|Submitted by Anonymous |
(Jun 06, 2005)
‘Johnny and the Dead’ is an amazingly witty book that shows off Pratchett’s true talent. The strong story line of a brave youth that can see and talk to the dead complements the comical humour and gripping actions of the play. Not surprisingly, Johnny’s friends don’t believe him at first, but his outstanding courage shines through and he manages to save the cemetery with a little help.
Johnny Maxwell, a twelve-year-old boy battles against all odds to save his new friends’ homes and he’s got bad news for them; 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.
This proves a heavy challenge for Johnny, as he has to cater for the individuals’ needs and mind them, at the same time as trying to save the cemetery in various ways. When the pressure gets too much, his friends stick by him, even when they think he’s gone mad!
Amusingly, Terry Pratchett uses his wicked sense of humour to hilarious affect in this fantasy story, loosely based on real events about Westminster in the decade from 1980 to 1989, when the council sold three cemeteries as building land for 15p.