Thursday, April 5, 2012


Liz Moore's novel Heft intrigued me because of the protagonist, a 500+ pound man, confined to his house for a decade because of his weight. I thought that perhaps Arthur Opps would decide to lose weight but this is not what the story is about.

Arthur has shut himself off from people. He comes from an affluent family - his father is a well-known architect. And at one point Arthur was a professor at a college. This happens to be where he meets a student he develops a deep friendship with. When he is terminated because of the relationship he retreats to his home, and comforts himself with food.

Although he writes Charlene for decades, the two never meet up again, until unexpectedly Arthur receives a phone call from her asking him to contact her son.

Kel Keller, Charlene's son is a teen-age baseball star. He has a try-out for the Mets and the prospect of a beautiful girlfriend. Even though his mother is a mess - often drunk and passed out - Kel puts forth a lot of effort to hide his home life from the friends he has.

The lives of these two men intersect, but there is also little about that in Moore's story. Both Kel and Arthur struggle with friendships and being close to people. Both work hard at covering up their inner feelings and the things they feel others will find undesireable about them. And eventually both come to terms with this.

At first when I began reading I wasn't sure I would like Heft. Arthur is a bit eccentric and I didn't immediately like him, although I could picture him as Moore created him. And although I did end up loving this book things are not neatly resolved. I would like to check in on both Arthur and Kel at a point in the future since they seem to be making such good progress.

1 comment:

marnesandnoble said...

I've been meaning to review Heft as well. I found myself completely drawn into the story. Like you I wished for more closure but I found Heft to be a very thought-provoking read.