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Comment: Condition: Very good condition., Binding: Paperback / Publisher: Overlook TP / Pub. Date: 2003-10-28 Attributes: Book, 160 pp / Stock#: 2040474 (FBA) * * *This item qualifies for FREE SHIPPING and Amazon Prime programs! * * *
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Hotel Savoy (Works of Joseph Roth) Paperback – October 28, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-1585674473 ISBN-10: 1585674478

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Product Details

  • Series: Works of Joseph Roth
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook TP (October 28, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585674478
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585674473
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #635,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Superb Roth: witty, elegant, invariably honing in on the point where history trickles down to the level of the individual character and turns into fate." (The Nation)

Review

"Superb Roth: witty, elegant, invariably honing in on the point where history trickles down to the level of the individual character and turns into fate." (The Nation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By H. Schneider on March 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
Isn't that a nice room number? Like a woman in the middle, framed by an old man and a young one.
Hotel Savoy is a kind of absurd space ship in the inter-war galaxy. Somewhere on the unclear borderline between Russia and Europe, it provides shelter of sorts to the most surprising travelers.

Our narrator, Gabriel, is a son of Russian Jews. He is on the walk back home after a Siberian POW camp. From that information we conclude that he was an Austrian soldier before he got pow-ed. He stays in the Savoy because his presumably rich uncle lives in this un-named town. Gabriel hopes to shake some cash from this tree, but fails. A nice blue suit is a proper consolation prize.

Gabriel is an educated man. He can even do the declination of the name of the Greek hotel owner. But he can't squeeze money out of his uncle.
And the man who lives in the last room, free of charge, is called Hirsch Fisch. (Deer Fish, for the uninformed.) Meanwhile, the lift-'boy' holds the guests' luggage hostage until they can pay back the bills to him.
And the exotic dream girl is called Stasia. Now that leaves room for speculation on prophetic abilities, on J.R.'s side. (Stasi was the East German secret service, but JR can not have known that.) (No way.)

This is a most puzzling encounter. I am on my way to get to know Joseph Roth, whom I had previously believed I knew already. Not so. This short novel from the late 20s is outside the standard stance that I am used from Joroth. He was in the middle of his life span as a writer. I wonder what he would have accomplished if he had survived his fellow Austrian, the `Bohemian Corporal'.
Of course I read a German edition, but from the picture of the American pocket book here I must say that it captures the madness and absurdity of the book nicely, while the German pocket book has a stupid illustration based on an old Austrian hotel. What fools.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ethan Cooper VINE VOICE on June 16, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gabriel Dan, a POW in World War I, is returning to Europe from Russia. He stops temporarily at the huge Hotel Savoy, the great building in a gray and grimy manufacturing town, where revolution is in the air and workers are on strike.

In this town, Gabriel meets at least 25 characters to whom Roth gives a name, an occupation, and a social status based on money. Most of these characters inhabit the six-story Hotel Savoy. Those who live in the top three stores are too poor to leave. Meanwhile, the first three floors are inhabited by the wealthy, who "plan to go into business" and "compete with him [God]"... "on an equally large scale."

In HOTEL SAVOY, Roth briskly explores the interaction among his many characters. When that interaction is between rich and poor, exploitation and anger are manifest. When that interaction is among the poor, the subject is the absence of money or the effort to make some. The characters are no more than their jobs and their expectations. Meeting them is like going to a bar and getting a quick impression of people who, for the most part, don't like each other.

HOTEL SAVOY has two great events. The first is the visit by Bloomfield, a wealthy American returning to visit his father's grave, who is said to be looking for investment opportunities. During Bloomfield's visit, a sense of hopefulness sweeps the town. Then, Bloomfield leaves and instability, in the form of a mob, returns.

In this novella, the narrative is frenetic and muddled and probably captures the social tensions affecting Weimar Germany at its nadir.

Some lyrical passages. Saved by its brevity.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Giordano Bruno on January 26, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The war has ended. Soldiers and survivors of prisons are straggling out of Russia toward the West. One of them, our narrator, reaches a squalid industrial town between here and there, and finds himself stranded, coaxing nothing out of his rich uncle except an elegant hand-me-down suit. He takes a room at the Hotel Savoy, an immense indefinite structure that seems to expand and contract like an accordion, though 'we' never scale higher than the seventh floor. There are luxurious quarters on the lower floors, or at least so it seems, but our narrator lodges on the fifth floor, just below the exotic dancer Stasia, who has managed at least not to become one of the naked bar girls who fawn on the rich industrialists in the bar of the Hotel Savoy. The elevator operator, Ignatz, has odd powers of intimidation -- may in fact be Death -- and keeps everyone's luggage locked somewhere until the room charges are settled, which of course can never happen. There's a strike underway among the factory workers, and everyone is waiting for "Bloomfield", the native of the town who has become filthy rich in America, to reinvent their businesses. Unquestionably, the "revolution" is near ...

The Austrian Jewish writer Joseph Roth (1894-1939) amazes me with his ability to compress an entire genre of writing into each of his highly original novellas. "Hotel Savoy" is a blend of Baroque allegory with post-Freudian surrealism, as if Eramus's "Ship of Fools" had been updated by Vlad Nabokov, with stylistic accents from Franz Kafka and Robert Walser. I'm reminded of the great paintings by Pieter Brueghel, of soldiers and beggars carousing while the plague fires burn. Obviously the 'hotel' is the whole of European civilization in debacle.
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