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Heft Paperback – 28 Mar 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Windmill Books (28 Mar 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099558726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099558729
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"A stunningly sad and heroically hopeful tale ... This is a beautiful novel about relationships of the most makeshift kind." (O, The Oprah Magazine)

"Full of surprises and love and healing, Heft is the most unsentimental sentimental journey you will read this year." (The Times)

"Heft is written with a dry wit and the characters are hugely likeable … It’s moving and tragic too." (Daily Mail)

"Nuanced and poignant… each of the three acutely written principals of Moore’s second novel hooks the reader in a heartbeat. Heft is an understated yet intensely emotional work." (Financial Times)

"

A gentle fiction, as big-hearted as it’s star is heavy.

" (Vogue)

"Heft is a suspenseful, restorative novel from one of our fine young voices" (Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin)

"Moore’s characters are lovingly drawn . . . A truly original voice." (The New Yorker)

"Liz Moore has a light touch… she never takes her characters too seriously, letting their drama and sadness trickle through slowly rather than undamming any torrent of emotion or sentimentality. This knack is largely down to her seemingly effortless, economic prose as well as her appreciation of the notion of loneliness." (Time Out)

"A book to be devoured" (Heat)

Book Description

An unforgettable novel about finding 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 500 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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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Sue Kichenside TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Oct 2012
Format: Paperback
Once in a while, a book comes along that gets into your very bones. Liz Moore inhabits two very different voices in her book Heft. One is Arthur Opp, a morbidly obese, 50-something former academic who both physically and mentally has been unable to leave the downstairs of his Brooklyn home for a decade. The other is Kel Keller, an 18-year old from Yonkers, a promising baseball player with a desperately depressed mother, Charlene, who is the link between the two men.

The theme here is loneliness. Arthur has chosen his lonely path but Kel has his thrust upon him. He has no other family but his mother, Charlene, and no-one to share the burden of her illness with him. Charlene reveres scholarship above all else and has wangled her non-academic son Kel into a top-notch school and a milieu that is alien to him.

The book alternates between these two clearly different and totally believable voices. They are as real as if they were in the room with you. Both story threads are terribly sad and genuinely touching - I would not say that this is an easy read. But there are uplifting moments and so good is Liz Moore's writing that you will want to know what happens to these characters you have come very much to care for.

Heft has echoes - lonely echoes - of two great books: A Confederacy of Dunces (Penguin Modern Classics) and I Sent a Letter to My Love (Abacus Books). I think it would be fair to say that Heft joins them in providing the empathetic reader with a truly memorable account of how hard it is sometimes to be a human being.
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