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Johnny and the Dead Paperback – Aug 17 2010


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
You don't really live until you're dead Sept. 21 2005
By Daniel Jolley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Johnny Maxwell is just a normal twelve-year old kid, or at least he tries to be. Things just seem to happen to him that don't happen to anyone else - aliens inside a computer game surrender to him and name him their Chosen One, for example (as told in the first book of this series). Compared to that adventure, seeing dead people almost seems rather prosaic. The Trying Times Johnny has been living in have advanced past his parents' shouting and Being Sensible About Things to Phase 3, which sees him now living with his grandfather. He often takes a short cut to school through a local cemetery, and it is there that he meets the Alderman, the long dead and buried Alderman. His friends Yo-less, Bigmac, and Wobbler can't see dead people the way Johnny suddenly can, but events soon convince them that Johnny isn't just fooling around with them. Johnny meets all of the dead people in the cemetery, all of whom are quite put out when they learn that their cemetery, a place which the rules of being dead say they cannot leave, has been sold by the city (for only five pence) to a corporation planning on building office buildings there. Since Johnny is the only human who can see them (and why Johnny can see them is rather a mystery, although the Alderman thinks it is because he is too lazy not to see them), the dead look to him to save their eternal resting place. Stopping a big corporation from doing something the city has granted them the legal right to do is no easy task, especially for a twelve-year-old boy and his friends, but Johnny is wonderfully resourceful.

The ending of this book didn't have much spark to it, but overall Johnny and the Dead is an even better read than the first Johnny Maxwell novel Only You Can Save Mankind. It also rings quite distinctly at times of the type of humor showcased by the author in his Discworld novels. There is one bit early on that is just hilarious. Wobbler puts the idea in Johnny's head that dead people basically lurch around like the zombie types in Michael Jackson's Thriller video, and this indirectly leads to the Alderman trying to moonwalk in the cemetery. The dead people as a whole put a lot of life into this book, oddly enough. Among the fascinating, entertaining dead folks we meet are an ardent suffragette, an inventor who is quite proficient at manipulating electronic equipment, a brilliant man named Einstein - Solomon Einstein the taxidermist, and a dyed-in-the-wool Marxist who is quite disappointed at the way things have gone in the world since his death. The vibrant personalities of the dead men and women more often than not clash in a number of very funny ways as they all try to cope with modern life or the lack of it.

This book does stand up fairly well on its own, but the characterization of Johnny and his friends is not detailed enough for you to really get to know them without having read Only You Can Save Mankind already. This is considered juvenile fiction, but as with everything Terry Pratchett writes, men and women of all ages, providing they have at least a nascent sense of humor, will find much to enjoy and laugh about in these pages.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Charming July 15 2014
By Kurt A. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Johnny Maxwell is an ordinary boy, living in the all-too ordinary town of Blackbury. However, when Johnny takes a short-cut through the local cemetery, he finds out he can see the dead. Their not ghosts...at least they don’t think that they are ghost, they are just...post-living citizens. However, there’s trouble afoot – the council has sold the cemetery to a developer, and the dead are determined to do something about it. Just what has Johnny started?

This is the second book in Terry Pratchett’s charming Johnny Maxwell trilogy. The story is fantastic, and yet, at the same time it is quite ordinary. There are no monsters (though an old Pratchett favorite, Death (capital "D", he's the man, or rather the anthropomorphic personification) puts in an appearance), no body snatching, no horror, just life...well, sort of.

If you like good fiction, then I can’t recommend this book enough. And even though it is part of a trilogy, you can read it by itself and feel like you missed nothing. This is a charming book, with interesting characters, and a highly entertaining storyline. I highly recommend this book!
1 of 38 people found the following review helpful
stupid, stupid, stupid! Feb. 24 2007
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO BORING!!!!!!! I think I'd rather eat the paper than read it! My friend gave it to me to read cos she said terry pratchett was really good BUT IT WASN'T! I dont like terry pratchett- I've tried Five of his books and I still cant get to the end of the 2nd chapter!!!! Dont waste money on this idiotic book- it was sooo bad that for a while after I read it I didn't even feel like reading cos I was SCARED- yes, SCARED- of finding such a bad book like this one! If you are a fan of this book then you might as well be a fan of eating feet! I dont even think Johnny and the Dead derservse 1 star! Dont waste your time!


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