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3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  12,361 Ratings  ·  1,954 Reviews
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 moth ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published January 23rd 2012 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published January 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Feb 07, 2012 SheilaRaeO rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Liz Moore has written a book so heartbreakingly honest, I felt I was listening to the characters talk directly to me. Their voices were so real. She managed to convey the inner most thoughts and emotional conflict of both a teenage boy with dreams of the major leagues and a 600 pound reclusive professor who hasn’t been outside his home in a decade. How their lives relate to each other is through the boy’s mother, once a student of the professor, now a sick and lonely alcoholic. This book was one ...more
Mar 16, 2012 Jill rated it really liked it
One might suspect that a book written about a grotesquely obese academic and a coming-of-age teenager would fall into the “been there, done that” category or at the very least,be reductive in its approach to its characters.

HEFT avoids those pitfalls. The key characters – Arthur Opp, the reclusive and obese professor who has not left his home in over a decade and Kel Keller, the son of the student that charmed Arthur many years ago, are quirky, engaging, and so human they will touch your heart.

Yolanda Lockhart-howe
The more I think about this book, in the two weeks since I finished it, the more flawed it becomes. There was so much to like. Three characters that I was rooting for deeply, even when one couldn't bear the weight of life any more and left, suddenly.

I love ambiguity in my endings. I hate authors (or film directors) that don't trust me enough to tie up some of the loose ends. But ambiguity is not what I experienced when finishing this book. Rather, it was the sense that I had been given hundreds
Nov 27, 2015 Scruffy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heft tells the parallel stories of Arthur Opp and Kel Keller. Arthur is a severely overweight man who hasn’t left his house in ten years. Kel is an eighteen year old with a very troubled mother. Both characters are sad, lonely and desperately in need of help. The subject matter of Heft sounds very heavy and the story really does carry a large emotional weight. However it never feels overly sentimental. It’s actually quite a gripping read because of the likeable but realistically flawed character ...more
Aug 05, 2015 Laurel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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 ...more
Mar 12, 2012 Melissa rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. Heft is about a depressed, alcohol-addicted mother and her athletic son; a former teacher-turned-overweight recluse; a pregnant young house cleaner; and over-privileged high school students. It's about being so overweight that you don't leave your house for a decade. It's about trying to overcome the parents and the neighborhood and the economic circumstances you were born into. It's about some people giving up on life, and about others who refuse to. Every characte ...more
Mar 30, 2015 KatieMc rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who has a morbidly obese friend or family member
Refreshing and unexpected

We expect our movie and television characters being beautiful, successful, or rich. Even when they are ordinary people, they often have beautiful homes and wear great clothes. Literary characters are also often rich, successful, charismatic, or beautiful; if not, they possess amazing talents, powers or secrets. If there wasn’t something compelling about our protagonists, how could we possibly identify with them? Root for them? Engage in their story? Meet Arthur Opp, a 5

Qualche giorno fa, in uno dei miei spostamenti in macchina, sento alla radio Marco Missiroli parlare di questo romanzo.
Ricordo il punto esatto in cui ero, la via, l'angolo dove stavo svoltando, mentre non ricordo affatto da dove stessi tornando. Ma tornavo a casa, di questo ne sono certa.
Spesso mi capita di sentir parlare di libri alla radio, quasi mai poi ne ricordo il titolo, qualche volta lo appunto tra le note del telefono, a volte cerco di ricordarlo, invano, a mente; ma questo mi a
Mar 06, 2016 Ian rated it really liked it
First there is Arthur, sixty or so years old and a 500 pound shut-in who hasn't left his Brooklyn house in ten years. Then we have Kel, 18 years old, residing in Yonkers with his mom Charlene in their tired little apartment and attending private school in a posh area. Arthur and Kel have a connection in Kel's mother. I'll leave it there.

The relationships developed in this book are keenly written. Arthur and Yolanda (his cleaning person and eventually, friend). Kel and Lindsay (Kel's friend). Kel
Lindsay (Little Reader Library)
'I would remind myself of how many people there were like me, & how many people fall into the despair of loneliness...'

This is a review where I have to be careful not to be over the top, because, plainly said, I loved this book so, so much.

Arthur Opp, at around 550 pounds, is extremely overweight, and he hasn't left his large home in Brooklyn in ten years. He was an academic, but no longer works, supporting himself through money from a father he never sees, and ordering everything from food
Oct 06, 2012 Leona rated it really liked it
I bought this book because my cousin, who recently passed away, was a very large man and lived a solitary life. I'm not saying he was lonely, but he was alone. So when I read about this book and its character, Arthur Opp, who is also a very large man and, without a doubt, a very lonely man, I bought the book immediately. The first chapter of the book is wonderfully captivating and I had very high hopes for the rest of the book. The book is as much about Arthur as it is about Kel, the teenage son ...more
Jun 08, 2012 Lucky rated it it was amazing
This book grew on me. I have to say, right off, that I "listened" to it. I think that really does have a huge impact on a "reading" and whether you like it or not. When I say "grew on me" it implies I didn't like it in the beginning and that's just not true. Perhaps I had to get used to the narrator's voice.

I stumbled upon this book in the library's downloadable media catalog. I had never heard of it which surprised me because I read Publisher's Weekly and Library Journal pretty faithfully. I h
Nancy Mulder
Feb 19, 2012 Nancy Mulder rated it it was amazing

I was so sorry to say goodbye to Kel, Arthur and Yolanda at the end of this book. I wanted their story to go on and on. I loved them. Oh life can be so hard, and it can be so good.....some things are determined for us, and some we can change. I will not say more, except I'm sure you will want to read this!!!!
May 10, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audible, best-of-2012
Fabulous character development, so honest, tragic, and very real. The audible narration of this book pushes it up from 4 stars to 5, definitely the preferred way to enjoy this novel. The novel is told from the two main character's perspectives alternating, not every chapter, more in large blocks, then switching back & forth more closer to the end.

Arthur is a 58 year old former professor who is very obese (over 500 lbs) and has become a shut-in, living in a brownstone in Brooklyn (family mone
Betsy Robinson
Jun 14, 2013 Betsy Robinson rated it really liked it
This is a lovely book, but the cover copy does not do it justice. I've written cover copy so I understand the pressure to say something that a lot of people can relate to, such as "Heft is the story of two improbable heroes whose connection transforms both their lives." The problem is this never happens within the timeframe of the book. And saying it is not only a lie, but it does not acknowledge the daring truth of the book.

Liz Moore has written two separate protagonists, using two different fi
Diane S ☔
Feb 16, 2012 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it
This is a fascinating story, not because the story has a lot of action, but because it is so real. The characters are wonderful, Arthur who had been a college professor, but has now ballooned to over 550 lbs. and has not left his house in ten years, Kel, who is 17 and a baseball prodigy and a young woman who is pregnant instead of finishing her senior year in high school. What these characters mean to each other is the basis of this novel as well as how they change each other. Definitely makes o ...more
Aug 04, 2014 Ginny_1807 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ginny_1807 by: Cristina
Shelves: romanzi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 12, 2014 Roberto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sicuramente “il peso” è un libro che si apprezza e “cattura” fin dalle prime pagine.

Arthur è un uomo solo che convive con un corpo sformato dall’obesità, con un rapporto morboso con il cibo e con il vuoto della sua vita dopo aver perso famiglia, lavoro e affetti. È tanto massiccio nel corpo, quanto delicato e fragile nell'anima.
L’unica cosa che gli resta è lo scambio epistolare che da anni mantiene con Charlene, un tempo sua alunna e amica, oggi una donna distrutta dalla malattia e dal vizio de
May 12, 2012 Paula rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. One of the main characters feels like an Anne Tyler creation - with the prerequisite Imperfections and - yet a loving person underneath the HEFT of his outward appearance and hermit-like existance.

Can we overcome our own insecurities and fears to reach out to others -- even if we may be rejected or hurt? What is family - what is love?

"All my life I have heard it said that you can't chose your family, and all my life I have lamented this fact as true and unfair. Bu
Kathleen Q
Aug 14, 2015 Kathleen Q rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Judy Colprubin
Jun 10, 2014 Judy Colprubin rated it did not like it
This novel was a "hefty: disappointment. I liked the initial premise. Arthur, an obese former English professor had an unlikely relationship "of sorts" with Charlene, a completely unsophisticated former student determined to better herself. The "My Fair Lady" relationship long over, Arthur, who is no longer working, battles intense loneliness as he stays sequestered in his lovely childhood house gone to seed. Then the novel details Arthur's even more unlikely relationship with Yolanda, a maid fo ...more
May 28, 2014 Jodie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
I just loved this book. The notes stuck on doors and the letters in the mail over the years say it all.

Kel Keller is a teenage boy growing up in Yonkers but going to school in Pells - a completely different world only an hour from his home. He is at that school becuase Charlene (his mum) idolises the people that work there and longs for her boy to go to college (like she briefly did) so she figures that that school and those people are his best shot.

Arthur is Charlenes college professor for on
Apr 25, 2015 Kristie rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2012, own, audible
This book wasn't at all what I was expecting. It pretty much ended where I expected it to start. There were parts that were quite repetitive to get the point across, which weren't necessary. Yet, the story was just interesting enough. Not one of my favorites, but I'd try another novel by this author and recommend this one to certain friends that enjoy a slow build.
Lisi Harrison
May 09, 2015 Lisi Harrison rated it really liked it
I was sick all weekend and this novel was great company. I couldn't put it down. Full of hope, strength, loneliness, and surprises. So well done.
Aug 06, 2015 Michele rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this novel. My only criticism is that the ending left a bit to be desired... even just a glimpse would have been enough. Excellent writing, slow build, but nicely paced. Recommended.
Nov 03, 2014 Cathy rated it it was amazing
I really wanted to give this book five stars, I enjoyed it so much. I found myself cheating on my book club read, And the Mountains Echoed, to read this one. I love character-driven novels and this is very much one of them, very internal. Arthur takes the entire world completely personally with self defeating consequences, and the teenage charracters also flame out inexpertly in the personal relations department. If you liked Tell the Wolves I'm Home, you'll probably like this one too.
Apr 26, 2015 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was picked my book club for Aprils discussion.
In Heft we meet Arthur Opp a recluse obese professor who's anxiety does not allow him to step outside of his house and Arthur 'Kel' Keller a popular, handsome teenage boy hoping to make it big in baseball, these two are destined to meet as the person that links them together is Kels Mum Charlene who has was an ex student of the professor.
Charlene has been very lonely, poorly and an alcoholic for as long as Kel can remember. When Charlene takes
Penny (Literary Hoarders)
oh - 4.5 stars! 4.5 stars! could not put it down today and probably read the last 75% all in one sitting. Like Mike said - you wanted to put it down so it wouldn't come to an end, it was that kind of book. Love love all those sad tragic lonely people. Can't wait to talk to Liz Moore about this one!
Nicole Lundrigan
Jul 23, 2012 Nicole Lundrigan rated it it was amazing
Such a beautiful, beautiful story!
♪ Kim
Oct 26, 2015 ♪ Kim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, 2-star
The more time that passes, the less I seem to like this book. I think much of that has to do with the audiobook version (which I ended up returning to Audible). For some reason, both narrators used an interminably slow, measured delivery that was hard to get used to. I eventually warmed up to Arthur’s voice, convincing myself that it fit the character of the former English professor. But then came the switch to Kel’s story, a younger voice but with that same deliberate pace that didn’t fit a 17- ...more
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Eclectic Readers: Heft 5 37 Jun 30, 2014 07:15PM  
An exceptonal book - a no regrets spending the time reading book. 7 79 Oct 02, 2013 12:06PM  
Critical Era: Author Appearance: Liz Moore! 2 28 May 30, 2012 10:36AM  
Critical Era: Heft gets the Kirkus star! 1 24 May 30, 2012 06:52AM  
Gwinnett County P...: Heft 1 17 Mar 19, 2012 09:55AM  
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Liz Moore is the author of the novels THE WORDS OF EVERY SONG (Broadway Books, 2007), HEFT (W.W. Norton, 2012), and THE UNSEEN WORLD (W.W. Norton, 2016). A winner of the 2014 Rome Prize in Literature, she lives in Philadelphia and teaches at Holy Family University.
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“...this idea I had of an oversoul of loneliness. A connectedness among the world's lonely that I could turn to when I was very low. There was a delicious romance in being utterly alone, & I told myself I was nobler for it, & that there was a purpose to my solitude, O there must be.” 8 likes
“We talk for a very long time and I ask her if it gets easier and she says not really, just different. A different duller kind of hurt, the kind that doesn't surprise you anymore.
I ask what her parent were like when it happened and she says they have never been the same.”
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