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Extended Audio Sample Heft Audiobook, by Liz Moore Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.11 out of 54.11 out of 54.11 out of 54.11 out of 54.11 out of 5 4.11 (28 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Liz Moore Narrator: Kirby Heyborne, Keith Szarabajka Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2012 ISBN: 9781470807290
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This heartwarming novel about larger than life characters and second chances was the Audie Award Nominee for Literary Fiction in 2013.

Arthur Opp, weighing in at five hundred fifty pounds, is a former academic who has been homebound in Brooklyn for more than ten years. Just twenty miles away in Yonkers, Kel Keller is struggling as a seventeen year old poor student in a school of rich kids. Putting all his hope in the dream of a professional baseball career, he feels uncertain that his family drama won't tie him down.

The connection between Arthur and Kel is Kel's mother Charlene. She used to be a student of Arthur's, and though they haven't spoken in twenty years, she makes a surprise phone call to him, a plea for help, which shakes them both up -- for good.

Told through the perspective of Arthur and Kel, with quirk and with compassion, Heft becomes a triumphant tale of two very unlikely heroes. Love and family truly can be found in the most surprising ways.

Liz Moore is a writer, a musician and a teacher. Her first novel, The Words of Every song was written while she was in college; it received 3.5 out of 4 stars in People Magazine. She has released an album called Backyards. After receiving her MFA in Fiction from Hunter College, she moved to Philadelphia. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Writing at Holy Family University in Philadelphia, where she lives. Her novel Heft has been critically acclaimed.

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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Quotes & Awards

  • “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.”

    Russell Banks, Pulitzer Prize finalist

  • “A suspenseful, restorative novel from one of our fine young voices.”

    Colum McCann, National Book Award–winning author

  • Heft is a work that radiantly combines compassion and a clear-eyed vision. This is a novel of rare originality and sophistication.”

    Mary Gordon, New York Times bestselling author

  • “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!”

    Ann Hood, bestselling author of The Red Thread

  • “As emotionally appealing as Arthur is, he’s in a dead heat with Kel, the other voice of the novel…By the end we are in love with the characters and just want to see them happy.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Moore succeeds in creating an insightful page-turner that seeks to demystify archetypal characters...The writing is quirky, sometimes to a fault, yet original...Moore’s second novel wears its few kinks well.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Moore’s lovely novel is about overcoming shame and loneliness and learning to connect. It is life-affirming but never sappy.”

    Library Journal

  • “Endearing.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Only a hardhearted reader will remain immune to Kel’s troubled charm.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “This deeply touching novel shows that you can choose your family. In Heft, writer-musician Liz Moore alternates Arthur’s story with Kel’s to create a stunningly sad and heroically hopeful tale of two men from fractured families and the women—a high school athlete, a pregnant cleaning lady—who, miraculously, love them. This is a beautiful novel about relationships of the most makeshift kind, about bonds that go beyond the biological. It’s also about how, sometimes, even the deepest wounds can be healed by the simplest, smallest acts of kindness.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A 2012 Kirkus Reviews “New and Notable Title”
  • Selected for the February 2012 Indie Next List
  • An iTunes Best Audiobook of 2012: Fiction
  • A 2013 Audie Award Finalist for Literary Fiction
  • On the 2013 ALA Listen List for Outstanding Audiobook Narration

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny | 2/19/2014

    " This book totally drew me in, I loved the characters and the stories, but must say, was a bit disappointed in the end wanting more. I suppose had I read all the literal translations and after thoughts at the end, I may have gotten there... so may go back to do that...Overall, glad I read it..Quick and easy read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 2/16/2014

    " Told from two perspectives, one a teenage boy with an alcoholic single mother. The other, an obese, recluse who has been penpals with the boy's mother for years. The common bond is the yearning each of these characters has to be part of a family. We are brought along on their journeys of self-discovery. I highly recommend this as an affirmation that life is what we make it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Frieda | 1/31/2014

    " I found it an interesting point of view of someone who has chosen to be a shut in rather than deal with painful life experiences. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becca | 1/28/2014

    " I chose this audiobook based on listener raves and was skeptical at first. But I came to love the characters and truly missed them once I finished the book. Recorded brilliantly in two voices, Arthur (extremely huge reclusive older man) and Kel (good-looking troubled highschool boy with promise), this charcter-driven story revolves around themes of loeliness, trust, love, and connection. Highly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martie Nees Record | 1/11/2014

    " The story of two misfits that won over my heart. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amy Lutzke | 12/31/2013

    " I actually only read about 1/2 of this. Frankly, it was boring. I got about 1/2 way through and there still wasn't any plot. The main character, a very overweight former teacher obsesses about a friendship with a student he had for a few months many years ago. This student had a child who we don't meet until about 1/3 of the way through the book. He is currently a teenager who is good at baseball. By the middle of the book that's all that happened except for an event I won't reveal for those who still want to have a go at this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yasmin | 12/29/2013

    " I think this will make it to my 2012 favorites list. I don't think a sequel is forthcoming, but that's how attached I feel to the characters. There are two narrators--a reclusive, morbidly obese older man and a teenage athlete, and eventually their stories intersect. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brenda | 12/27/2013

    " Interesting characters - people I would like to talk to. Good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rhiannon | 12/24/2013

    " Thoughtful writing with a well-paced story that unfolds without showing its seams yet still affecting and emotional. The characters are not caricatures and as much as you might imagine you would not connect or be friends with them on paper, they grow on you. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 12/11/2013

    " Another book club book that I didn't even know what it was about when I started. Really enjoyed the story and the characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nan | 12/7/2013

    " Loved this audiobook. Such flawed and believable characters. I grew to love them all and could not stop listening. Such a lovely, bittersweet story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lacy | 11/20/2013

    " I liked this book. The writing style was a little odd and bugged me at times but overall it was a good story line and really made you feel for the characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liesel | 11/18/2013

    " Found on the Ladies Home Journal recommendations. It was an interesting take on obesity and making people understand how people end up the way they are. It was equally as intriguing to see how the characters were unknowingly tied together. Well written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tina | 11/17/2013

    " I absolutely adored this book! Each character had their own loneliness to deal with, yet their lives intersected and it made for a wonderful read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shari | 10/3/2013

    " I really liked this. I was definitely left wanting more but the ending still felt right. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristi | 7/31/2013

    " I'm mad that this is over. Mad! I was 64% in when I started tonight, and I finished in less than three hours, and I demand more! I just identify with so many characters in this novel. Hrmph. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Penny | 7/30/2013

    " Strange, and wonderful ... I was invested in those characters, and I'd have given it 5 stars if it had ended as it should. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 April | 6/19/2013

    " Review to come. But wow, this book is going to stick with me for a really long time. Heartbreaking, beautiful, poignant, and the end is SO worth it. gahhh Going to be hard to review this one ! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Thomas | 10/21/2012

    " The "connection" between Arthur and Kel is different than I expected, and the impact they have on each other's lives is the greater for it. It took me a minute to buy Liz Moore's voice as Arthur (in a way that it didn't with Kel), but she finds her footing early on and then doesn't falter. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marsha | 8/30/2012

    " I fell in love with 500 lb Arthur Opp. What a beautifully written character. And his polar opposite Kel Keller - this book touched me deeply and I could have read on and on. Loved it. . "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marilyn Stolove | 8/25/2012

    " This is what fiction is for - to see ourselves and lives of those around us in a more perceptive way. This book creates characters that are unforgettable and gets into their interior lives. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy Cruicshank Morris | 8/3/2012

    " good but very sad and depressing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie Frankel | 7/31/2012

    " He it not been suggested by an author I love, I might never have picked this up. A sad and lonely story, with the possibility of hope and love. Very good read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kiki | 7/28/2012

    " Fantastic book, couldn't put it down. Great character development, loved everything about it. Want more! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura Howe | 4/17/2012

    " I really liked the characters... But UGH! Soooo depressing! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kurt | 3/20/2012

    " There are some loose ends. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linette Blaszak | 3/4/2012

    " I enjoyed this book... Plain and simple. It was an easy read, I was attached to the characters and wanted to know how it would all play out. Nothing new or earth shattering in this book and fairly predictable but overall I was glad I read it. :-) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristie Saumure | 2/22/2012

    " Loved it!! The characters were vividly drawn and I enjoyed the way the story unfolded. The best I've read in 2013. "

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About the Author
Author Liz Moore

Liz Moore is a writer and musician. Her debut novel, The Words of Every Song, was published in 2007 and she has also released an album, Backyards. She is an assistant professor at Holy Family University in Philadelphia, where she lives.

About the Narrators

Kirby Heyborne is a musician, actor, and professional narrator. Noted for his work in teen and juvenile audio, he has garnered numerous Earphones Awards. His audiobook credits include Jesse Kellerman’s The Genius, Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother, and George R. R. Martin’s Selections from Dreamsongs.

Keith Szarabajka has appeared in many films, including The Dark Knight, Missing, and A Perfect World, and on such television shows as The Equalizer, Angel, Cold Case, Golden Years, and Profit. Szarabajka has also appeared in several episodes of Selected Shorts for National Public Radio. He won the 2001 Audie Award for Unabridged Fiction for his reading of Tom Robbins’ Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates.