'A complete amateur . . . doesn't even write in chapters . . . hasn't a clue'
Tom Paulin, on BBC 2's Late Review
Appraising one of Pratchett’s novels,Tom Paulin commented on the richness of the vocabulary, saying any novel that used interesting words like ‘drumlin’ could not be all that bad, but after examining it closely he was overwhelmed. “It’s like picking up a stone,” he said, “and seeing millions of insects crawling in all directions – all you can do is put it back and leave them to it.”
This is the type of put-down one might expect from an admirer of William Hazlitt. Paulin requires slowness, focus, density, tonal variation, a layered seriousness of presentation while Pratchett seems to be constantly reiterating, “Isn’t this a topsy-turvy rollicking nuthouse of a universe!”
Earnings from Pratchett's books are now enormous but they were not initially spectacular. “With my first novel,” he recalled, “I was given an advance that enabled me to buy a medium-sized greenhouse. The next year my second book came out, and with that I was able to buy another medium-sized greenhouse. By the time my third book was published, I wondered whether I might not ask the publisher to send me a greenhouse direct and not bother about the advance.”
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