Everyone deserves a second chance.
Jack "The Cannon" Kennedy thinks he's living the American Dream. A fancy house in the Houston suburbs. A promising career. And a loving wife who tolerates his long hours and selfish ways.
In one horrific instant, he loses his wife. Then his job. Then his hope. And that just leaves Kellen, the young son Jack hardly knows or understands.
Jack realizes he must reconnect with Kellen or they'll never get past their shared grief. But Jack's biggest obstacle is staring back from the mirror.
Desperate to reach Kellen, he turns to baseball, the game he once loved. With Jack, a win-at-all-costs former star pitcher, coaching his son's Little League team, what could possibly go wrong?
What made the experience of listening to Broken Laces the most enjoyable?
I really liked the baseball overlay to the plot of the story. This wasn't just a story about a dad and son, or of the ups and downs of building a relationship. The baseball element gave the book depth that it wouldn't have had otherwise.
How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?
Well, the whole set-up is fairly predictable so I'm not sure how to change it. It was pretty enjoyable just as it was…thanks mostly to the narrator.
What about Jeff Hoyt’s performance did you like?
I love this narrator. I really felt the child-like innocence of Kellin in his voice. Mr. Hoyt is able to evoke such emotion in all the major characters.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I started this book on a 5 hour drive and I honestly didn't know how long it was. I was literally disappointed when I reached my destination and had to end the day of listening. And, I was quite happy to get in my car less than 24 hours later to drive home because I knew this book was waiting for me. While I thought the story was predictable, I really thought Mr. Hoyt brought the characters to life.
I loved “Broken Laces.” You don’t have to be a baseball fan to fall in love with this story. For me, though, it brought back memories of sitting in the bleachers watching my own son play Little League. The book hits all your emotions as the author brings Jack and Kellen through the natural stages of grief. At times I found myself sad, and then laughing out loud at the innocence of a child and at the brutal honesty, and sometimes unrealistic anger, of Jack and the predicaments he finds himself in as he is trying to find a new normal for his life. The narrator, Jeff Hoyt, did an outstanding job with the character voices. By the end of the book I knew who was talking without explanation. This is the first book I have read by Rodney Walther, and the first narration by Jeff Hoyt, and I will definitely search for more by both.
Where does Broken Laces rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
This is definitely one of the best! The author brings an incredible story, and the narrator kept me captivated and in the action.
What did you like best about this story?
The story depicts a broken man with a lot on his plate. I was able to experience his pain and his redemption as well.
What does Jeff Hoyt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Jeff Hoyt does a marvelous job with character voices, pace, and overall clarity.
If you could take any character from Broken Laces out to dinner, who would it be and why?
If I could take any character from Broken Laces out to dinner, I would take Renee out for dinner!
Any additional comments?
I would definitely consider any of Rodney Walther's other novels.
Would you listen to Broken Laces again? Why?
Yes, as with any audible book, you get distracted at times and need to hear it again.
Would you be willing to try another book from Rodney Walther? Why or why not?
Maybe. But I would try another book narrated by Hoyt!
The best aspect of this Audiobook was the narrator, Jeff Hoyt. His character voices were distinct and convincing without sounding at all hackneyed or over-blown, and the level and pace of his narration was just right. Through even the more predictable and contrived passages, he still held my interest.
An appreciation of baseball makes this book more interesting. The story itself is a little clichéd, especially in the first half of the book. A lot of the dialog could be predicted before it was yet spoken, as could a lot of the incidents and plotlines. The main character, Jack, came off as a maddeningly one-dimensional, infantile boor. But in the latter half of the book, things changed. The twists and turns of the story and dialog got more interesting and surprising, and the characters developed greater depth and nuance - even Jack.
I hope to hear more Audiobooks narrated by Mr. Hoyt. He’s a keeper. I’d rate him right up there with many of my other favorite narrators, such as Dick Hill, Bronson Pinchot, Edoardo Ballerini, John Lee, and Rupert Degas, to name a few. A good narrator can make or break an Audiobook. I've learned through painful experience to preview any Audiobook I'm considering, and I’ve bought or rejected any number of them solely because of the narration.
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