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Johnny and the Dead (Johnny Maxwell, #2)
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Johnny and the Dead

(Johnny Maxwell #2)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  9,164 ratings  ·  268 reviews
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.

Paperback, 188 pages
Published March 3rd 1994 by Corgi Childrens (first published 1993)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  9,164 ratings  ·  268 reviews

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Oct 23, 2007 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
Joshua Gross
I was packing up books to move and came across this one that I didn't know I had in my Pratchett collection and I don't have the others in the series. It looked cute and had ghosts, though, and it looked fun and short, so I gave it a try. It is very dated, with lots of early 90s pop culture references and jokes about being 'politically correct' and the gulf war. There's also a token black charachter named Yo-less who's personality seems to revolve around bucking black stereotypes but then seems ...more
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is way more like what I expect from Pratchett than the first Johnny Maxwell book. The story is much more straightforward: Johnny starts seeing the dead, and decides to save the cemetery that is going to be turned to an office building by United Amalgamated Consolidated Holdings. Johnnys friends are convinced that he is nuts but decide to stick it out with him anyway. As it happens, the dead seem to only need someone to listen to finally start living... and things get interesting.

Rebecca Stevenson
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
This story is simply amazing. I feel like these books get overlooked a lot, but they are some of my favorites among Pratchett's work, and to me they showcase some of his finest qualities. Which means I cry every time I read them, of course.
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
Still enjoying my read through Pratchetts worlds, even these YA independent books (outside of Discworld) are such cleverly crafted silly stories with a touch of great wordplay, some social commentary, and deeper meaning if youre paying attention. ...more
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really love the wicked sense of humour of Terry Pratchett!
Melissa McShane
This second installment of the Johnny Maxwell trilogy is as good as the first, possibly more so. Johnny, who is clearly some kind of magnet for weird happenings, starts to see--not ghosts, they insist they aren't such sad and pitiful creatures as ghosts--postmortal people, perhaps? (Johnny's friends make a game of trying to decide what to call them, partly joking, partly serious as they can't see the creatures.) The non-ghosts are upset because the city is going to destroy their graveyard and ...more
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.
K. Carters
Jun 04, 2014 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
Jan 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 stars flat.

Another enjoyable children's book by Pratchett. What I like about these books is, although it's a children's book, he doesn't speak down to the intended reader.

Life after death is touched upon, for both the living and the dead. Subjects toyched upon most authors wouldn't include in children's literature. Quite thought provoking.

I won't have the nostalgia feels for this series, but this one spoke to me a bit more than the first.
Sep 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, I loved it so much. The dead are great, they're so much fun, totally hilarious, and in the end, just absolutely right about life and death. I love how things turned out for both sides, it was really funny all the ought the start, and towards the end I just melted at how things turned out with the death, and Mr. Grimm, and the Pals. It was perfect.
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is quite a good kid's book, with a heartwarming message about the importance of history, local community and remembering those who've passed on. The humour is light and definitely skewed to the young intended audience but there's gags that adults will enjoy too. And the heart of the book can be appreciated by all.
May 23, 2016 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.
Feb 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Kaethe Douglas
Jun 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: beloved
just marvelous; not at all creepy despite the cover

Library copy

2009 December 31
Baal Of
Jul 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: apple
A step down from the first book in the series, due to a less interesting and original premise, but still harmless fun, with touches of the Pratchett charm. Also a very quick easy read, useful for keeping me on track for my yearly challenge since I haven't been as diligent on my reading as I should be in the last couple months. As with the previous book, the characters are just not quite as deep and rich as in the Discworld novels.
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
just finished this very well written, looking for the next book to read. I enjoyed the story and had a hard time putting it down for the night.
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you need me I WILL be in a corner sobbing my eyeballs out over the Blackbury Pals.
Charles Harrison
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
My personal favourite of the Johnny books. It is funny with the social commentary I expect from Pratchett, the story is a little disjointed in places which can be somewhat unsatisfying but overall a good read particularly for younger readers. What really makes this book stand out is how it deals with death (the clue is in the title) despite the amusing ghosts the massive tragedy of the 'pals regiments' is dealt with sensitively which absolutely crushed me when I read it. Not afraid to deal with ...more
Marina Morais
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-books
Why, oh why, did it take me so long to read a Terry Pratchett novel?

Neil Gaiman recommends him. Dear friends recommend him. Every single member of the reading community recommends him. And now I recommend him.

His style is very simple, and yet very unique. The book has bits that remind me of different authors I dearly love. His wit reminds me of Vonnegut. His pop humour and references remind me of Nick Hornby. His dark ingenuity to deal with children reminds me of Neil Gaiman. His third-person
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This isn't one of Terry Pratchett's best works. However, it does contain one of my favourite scenes he's written:
Johnny looked up at the nearest tomb. It was one of the ones that looked like a shed built of marble. Bronze lettering over the door said:
Pro Bono Publico
There was a stone carving of - presumably - the Alderman himself, looking seriously into the distance as if he, too, was wondering what Pro Bono Publico meant....

[Johnny] hesitated for a moment, and
Oct 07, 2011 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
Sam Wilkinson
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
This is a book that has stood, not only the test of time, but also of me growing up, not all childhood favourites do. This is a book that I am happy to return to, time and time again. It's funny, it's poignant, it's thought-provoking and most importantly, it's a good story, well told. I have at least two copies of this book, but this time, I listened to the audiobook and I was not disappointed. The narrator put some serious effort into this one, and it made it fun to listen to. I listened to ...more
Sophie Cox
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Quite different from Terry Pratchett's discworld series, this book aimed for younger readers was interesting, lighthearted, and was a good read.
Set around Halloween this book was perfect to read at this point in time. I enjoyed the aspect as being able to see dead people, and I thought that the story was well constructed for such a short read.
I didn't know it was part of a series before I read it, however the only thing that I missed out from not reading tit is some of the character
Kirsten Dent
Im giving this book 3 stars on behalf of my 9 year old son. He said that he liked parts of it but lacked the adventure and magic that he loves about our usual bedtime reading. He found it hard to follow the dialogue as it was sometimes not clear who was speaking and I have to admit I agree with him on this. From my perspective I found it quite funny being a child of the 90s whereas the Michael Jackson jokes went way over his head. My son was intrigued about the character Mr. Grimm and I was ...more
Jorge Rosas
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, the second story of Johnny and his friends. This time the Death are Alive! Or not as death as wed like to think, we can see a lot of Pratchetts thoughts on Death and what comes next in this book, it was very funny how the language was used trying to be politically correct and practical which was very confusing and I had a good laugh. Ah! And we have a short cameo of HIM, if youve read the discworld novels theres a few references that add some spice to the book, oddly enough no ...more
Apr 13, 2011 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.
Jun 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pratchett's fairy dust.

Alice Kelly
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First book I ever read, fully. This was my gateway book into reading. Loved it.
Sep 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Great young adult sci fi, wish I had read this when I was a kid, just love Terry Pratchett.
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Born Terence David John Pratchett, 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,

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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