From the New York Times bestselling author of Long Bright River: "A stunningly sad and heroically hopeful tale…This is a beautiful novel about relationships of the most makeshift kind." —O, The Oprah Magazine
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. The link between this unlikely pair is Kel’s mother, Charlene, a former student of Arthur’s. Told with warmth and intelligence through Arthur and Kel’s own quirky and lovable voices, Heft is the story of two improbable heroes whose connection transforms both their lives.
Moore (The Words of Every Song) taps the fascinating psyche of the morbidly obese in her second novel, a stout volume with a split narrative between corpulent recluse Arthur Opp and Kel Keller, an admired high school baseball player. Though slow to start, Moore succeeds in creating an insightful page-turner that seeks to demystify archetypal characters. Arthur is a reclusive, independently wealthy ex-professor who occupies the lower floors of his family home. A sporadic correspondence with former student Charlene sustains him for years until her surprise phone call pushes him to rejoin society. Charlene is the common link between Arthur and Kel, who narrates the book's latter half and who, despite his apparent charmed existence, actually leads something of a double life caring for his alcoholic mother. As the story slowly unfolds, the importance of the connections between the three becomes increasingly evident. The writing is quirky, sometimes to a fault, yet original, but the diptych structure is less successful, as the respective first-person narrators are sometimes indistinct. Regardless, Moore's second novel wears its few kinks well.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Well written, but just an 'okay' story. I think this author has a lot of talent and look forward to more
Very much enjoyed reading HEFT. Delightful..
There isn't much plot here, and when that's the case, then either the characters or the writing itself need to pull the reader through, but these weren't there either. Arthur Opp is at his most intriguing in the beginning, where events leading up to his seclusion are provided. It's downhill from there -- if only this novel went as fast as a thing going downhill. Merciless entrapment in stilted present tense. Feels incomplete. A waste of time.