Title: Johnny and the Dead
Author: Terry Pratchett
Page Count/Review Word Count: 188
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 might sound morbid, Pratchett deals with a dark subject matter with his trademark sense of humour, and it’s a delight to see how the ghosts of the past interact with the (comparatively) present day. Pratchett released this back in the early nineties, but the world hasn’t changed much – saying that, I would’ve loved to have read about the ghosts’ first encounters with the internet. It was funny enough when they started calling radio shows!