Emil and the Detectives

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Emil and the Detectives (German: Emil und die Detektive) is a 1929 novel set mainly in Berlin,[1] by the German writer Erich Kästner and illustrated by Walter Trier. It was Kästner's first major success and the only one of his pre-1945 works to escape Nazi censorship. The book was immediately popular and the original version sold an initial two million copies.[2] First published in English in 1931,[3] it has never been out of print and has been translated into at least 59 languages.[2][4]

It is Kästner's best-known work. Compared with similar literature at the time, its most unusual aspect was its realistic setting in a contemporary Berlin peopled with some fairly rough characters, not in a sanitized fantasy world; also that it refrained from obvious moralizing, letting the characters' deeds speak for themselves. Emil was the first name of Kästner's father.


  1. ^ "Emil und die Detektive – Entstehungsgeschichte und Rezeption" [Emil and the Detectives – history and reception]. zeitreisen.de (in German). Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  2. ^ a b Connolly, Kate (2 May 2013). "Emil and the Detectives: Michael Rosen on the trail of a children's classic". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Emil and the Detectives". BookTrust. 2019. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  4. ^ Cooke, Rachel (12 December 2013). "Emil and the Detectives". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 May 2020.

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