Book - 2012 | 1st ed.
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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.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton, c2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780393081503
Branch Call Number: FIC MOORE, L.
Characteristics: 352 p. ; 22 cm.


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Jun 27, 2020

Heft is a great book that describes the unlikely connection of the three main characters in the
book: Arthur Opp, Kel Keller, and Charlene Turner. The stories about these individuals have
similarities that create a strong but unlikely bond between them. Arthur Opp is one of the main
characters of this book, but he has a struggle with himself, his weight. His insecurity about his
appearance is the reason he hasn't left his Brooklyn home in a decade. Kel Keller is a
seventeen-year-old boy who struggles with his identity as he is a poor boy living in a rich
neighborhood and goes to a school filled with upper-class students, where he often feels
separated from his classmates. Even though the differences between Arthur Opp and Kell Keller
are apparent their underlying similarities are what changed their lives for the better.
Even though it's an amazing book there are some things that I liked and disliked about it.
What I liked
1. There's a lot of depth that is created by each character's voice in the book.
2. The book is written very well!
3. Hidden details in the book show the connection between characters which makes it fun
to read. Make sure to look out for them!
What I didn't like
1. The separation of the stories makes it hard to read because it's difficult to identify what
character you're reading about.
2. Adjusting to the organization of the book takes some time.
3. There are no numbered chapters !!!
All in all, it's an extraordinary novel that you should read!

Apr 19, 2017

I liked it.....wish it had more depth of character and wish more of everything had been more exciting and wish it had ended differently but overall...it gets my vote.

Sep 04, 2016

Absolutely wonderful. Some difficult material, deftly handled, beautifully written, warm and lovely, genius. Characters you fall in love with.

Mar 15, 2016

I had to skip over part of the middle of the book and feel like I lost a lot of the story.

That being said, while I loved Arthur Opp and would read any book that was ALL about this character, all other characters in this novel felt like wallpaper. I finished this book with some regret that I had to leave Arthur behind, half-known.

Good book, but not great (for me). Otherwise, I recommend it to anyone who cheers for the underdog.

Other books it reminds me of:

1. A Confederacy of Dunces
2. Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night-time

Jul 03, 2012

very enjoyable read - moving at times.

DesPlainesReaders Jun 05, 2012

Aurthur is a 550 lb. shut-in whose only link to the outside world is a dishonest correspondence with his former student, Charlene. Charlene's son, Kel, is a high school athlete who, because of his mother's alcoholism, is just as isolated and ashamed as Arthur. Both characters struggle to face the truth about their lives and to overcome their isolation to forge real relationships. The theme of connection is underscored by surprising bonds between the two characters that are revealed as the novel progresses. Although the switches between the two first-person narratives can be murky occasionally, this is a great choice for a book discussion. (WeAreSpartacus / Ms_Fitz)


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Jun 27, 2020

RR_6 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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