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Heft

Heft

Author(s): Liz Moore

Location(s): Brooklyn

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): Modern

Location

Content

Arthur Opp is heartbreaking. A 58-year old former professor of literature, he weighs 550 lbs., hasn t left his Brooklyn apartment in years and is acutely attuned to both the painful and analgesic dimensions of his self-imposed solitude. Kel Keller, a handsome and popular high school athlete whose mother drinks too much to take care of him or even herself, faces his own wrenching struggles. The pair, apparently connected only by a slender thread, at first seem unlikely as co-narrators and protagonists of this novel, but they both become genuine heroes as their separate journeys through loneliness finally intersect. Though Moore s narrative is often deeply sad, it is never maudlin. She writes with compassion and emotional insight but resists sentimentality, briskly moving her plot forward, building suspense and empathy. Most impressive is her ability to thoroughly inhabit the minds of Arthur and Kel: these are robust, complex characters to champion, not pity. The single word of the title is obviously a reference to Arthur s morbid obesity, but it also alludes to the weight of true feelings and the courage needed to confront them.

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Lead Review

This is truly insightful, a sharing of inner awareness – although set in Brooklyn, it does feel American, however, it isn’t top of the books to bring this area to life through words –...

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