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1001 Stories Collection

Emil and the Detectives

1001 Emilandthe Detectives
Added on 06th August 2020

Author Eric Kästner
First published 1929

A thrilling adventure story where new friendships are made and wrongs are righted.

Story

Emil is delivering money from his mother to his grandmother who lives in Berlin, a train ride from his home. The money is stolen from him by a stranger on the journey. With the help of a group of children, ‘the detectives’, who know the city, he follows the man to the bank and recovers the money. The man is shown to be a bank robber and Emil is given the reward money for helping to capture him.

Why we chose it

It’s a compelling tale of adventure and cooperation between a group of determined and inventive children that rights a wrong. The characters are realistically portrayed as is the under-life of the city. The adventures end happily and both Emil and his mother learn lessons.

Where it came from

The original story in German was the author’s first success and was soon translated and published in English (1931) and later in over 50 other languages.

Where it went next

The success of the story in English led to number of films: 1931, 1954, 2001 (in German), 1935, 1964 (in English) and a television series in 1952. The stage adaptation toured the UK in 2013 ending at the National Theatre, London.

Associated stories

Eric Kästner wrote other stories including an autobiography. Emil stars in a sequel, Emil and the Three Twins, which places the action on the Baltic seaside and is based on the author’s childhood experiences. Lottie and Lisa tells the story of separated twins who meet at summer camp.

Added on 06th August 2020

Author Eric Kästner
First published 1929