“Barbecuing a cow with a magnifying glass”

That, I hope, is a correct quote from Douglas Adams, and describes the process of making a book into a film. (I’ll get to the point later.)

As the witch made her way through the airport this morning, en route for Gothenburg, she walked past that bookshop she wrote about a few months ago. Yesterday I found someone had googled me with the search phrase “airport bookshops that people like”, and this was the shop I wrote about, but not because I liked it. Anyway, outside they had a sign saying “please take one”, so I did.

“One” was the shop’s book magazine, which turned out to be quite enjoyable. I was so engrossed in it later on, that I nearly missed seeing my childhood beach as the train ran next to it for a while. And I wouldn’t have needed to be on a train at all if it wasn’t for the toothache that sent me to the dentist. So, now I am very tired, and I know it shows, but we’ll get there in the end.

The magazine had reviews and articles about a surprising number of authors that the witch likes, knows, writes to or is about to meet next week. So, it felt like it was written for me, even though it is connected to that bookshop.

The main article of interest was the interview with Philip Pullman, household God, about the film coming out later this year. Hence the Douglas Adams quote. There’s a photo of Philip staring at Nicole Kidman (Mrs Coulter), which is understandable.

The purpose of the magazine is obviously to make people want to buy more books. And it works, because even this old cynic was ready to buy.

At the end of the day, literally, I didn’t miss the beach. I think the dentist improved the tooth, touch wood. I’m back in Gothenburg, and I’ve read through the small programme programme, and feel I want to do it all. Know it’s impossible, feel tempted to sleep in in the morning, but will endeavor to get out of bed. There’s the freebie bag to receive, friends to meet and the President of Estonia. Among other things.

3 responses to ““Barbecuing a cow with a magnifying glass”

  1. Feeling very cross and jealous that you’re in Gothenburg and I’m not. How on earth do I get myself invited to the mythical city? What if I offer to learn Swedish?

  2. Talk to your Swedish publishers. They’ll know what to do. Any translation in the pipeline for Justin? That’s what you need.

    Or possibly just threaten them.

  3. Meg: Show up at the airport with your suitcase looking expectant?

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