Books: Inspirations Novelist Terry Pratchett
Saturday 21 November 1998
An iron-age hill fort, called a dolbury, about 13 miles south of Bristol. It was not part of our formal "heritage"; there wasn't much to do there except wander around. It was a good place to go to clear the mind: it always had different weather to the area around it. Now it has been preserved for the nation, surrounded by barbed wire.
Richard Dadd's "The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke" has what I suspect is the court of Titania. A robust male fairy is about to open a hazelnut with a sledge hammer. As you stare at the picture you see more and more detail. It has a hallucinatory quality. I remember having sunstroke as a child; looking at this painting was just like that.
My comfort movie is Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits. My entire family knows the script by heart - it's quite exciting. There are lots and lots of stars doing small bits. The plot is completely insane, on the razor edge of madness, just like Python. It's very funny but not safe.
Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell. It's sheer fantasy, that specialised motorbike rock 'n' roll. It's a world away from heavy metal. Jim Steinman is a mean man with the word. Anyone who can write "I'll do anything for love but I won't do that" knows how lyrics work. This is music to relax to.
At any one time there are 50 productions based on the Discworld. I go to as many as I can; they are inspirational. It's my book but they have given it solidity - like having your own huge train set.
Terry Pratchett's new novel is `Carpe Jugulum' (Doubleday)
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
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