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Agaton Sax INFO
Agaton, een welgedane, besnorde heer, is de hoofdredacteur van een kleine provinciale krant. Maar daarnaast is hij ook een privé- detective die een computer heeft ontworpen, waarin hij alle gegevens invoert met betrekking tot misdaden en misdadigers over de hele wereld. Boeven willen de computer stelen om de perfecte misdaad te kunnen plegen.
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. Sax is also reminiscent of Hercule Poirot with his round body, hat and moustache.
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 another children's books detective in Sweden, Ture Sventon by Åke Holmberg. Franzén died in 1997, aged 81.
As with many foreign language novels translated into English, the style and idiosyncrasies of the translator were quite important to the popularity and success of the English editions.
The unique visual style of the illustrator who was used for the English editions, Quentin Blake, also made a huge contribution, adding to the humour with his inimitable cartoon style.