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Johnny and the Dead by Terry Pratchett
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Johnny and the Dead (1993)

by Terry Pratchett

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Recently added byvarneynz, private library, MiaCulpa, electrascaife, PeppermintChristie, smhandy, hmrouen
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English (15)  Polish (1)  All languages (16)
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Of course, I've read the Johnny Maxwell books in the wrong order, starting (correctly) with Only YOU Can Save Mankind (which I liked) but then going on to #3 in the series, Johnny and the Bomb (which I thought was absolutely splendid). My opinion of Johnny and the Dead falls roughly midway between. Johnny has developed the ability (as would the kid in M. Knight Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense a few years later) to "see dead people" -- notably those in the local cemetery which the council wants to sell off to developers. Johnny's pals are for the most part unimpressed, but they go along with him as he tries to save the cemetery from the bulldozers and thereby the ghosts from "eviction". As you'd expect from Pratchett there are plenty of laughs along the way; Johnny isn't far off a reincarnation of Richmal Crompton's William. Also as you'd expect from Pratchett, there are moments of more serious insight. And of course the book reads like a rocket. ( )
  JohnGrant1 | Aug 11, 2013 |
JOHNNY MAXWELL TRILOGY
  rustyoldboat | May 28, 2011 |
This is one of Terry Pratchett's children's books, which I picked up in a charity shop recently. Johnny can see the dead people in the local cemetery, but luckily for him they are a lot less angst-ridden than the dead people in "The Sixth Sense" : )
However, the dead are incensed that the local council has sold the cemetery for building land, and ask Johnny to help them stop the development. It was an amusing read and an enjoyable way to pass a couple of hours. ( )
  isabelx | Feb 5, 2011 |
An interesting take on history and the need to preserve remembrances of it for the living. The British references make it difficult to understand totally, but the underlying messages are profound. ( )
  kthomp25 | Sep 15, 2010 |
Pratchet-Johnny and the Dead -Johnny Maxwell, a twelve-year-old boy -can see and talk to the dead. Not surprisingly, Johnny’s friends don’t believe him at first. The council wants to sell the cemetery as a building site for new company, United Amalgamated Consolidated Holdings. But the dead are not going to take this lying down, having learned a thing or two from Johnny and it being Halloween the next day.
They find themselves beginning to see life is a lot more enticing beyond the graveyard than it was when they were living, especially if they bend a few of the rules. ( )
  caro488 | Jun 9, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Kirkus (Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2005 (Vol. 73, No. 23))
Fresh from leading the ScreeWee fleet across hostile game space and back to their own territory, Johnny Maxwell returns to champion a more local group of beings in need: the dead denizens of the local cemetery, slated for redevelopment into Modern Purpose-Designed Offices by United Amalgamated Consolidated Holdings. Pratchett's cry against the needlessly tragic rejection of communities and their histories is just as passionate as was his cry against war in Only You Can Save Mankind (2004). Johnny allows himself to be conscripted by the dead, whom only he can see. They are an agreeable assortment of sweetly loony characters including a former Alderman, a suffragist, a socialist and an inventor, who, along with the rest of their fellows, represent the collective history and culture of Blackbury. If the narrative turns a bit preachy at times, kids will nevertheless find themselves won over by both the dead and Johnny's basic sense of decency. Humor and honest pathos play off each other to make for an emotionally balanced whole, one whose resolution will be as satisfying to readers as it is to Johnny. 2006
added by kthomp25 | editKirkus
 
Jane Harrington (Children's Literature)
The second book in “The Johnny Maxwell Trilogy” gets off to a good start (“Johnny never knew for certain why he started seeing the dead…”) but quickly becomes a surprisingly poor read from the prolific author of Discworld, and the “Bromeliad Trilogy.” The story loosely revolves around twelve-year-old Johnny and his fight to keep a cemetery from being destroyed, though most of the pages are devoted to other happenings that are not well-connected to this central theme. Attempts at parody and humor sometimes work--as in many of the conversations between Johnny and the “post-life citizens”--but most fall flat, or are too dated or too tied to the author’s own (British) culture. There is a level of crassness, too, that borders on offensive, as in this description which seems intended to show what social misfits Johnny’s friends are: “And then there was Johnny, and Wobbler, and Bigmac, who said he was the last of the well hard skin-heads but was actually a skinny kid with short hair and flat feet and asthma who had difficulty even walking in Doc Martens, and there was Yo-less, who was technically black.” Young readers on this side of the pond are very apt to consider that racial remark a slur-- and probably will not have a clue what “well hard skin-heads” and “Doc Martens” are. Brit-lit can be great fun, but there clearly could have been a heavier editorial hand in the Americanization of this book. Overall, a disappointing offering from such an experienced writer. 2006
added by kthomp25 | editChildren's Literature, Jane Harrington
 
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Johnny never knew for certain why he started seeing the dead.
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Life was difficult enough already. Let someone else say something.
It's wrong to think that the past is something that's just gone. It's still there. It's just that You've gone past. If you drive through a town, it's still there in the rearview mirror: Time is a road, but it doesn't roll up behind you. Things aren't over just because they're past. Do you see that?
If we start off not knowing what we're going to do, we could do anything.
"I hardly did anything." "You listened. You tried. You were there. You can get medal just for being there."
Johnny blinked. And looked around at the world. It was, not to put too fine a point on it, wonderful. Which wasn't the same as nice. It wasn't the same as nice. It wasn't even the same as good. But it was full of...stuff. You'd never get to the end of it. It was always springing new things on you....
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0552527408, Paperback)

paperback, vg+

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:12 -0400)

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When the local council starts planning to build on the town cemetery, Terry becomes involved with the local ghosts who refuse to take it lying down. Suggested level: intermediate, junior secondary.

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