- Series: The Johnny Maxwell Trilogy
- Paperback: 752 pages
- Publisher: Corgi (October 31, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0552553824
- ISBN-13: 978-0552553827
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 2.1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #833,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Johnny Maxwell Slipcase: Includes Only You Can Save Mankind, Johnny & the Dead, Johnny & the Bomb (The Johnny Maxwell Trilogy) Paperback – International Edition, October 31, 2005
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About the Author
TERRY PRATCHETT is one of the most popular authors writing today. He lives behind a keyboard in Wiltshire and says he 'doesn't want to get a life, because it feels as though he's trying to lead three already'. He was appointed OBE in 1998. He is the author of the phenomenally successful Discworld series and his trilogy for young readers, The Bromeliad, is scheduled to be adapted into a spectacular animated movie. His first Discworld novel for children, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, was awarded the 2001 Carnegie Medal.
From the Compact Disc edition.
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Most young boys enjoy video games. But in "Only You Can Save Mankind," when Johnny Maxwell tries his pal Wobbler's new game, he finds that the aliens are... surrendering? Johnny is, unsurprisingly, quite taken aback: video game enemies are supposed to continue fighting. Then the game shows nothing but empty space. Johnny assumes that there is something odd about it, but nothing can prepare him for this: The ScreeWees are real aliens, who are attacked when someone uses the video game.
"Johnny And the Dead" is an appropriate title for the second book -- because Johnny sees dead people. But a massive, mercenary, progress-obsessed corporation has just bought the graveyard for fivepence, and it will soon be razed for new construction. The only people more dismayed than the living inhabitants of Blackbury are the dead ones. So as the dead break their bonds to "unlive," Johnny and his friends will try to save the graveyard from... a fate worse than death?
"Johnny and the Bomb" rounds the trilogy off on a high note -- one of the smartest time travel stories around. Johnny and his friends are taking a homeless lady's trolley to a garage when he finds a new newspaper... from decades ago. Suddenly they're in 1941, Bigmac is arrested, and Wobbler left behind. When Johnny and the others return, they find that they have royally messed up the timeline...
The Johnny Maxwell series is not Pratchett's best work, but it is an entertaining, witty fantasy trilogy. And Pratchett being Pratchett, he also gets to make fun of big corporations, radio programs, video games, war, and a lot of other stuff. Well, what else does one expect of a Pratchett fantasy novel?
Okay, the first book is probably the weakest of the trilogy -- Pratchett's writing is definitely less mature, and the storyline is confusing, although still entertaining. The second and third volumes are where his tight plots and deft humor really bloom, such as when the dead Communist calls up a radio talk show host and speaks frankly about being "vertically challenged."
Perhaps the best part is the characters. Without other races like dwarves, golems and werewolves, Pratchett has to give the character entirely human quirks. Johnny is the "normal guy," wise beyond his years and quiet unless he needs to speak. But backing him up is the dignified and intelligent Yo-less, gluttonous Bigmac, gutsy Kristy, and goofy Wobbler.
The Johnny Maxwell Trilogy is a fun, wry, witty fantasy series, and show Pratchett slowly growing into his literary gifts. Definitely worth reading.