's about class.

America may say they don't have a class system but the novel explores the tension between different backgrounds, how they mingle, how they are really set in their 'class' as children.

That's my take on it and although that sounds a little dull, it's not. The detail, the story, the dialogue all skip along to make this a thought provoking and superb book that I found compelling.

It's not predictable.

It's not formulaic.

It's full hope and very very subtle.

And It's my favourite book of this year (2012)

RECOMMENDED
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Sears TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 16 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is not the book I was expecting it to be, and I have to say as hooked as I was from the very start, when I finished this book I was frustrated and unsatisfied.

There are two stories here, running parallel; two men connected by one woman. Told in first person throughout, and from each man's point of view, it's a bittersweet book about love, life and death and the things we all do to cope.

Arthur Opp is an obese recluse, whose love affair with food has slowly turned his home into a prison after a friendship, which should have been the love of his life, deserted him almost twenty years ago.

Kel Keller is a bright young athlete with a life in sports at his feet. However he's tied to his sick mother and caring for her in the best way a teenage boy can. While conflicted over his mother's wishes for him to obtain an education, he longs to be signed by the big leagues.

Their connection is one and the same woman, Arthur's would-be lover and Kel's mother, Charlene.

As we follow each man's journey it becomes apparent that this book is about the journey, and not as you will hope for, the destination. Each of them go through terrifying and heartbreaking transitions in this book, which will see them come out the other side as changed men.

As a reader I was desperate to witness the moment they met, to see each help other break the final chains that had bound them, but it was never to be. With loose ends remaining untied, I believe the author had spent so much time on their individual stories, that to share the moment with the reader when they finally meet would have been just too difficult to write, there is no way it could have been conveyed without coming across as contrived or cheesy.
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