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Johnny and the Dead (Johnny Maxwell #2)

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,516 Ratings  ·  200 Reviews
Published December 5th 1996 by Great Britain : Oxford University Press (first published 1993)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Oct 23, 2007 Joanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of all the Terry Pratchett books I've read (and I've read them all, as far as I know) I was very surprised to see how much I enjoyed the books he'd written for children.

This is no book for very young readers, but my ten year old son read it and greatly enjoyed it. Terry's usual razor sharp satirical wit is toned down just enough to not baffle a young reader, but enough to keep an adult flipping the pages happily.

I loved the way he portrayed young Johnny's ability to comprehend the older generati
K. Carters
Jun 28, 2014 K. Carters rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Marvellous! I took a while with this book as everything came at once but this was superb. I enjoyed Johnny and the Bomb but this is so much stronger in tone. The snappy one liners are there and I loved the idea of Ghosts dancing to thriller because they just like it. The characters are well thought out and funny too. I actually felt upset when Tommy Atkins met up with the rest of the volunteers and returned to France -a spine tingling moment!

I would have liked Eric Grimm to be a darker character
oh how very sweet and funny! i loved loved loved it. very short but full of wit and magic. had me laughing out loud on quite a few occasions and i loved the ideas, execution and the overall philosophy of it. go johnny!
i have to say a lot better and in a way more plausible (however one can interpret "plausible" in this case) than Only You Can Save Mankind. maybe because today's computer games aren't quite the same any more. but ghosts and graveyards will always be there.
Death makes an appearance, but in many ways this is look at community and togetherness.

Old Review - In Johnny and the Dead, Terry Pratchett takes a serious topic and makes it funny while keeping it serious. Pratchett teaches the reader about life and death, and about how what might be an insignificant action can change things. He does without preaching.
Oct 07, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Review by Nerfreader for the audio version.

This second book in the Johnny Maxwell series hits the Halloween sweet spot. Terry Pratchett is a comedy master, and Johnny and the Dead has some really funny parts. The writing has tightened up a bit from Only You Can Save Mankind. The plot is smoother and the laughs louder. Luckily, Johnny and the Dead can stand on its own.

Johnny and his friends are the best part of these books. They're well developed and play off of one another with expert timing. I
Jun 06, 2016 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: terry-pratchett
The second story in the Johnny Maxwell series. This was a well written, lighthearted story, which flowed nicely.

Johnny Maxwell found out that he could see the dead, and ended up trying to save their cemetery which lead him on an entertaining mission. Even my favorite character from the Discworld series makes an appearance......DEATH.

I would highly recommend this story.
Jun 19, 2015 Soumya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pratchett's fairy dust.

Julie Davis
Feb 14, 2015 Julie Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rereading this was a delight. My original review is below.


Twelve year old Johnny Maxwell is cutting through the cemetery one day with a friend when he knocks on the door of a tomb and the inhabitant answers the door. Johnny is the only one with the unique ability to wake up the dead and soon they are bothering him to stop the proposed development of their cemetery for a large corporation's offices. Once they discover they can leave the cemetery, go to the movies, and travel over teleph
Michael Dodd
Mar 27, 2015 Michael Dodd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second in his Johnny Maxwell trilogy, and sixth young adult novel overall, Terry Pratchett’s Johnny and the Dead was published in 1993, twenty-two years after his first novel (The Carpet People) and ten years after his first Discworld novel (The Colour of Magic). Set in the village of Blackbury, a sort of Pratchett-ised standard of suburbia, it sees Johnny and his friends trying to carry on with the normal lives that most 12-year-olds live; hanging out in the mall, trying to avoid getting be ...more
Michael Clemens
Stronger than it's series predecessor Only You Can Save Mankind, and strong enough to exist without reading it. If ever, after reading Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch you found yourself saying, "Well, yes, but I do wish Sir Terry had a hand in The Graveyard Book with Neil Gaiman?" then I'd hand you this volume and say "Here it is, here you go, your wish is nearly granted."
Priya Patankar
Aug 02, 2014 Priya Patankar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it - totally and utterly. Pratchett is so profound while being so funny and so wise. This book is meant for children but I think there is so much depth to it that any adult would like it too (Though on second thoughts, I give adults more credit than they deserve).

The plot centers around Johnny, who can see and talk to the dead in the cemetery near his house. And why can he do that? In Pratchett's words 'Because he is too lazy not too.' It has the usual suspects from the Johnny Maxwell ser
Ken Ransom
If you're a fan, every Terry Pratchett story is an automatic three stars before you even open the book. Johnny and the Dead is the second adventure in the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy.

This "children's book" simple enough for an adult reader explores the bonds between the living and dead.

One day as Johnny and his friends are taking a shortcut through the cemetery, Johnny's friend Wobbler challenges him to knock on the tomb of Thomas Bowler. As Johnny knocks, Thomas Bowler opens the door casually and s
Oct 27, 2014 Aelvana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's the sequel to Only You Can Save Mankind, and Johnny and his friends are as hilarious as ever. This time, Johnny starts seeing dead people hanging around the town cemetery, which is problematic because the town has sold the cemetery and a company plans to build offices on it. The dead enlist Johnny's help, and the adventure begins. This book was published over a decade ago, but it's amazing how much of the social and political issues within are still relevant today. There's a lot of subtle c ...more
Apr 13, 2011 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I probably should remove a star for the ending which was, well, rather dead. Nevertheless, I am always charmed by Terry Pratchett. Gaiman's The Graveyard Book was better for story, but this had a little more thinking, more reality leaking out, between the lines.
this book unlike the previous installment in the Johnny Maxwell trilogy managed to be everything I love about Terry Pratchett subtle, funny, thought provoking and highly enjoyable.
Where the first book was dry, (in my personal opinion) incredibly in your face and oozing with the message, this was more behind the scenes, it wasn't all "________ is bad you know because _____ even though ___________" it was more about the story than the morals, even though they were there.
The characters in this
Dec 21, 2014 Cait rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice quick read, managed to read it in about three sittings. Short enough to almost read in one day.

Classic Terry Pratchett sense of humour, lots of funny bits that I couldn't help but laugh out loud at or share with my husband.

Couldn't put all my favourite quotes into my book journal because a lot of them ran over a whole page or more.

Read this book out of order, I originally thought it was the third in the series but it's actually the second. Don't feel like I missed anything by reading it out
Oct 28, 2014 Katy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read for Children's Book Challenge. I enjoyed this one - particularly the way the dead characters responded to modern life! I've loved TP for years anyway, so read all three Johnny books in a row, having bought the full set to get the one we were supposed to be reading, and then being too ocd to start with the middle one!, immediately after reading his new collection of non-fiction writings. It was really interesting to compare how he'd changed as a writer. I preferred this and book 3 to the fir ...more
St Stephen's C C
Sell the cemetery? Over their dead bodies...Not many people can see the dead (not many would want to). Twelve-year-old Johnny Maxwell can. And he's got bad news for them: the council want to sell the cemetery as a building site. But the dead have learnt a thing or two from Johnny. They're not going to take it lying down ...especially since it's Halloween tomorrow. Besides, they're beginning to find that life is a lot more fun than it was when they were...well...alive. Particularly if they break ...more
Jan 27, 2015 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eepika, diip
Teine raamat Johnny lugudest. Sama hea, aga minu jaoks lihtsamalt arusaadav - st mitte diibimatelt külgedelt, aga kuna esimene raamat sisaldas palju kosmosearvutimänge ja ma pole neid kunagi mänginud, siis pisike linnake oma surnuaiaga oli lihtsalt kergemini arusaadav.

Selline naljakas nostalgiline tunne jäi kuidagi. Ja pani mõtlema, ja sisaldas häid mõtteid. Näiteks, et kellele surnuaedu vaja on, ja kas me peaks oma minevikust üldse kinni hoidma või mitte. Surnutel oli igastahes point - et surn
Wallowing Hippo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 18, 2011 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 se ...more
Great story! It features Johnny Maxwell from Only You Can Save Mankind, and you have a more complete picture of the characters, especially his 3 friends if you've read that one first, but it is basically unrelated plotwise. Well, same clever themes, but different storyline.

This one is better. Despite the cover, the book is not meant to be creepy at all. It is actually kind of a sweet book, though the criticism of modern-day uncaring society is a tad heavy-handed, and deals with Johnny trying to
colleen the fabulous fabulaphile
I liked this one a lot better than the first, which I found a bit meh, though interesting in parts. Maybe it's just me, though - give me a choice between aliens and ghosts, and I'll pick ghosts every time. :>

This one, though, seemed to have more humor, and I was glad to see more of Johnny's friends, who seemed more surface in the first book but more relevant in this one, though it's still very much Johnny's story.

And I really liked the different, um, living challenged, especially William Stic
"Granddad was superstitious about books. He thought that if you had enough of them around, education leaked out, like radioactivity."

Terry Pratchett has a wonderful way of saying things not unlike Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) and other witty, comical British authors. His interaction with his characters usually leans toward the satirical without being entirely unkind.

"Mrs. Nugent was the Johnson's next door neighbour, and known to be unreasonable on subjects like Madonna p
Feb 26, 2008 Jared rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
Johnny and the Dead is the second book in the Terry Pratchett's series involving Johnny Maxwell, a kid who sees things a little differently. In this story that's particularly true, as Johnny begins seeing the dead people in the cemetery near his home. He soon learns that the city has plans to shut down the cemetery and turn it into some kind of commercial development -- I don't remember exactly what.

Johnny ends up being the advocate for the dead to keep their cemetery intact, and he learns a lot
Dane Cobain
May 21, 2014 Dane Cobain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Johnny and the Dead is, without a doubt, one of the finest short novels that I’ve ever read – Pratchett has this knack for characterisation, and whilst he’s more well-known for his Discworld series, you’d be a fool to pass up a chance to read one of the books in his Johnny Maxwell trilogy.

This particular novel tells the tale of young Johnny Maxwell, who finds out he can speak to the dead and ends up acting as their figurehead in a campaign to stop their cemetery from being destroyed. While it mi
Julia Miller
Johnny Maxwell can see the dead. Perhaps because he's just too lazy not to, perhaps because he's missing something that keeps everyone else from seeing them. The why isn't what this story's about. This otherwise normal young man from a city very like many others--worn out, dying, infested with bad neighborhoods and recession-stricken strip malls--finds himself the voice of the dead as he tries to keep a huge company from tearing down the local cemetary for high rises.

As a long-time Terry Pratche
Ella Zaplin
Nov 22, 2015 Ella Zaplin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book! A story about a boy who can speak to the dead. This is set in the present day-ish in England (actually i think the 80s or 90s), not in Terry Pratchett's Discworld. It is a very intelligent story about life and how we fit in the world. It talks about some stuff that isn't so great eg. tearing up old stuff to build ugly new buildings. It is also pretty funny too. I really like Johnny's gang of friends.
Mar 13, 2015 erinthedreamer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I expected this to be a direct sequel, to talk about the video game aliens, maybe tell me more about Johnny’s unexpected ability. That’s not really what this is. It does continue with Johnny but he no longer talks to video game aliens, instead he can now see dead people.

In case you were wondering this book did come before The Sixth Sense.

I like the fact that Pratchett doesn’t stick with one power, sure Johnny can find a way into video games but he can also talk to the dead. He’ll probably get to
Bekki Fahrer
Feb 09, 2014 Bekki Fahrer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pratchett's wit and unique humor come out even though it was a kid's book. Johnny and his pals are fun to spend time with. This book is reminiscent of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, but is exploratory and nostalgic where that one is dark and ominous. They are both imaginative and humorous, and the protagonists will not accept "because that is how it always is" as a reasonable answer.
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Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe.

Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel,
More about Terry Pratchett...

Other Books in the Series

Johnny Maxwell (3 books)
  • Only You Can Save Mankind (Johnny Maxwell, #1)
  • Johnny and the Bomb (Johnny Maxwell, #3)

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“I think it's IMPOSSIBLE for anyone famous to come from here, because everyone around here is insane.” 23 likes
“Of all the forces in the universe, the hardest to overcome is the force of habit.” 12 likes
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