Days of the Dead (Johnny and the Dead by Terry Pratchett)

JOHNNY AND THE DEAD by Terry Pratchett (book 2 of the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy)

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 telephone wires to chat on late night radio talk shows everyone else starts feeling that something isn’t quite right around town too. As always, Pratchett’s twists and turns of plot and conversation are hilarious while telling an enjoyable tale about living life to the fullest even after you’re dead.

“Mrs. Nugent says all that sort of thing [Halloween] is tampering with the occult,” said Wobbler. Mrs. Nugent was the Johnson’s next door neighbour, and known to be unreasonable on subjects like Madonna played at full volume at 3 a.m.

“Probably it is,” said Johnny.

“She says witches are abroad on Halloween,” said Wobbler.

“What?” Johnny’s forehead wrinkled. “Like … Marjorca and places?”

“Suppose so,” said Wobbler.

“Makes … sense, I suppose. They probably get special out-of-season bargains, being old ladies,” said Johnny. “My aunt can go anywhere on the buses for almost nothing and she’s not even a witch.”

“Don’t see why Mrs. Nugent is worried, then,” said Wobbler. “It ort to be a lot safer round here, with all the witches on holiday.”

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