June 24th, 2013


Book post: Johnny and the Dead

Johnny and the Dead by Terry Pratchett

Second book in the Johnny Maxwell trilogy changes nothing about my requests for some changes to the protagonist, but it's significantly smoother than the first, Only You Can Save Mankind. In this one Johnny goes from leading an alien race to safety to helping out the local dead in the town graveyard.

It has some good philosophical bits, a lack of Kirsty (that's not a good thing), and the usual cute interactions between Johnny and his friends, who are still twelve. It isn't until the next book coming up, Johnny and the Bomb, where they finally get to upgrade to thirteen and get seriously involved in the adventures besides thinking Johnny's a bit strange.

In Johnny and the Dead, Johnny starts seeing dead people, and then the dead people start realizing they can do a lot more than lay around waiting for judgement day. Wackiness ensues.

I'm actually halfway into the third and final book of the trilogy, which I thought I'd be done by now but grandparents came over and one must entertain ones grandparents or they start biting.

The snake who became the king's son-in-law

My favourite fairytale, mostly for its oddness, is The Snake Who Became The King's Son-In-Law or as I call it, 'Herp: The Snake Who Was His Own Boostrap'.

Here it is in its entirety, taken from sacred-texts.com:

No. 7.--The Snake who became the King's Son-in-law

There were an old man and an old woman. From their youth up to their old age they had never had any children (lit. 'made any children of their bones'). So the old woman was always scolding with the old man--what can they do, for there they are old, old people? The old woman said, 'Who will look after us when we grow older still?'

'Well, what am I to do, old woman?'

'Go you, old man, and find a son for us.'

So the old man arose in the morning, and took his axe in his hand, and departed and journeyed till mid-day, and came into a forest, and sought three days and found nothing. Then the old man could do no more for hunger. He set out to return home. So as he was coming back, he found a little snake and put it in a handkerchief, and carried it home. And he brought up the snake on sweet milk. The snake grew a week and two days, and he put it in a jar. The time came when the snake grew as big as the jar. The snake talked with his father, 'My time has come to marry me. Go, father, to the king, and ask his daughter for me.'

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