I admit I am disappointed with this episode.
(spoilers for chapter 96 below)
I love this chapter, I find it very emotionally compelling. But listening to it, it fails to evoke that same reaction, even on a smaller scale. This is where Harry discovers he’s not alone in the world. Finally, a confirmation that there are others who understand death is to be rejected absolutely. At the grave of his parents, of all places. And the narration just… falls flat.
After a couple listens I think I know why. Over the past dozen episodes or so I’ve been drifting into more of an announcer-style of voice. As someone declaiming to an audience, perhaps. That has a distance to it which doesn’t fit with fiction, at least not the more intimate scenes. I need to soften a bit, as if reading to a younger sibling before bed.
Unfortunately there’s not enough time left to re-do this episode. Chapters 97 and 98 are already (basically) completed as well, but the tone of those chapters is rather different (much of 98 is proclamations, literally), so I don’t think I’ll be re-doing those. But I think I can get 96 re-recorded within a couple weeks, so I’ll be shooting for that.