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Emil and the Detectives (Emil #1)

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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  4,224 ratings  ·  173 reviews
On the train, his fellow passengers are impressed with how polite and grown-up Emil is, and the man in the bowler hat offers him some chocolate—but Emil keeps checking his coat pocket, where he’s pinned the money that he is taking to his grandmother. Soon, though, Emil finds himself getting sleepy . . . and the next thing he knows, the man in the bowler hat is gone— and so ...more
ebook, 220 pages
Published November 1st 2007 by The Overlook Press (first published 1928)
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Alex
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Nola
While travelling by train to visit his grandmother in Berlin, young Emil falls asleep. When he awakes, the money pinned inside his coat is gone, along with the bowler-hatted stranger who'd been sitting across from him. When Emil spots the man getting off the train at another station, he heads off in pursuit. Along the way, he meets up with a group of boys (the detectives) and together they set out to trap the thief.

I've been reading a book called '501 Must-Read Books' and when it mentioned 'Emil
...more
Sandy
This book haunts me. In a few short years their lives will be completely changed. No more individualism or self determination, but instead a rigorous recruiting into an ideology of race superiority and military might. In this children’s book, there are many clues to how this may have come about. There are also startling differences between the children detectives in Berlin and the Hitler Youth they will become. Even though the society is being primed for a radical change, Emil and the Detectives ...more
Laura
From BBC radio 4 - Saturday Drama:
Dramatisation by Katie Hims of the comic children's detective novel by Erich Kaestner.

Country boy Emil Tischbein, up from Neustadt for the first time, enlists the aid of hundreds of Berlin street boys to help him catch a thief.
Jan-Maat
There are two things that strike me in particular: the ability and sense of responsibility of the children to organise themselves and the hero's sense of responsibility towards his mother and his family - not surprising given als ich ein kleiner Junge war.

It's a simple story of a boy from a small town going to visit relatives in the big city. Entertaining and engaging. The hero's fear of going to the police because he had drawn a mustache on a statue always felt realistic to me as a child.
Donna Radcliff
Originally published in 1929 in pre-war Germany, this classic childrens adventure follows Emil as he travels to Berlin to visit his grandmother and has all of his money stolen by a sneak thief who is part of an organized gang lead by The Baron, and the children (detectives) that help him to apprehend the bad guys. Released in 1964 as a Disney movie, it starred Brian Russell, Roger Mobley and Walter Slezak. I saw the movie (I was twelve and in love with Roger Mobley) and immediately got the movie ...more
Serena
Emil and the Detectives centers on a good-natured boy who defies expectations in his honesty, familial piety and determination. Erich Kastner captures the rambunctiousness and excitement of youth as he leads the readers through the adventures of Emil as he joins with a team of organized street detectives who are mere children as they spy on the man who robbed Emil whilst he slept. Kastner's sense of humor pervades the story from the beginning as he vexes over coming up with a plot, and his sense ...more
Paul Servini
This is one of the first books I can remember reading. And before that I can remember my mother reading it to me. Now, I'm a parent myself and both our children have had the pleasure of saving this and other stories by the author. Sure, there are lots of reasons not to read this book. It's dated, the plot is a highly unlikely one, it represents some values we may consider old-fashioned. But despit all that it's brilliant.

A classic children's story which tells of how someone steals some money fro
...more
Steve
A nostalgic hour on ebay left me with a Cathy Dennis cd, a box of panini stickers, and a beautiful 1964 paperback of Emil and the Detectives.

On the introduction page it reads "Forward readers of eight could tackle it, while those in their early teens still enjoy it without wanting to disguise the fact" Well i first read when 9 or 10. And 20 years later it is still an exciting and charming read. In fact in those 20 years I have read books as enjoyable as this, but probably not enjoyed anything mo
...more
Wirotomo Nofamilyname
Buku ke-35 yang selesai dibaca pada tahun 2015.

Saya baru sadar bahwa saya sudah terlalu tua untuk membaca buku anak-anak seperti ini. Hehehe.
Dikarang pada tahun 1928 oleh seorang Jerman, kemudian diterjemahkan dan disederhanakan ke dalam bahasa Inggris oleh seorang Inggris pada tahun 1950, dan kemudian diterjemahkan ke dalam bahasa Indonesia oleh seorang Indonesia pada tahun 1979. Jadi ini benar-benar buku kuno.

Ternyata cerita yang agak kuno, serta penerjemahan dan penyederhanaan di buku ini lah
...more
Nisha
Erich Kastner had written Emil and the Detectives originally in German. The book was very popular. But during Hitler's time, his books were branded anti-german and several copies consigned to flames. Luckily, the book outlasted those dark times and Emil survived to spy another day.

Emil is one of the first fictional child detectives. Today, we have 'The Famous Five', ' Alex Rider', 'Nancy Drew... But little Emil was the first. Philip Pullman remarked that the book is ' democracy in action' and
...more
Jason
This book is interesting for two historical reasons.

1) It is the progenitor of the children-as-detectives genre, which would later bring us Enid Blyton's Famous Five, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, The Boxcar Children, and Encyclopedia Brown.

2) It is a sort of time capsule, showing us through children's eyes the world of Berlin right before the National Socialist party came into power. Strangely, this book is the only one of Kästner's then-existing works that the Nazis did not feel they had to burn
...more
Leylee
نوجوون که بودم شاید 10 بار خوندمش.خیلی هم تاثیرگذار بود روم.چقدر دوست دارم پیداش کنم همون ورژنو و باز بخونمش
Helen
This book was translated from German and first published in 1929. I remember reading it as a child and recently reread it. It was still just as entertaining. In the new rerelease Maurice Sendak writes the intro to the book and I quote:Emil is a little masterpiece. It shows us the heroic nature of children, how they can stick together and accomplish wonders without the help of inept grownups. Read it and you'll be happy!
Elizabeth
Overlook Press, 2007 translation by W. Martin with an introduction by Maurice Sendak. Unfortunate translation. Has somewhat lame attempts to update the text. For example "database" was not a word in current use in the 1920's. Children are capable of 'time travel' when they read books set in other eras and it's insulting to their intelligence to dumb books down.
John
I think I read this many years ago, but it wasn't familiar at all. Great story for kids, but a bit weird to think that the boys Erich Kastner describes in the story may have grown up and joined Hitler Youth. Much of Kastner's writing was banned by the Nazis, but this one was too popular and was allowed to remain in print.
russell barnes
Another book I read as a kid and have picked up on the totally unreasonable assumption Milo will love it when he's older. In my mind Emil's adventures seemed to last for at least a week, but in reality it's only a day and a night, and I completely forgot his cousin is called "Pony" - surely a name for a future Barnes?
Simon
One of the funniest children's books I have read for a long time. Like Dylan Thomas's The Outing it is full of superb dry one-liners, comic observation and interjections. Such wonderful, open, honest and decent characters. Has a humour that you can find today in the better American cartoons; The Simpsons, SpongeBob etc. The illustrations are fabulous.

And it only takes an hour to read.

Hitler Youth? Don't make me laugh.*

*reference to a couple of other reviews by people who seem to have either pre-
...more
Tyler
Es stimmt. Euch habt völlig rechts. Ich lese ab und zu ein kindes Buch auf Deutsch. Was hältst du davon!? Muss ja die Wortschatz breiter machen!
A Bookworm Reading
Emil and the Detectives was published in 1929 and remains one of Erich Kästner's most famous works, having been translated into over 50 languages and adapted into a film by Disney.

Erich Kästner, a pacifist during the Nazi regime faced a publication ban and the only work published prior to 1945 that survived the Nazi book burnings was Emil and the Detectives.

This children's book was the beginning of children detective stories. Set in Berlin, Emil is sent on his first solo train ride to visit his
...more
Rosanne
I first read this book in German when I was 13. I loved it then and it was fun to find and English translation after all these years.

John Mccullough
This is a charming children's book published in 1929 in Germany, authored by a person whose writings were burned by the Nazis. Emil survived, my grandchildren will be pleased to find. Emil is given 7 pounds and told to personally deliver it to his grandmother, minus some rewards for him. On the train a man in a bowler hat and moustache (of course!!) stole Emil's money. Will he be able to get it back? Read and find out!! Reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes' Baker Street Irregulars with a good dollop o ...more
Biogeek
Our art teacher in Germany used to read us chapters from this classic. Kastner's writing appeals to all ages.
Jane
Emil is one of the first boy sleuths (the Hardy Boys beat him to publication by a year). He is the model for everyone from Encyclopedia Brown to Neil Gaiman's Dead Boy Detectives. The charm of Emil's character - he is good, but not so saintly that he didn't paint a mustache on the statue in the town park - lies in the fact that he faces adversity with aplomb, even enthusiasm. Kastner, who was a literary force in Weimar Germany, wrote for children, was a journalist, novelist, poet and screenwrite ...more
Namiko
This is really a detective story. The writer knows what boys do and how they behave. When Emil needs help, Paul the new friend takes TWENTY boys with him. What made me burst into laughter the most was: they had a secret plan to catch the thief but it turned out that a large crowd of boys came to help them. Emil said "We must change our plans. We can't follow the thief secretly now; they are too many boys. When he comes out of the hotel, we'll make a circle of boys around him. That circle will fo ...more
Siv30
הוצאת אחי אסף, 152 עמ', תרגום מיכאל דק

אמיל והבלשים, הוא סיפורו של אמיל טשבין, יתום החי עם אימו הספרית בעיר נוישטט. היא עובדת שעות על גבי שעות ללא לאות על מנת לאפשר לאמיל את אותה איכות החיים שיש לילדים האחרים ובשביל לשלוח לסבתא החייה בברלין, כספים לכסות את חלקה.

אמיל נוסע ברכבת לברלין לבקר את דודיו. בדרך לשם, בחוסר שליטה הוא נרדם והנוסע שאיתו בתא מכייס את כספו, 140 מארק את רובם היה אמור להעביר לסבתו.

כאשר אמיל מתעורר, הוא מגלה את גודל הזוועה הוא נרתם למשימה להוציא את הצדק לאור ולהשיב את כספו בחזרה.
...more
Amanda Northrup
A fun boy fights crime story. I really appreciated that this translation (2007 by W. Martin) tried to use colloquial American idioms to help today's students understand and appreciate the intentions of the author. I'm sure there are lots of purists who disapprove of this approach. I really liked how Kastner opened with 10 paragraph-long vignettes to tell us about each character and setting. I've never seen that before and I thought it was effective and very fun.

My only issue with this book is th
...more
Laura Verret
Emil and his mother never have extra money. That is why it is so important that he guard his wallet well as he travels to Berlin to visit his grandmother – the wallet contains one hundred and forty marks! My, what a sum!

But while riding in the train, Emil becomes sleepy and drifts off. When he awakens, the money – and the man in the stiff hat sitting opposite him – are both gone. Emil believes that where he finds one, he will find the other. So he sets out to track down the Man in the Stiff Hat.
...more
Alex Baugh
This is the second week of the German Literature Month challenge and for that we were supposed to read a crime novel. I considered a lot of different choices, but decided on Emil and the Detectives for one simple reason. That reason is that it is a book I haven’t read since forever and I really like Erich Kästner.

Emil and the Detectives is a pretty straightforward story. Young Emil is being sent off to Berlin to visit relatives for a week long holiday. He is taking the train and carrying money,
...more
Rina Sakurai


-Penguin press,level 3

-95 minutes

-7 words summary: a boy/trip/problem/taxi driver/girl/fall/police

-Discussion questions:
1.If you see a moment which an accident will be happened, Do you have enough bravery to save it?
- To be honest, I can not be moving anymore if I see the scene.
2.Have you helped people who seem to be in trouble? If you answer yes, how did you help he/she?
- I always give elderly people a seats in a train. It's natural, but a tiny help is as important as great help.

-Favorite Sc
...more
Nicholas Whyte
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/1985547.html[return][return]Classic children's books, which I had first read many years ago long before I got to know and love Berlin, the city in which it is set. It's a very basic but charming story of the young and smart and good getting together to defeat the old and evil, and has not lost its charm - so popular that it was the only book by Kästner to escape the book-burning of May 1933. I had forgotten the scene-setting dramatis personæ at the beginning, and al ...more
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Erich Kästner (23 February 1899 – 29 July 1974) was a German author, poet, screenwriter and satirist, known for his humorous, socially astute poetry and children's literature.
More about Erich Kästner...

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“Eine Geschichte, ein Roman, ein Märchen - diese Dinge gleichen den Lebewesen, und vielleicht sind es sogar welche. Sie haben ihren Kopf, ihre Beine, ihren Blutkreislauf und ihren Anzug wie richtige Menschen. Und wenn ihnen die Nase im Gesicht fehlt oder wenn sie zwei verschiedene Schuhe anhaben, merkt man es bei genauem Zusehen.” 4 likes
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