When I get to considering my favorites of 2016, there's no way that Every Heart a Doorway doesn't make the Top 10 (see my initial post), so when I saw it available on the library's audiobook site when I needed something to end the week with, I grabbed it, certain I was going to have a lot of fun.
Wow, was that a mistake. The story was just as good, the characters as rich, the world(s) just as fascinating -- the writing, the wordplay, the language . . . it was just as good as I remembered. But man, the narration just didn't work for me at all. The book is creepy, funny, spooky, beautiful -- and remains so despite the narration. The jokes don't land, most of the characters seem to lack affect. Actually, I have a list of problems, but I don't want to get nasty, so I'll just leave it at that.
I did pick up a bit of a William Ernest Henley's "Invictus"-vibe towards the end this time that I hadn't picked up the first time -- but I still like it, regardless. I noticed more details, and appreciated the examination of the ideas of what's home and what's real maybe a little more this time, so it wasn't a wasted effort. But it was a disappointing one.
I do want to make it clear that I don't think Hopkins couldn't turn in a good performance -- I don't have enough information to say that. I do think that she was wrong for this project, didn't understand it, or had an off day. I'm not sure. But a novella as exceptionally good as Every Heart a Doorway deserves the best, and this wasn't it. So for this audiobook (not the text version), I've gotta go with 4 stars (and even that feels a little generous).