Agaton Sax

Agaton Sax is the hero of a series of Swedish-language comedic detective novels written for children by Swedish author Nils-Olof Franzén and illustrated by Åke Lewerth. The English edition was illustrated by Quentin Blake.

A short, round Swede, Sax has a dog named Tikkie and an aunt named Matilda, and tracks down criminals such as Octopus Scott and Julius Mosca. He is a master of underwater ju-jitsu and of several obscure languages. With his supposed superior intellect he easily deciphers the so-called "double talk" of his nemesis "the Boss" (in which, for example, "KO" means "OK"). He is an early adopter of the computer for crime-solving purposes, though Aunt Matilda dismisses it as his "confuser". He has no known love interests and a pronounced dislike of garlic. As well as his detective agency, he also runs the "Bykoping Post - First with the News - The Smallest Paper - but the Best."

The novels are an ironic pastiche of the detective genre: for example Agaton Sax's colleague, the hapless Inspector Lispington of the Yard, is clearly modeled on Inspector Lestrade of Sherlock Holmes fame. Like Holmes, Sax smokes pipes (in his case Meerschaums). He has one for every day of the week which he smokes when thinking. Franzén was also inspired by the other children's books detective in Sweden, Ture Sventon.

The books

Adaptations

Several of the novels were read for television for the BBC's series "Jackanory", starting with "Agaton Sax and the Max Brothers" in 1972, with Kenneth Williams as the storyteller intercut with the illustrations by Quentin Blake.

A 77-minute animated film "Agaton Sax and the Bykoebing Village Festival" was made in Swedish in 1976 based on the books. [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0171048/] [http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/156422/Agaton-Sax-och-Bykoebings-Gaestabud/overview] . The English-language version again featured Kenneth Williams voicing all the characters.


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