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Hotel Savoy

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  1,409 ratings  ·  121 reviews
Gabriel Dan keert terug uit de oorlog, berooid en zonder vaste verblijfplaats. Hij probeert zijn geld als stationsarbeider te verdienen en neemt zijn intrek in Hotel Savoy. Daar krijgt hij een kamer op de zesde verdieping, één verdieping onder die van de dienstmeisjes. In Hotel Savoy wordt een strikt onderscheid gemaakt naar rangen en standen: hoe lager de afkomst en de fi ...more
Paperback, 159 pages
Published 2013 by LJ Veen Klassiek (first published 1924)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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What is it about Austrian and German writers and Hotels?

Thomas Mann, Stefan Zweig, Joseph Roth chose the Hotel as the setting in which they accommodated their stories and characters. It seems to have also been a generational preference but not solely. The younger Fred Wander also published Hôtel Baalbek.

Hotels live as sites of transit where the rites of passage are performed: crisscross of destinies, unexpected encounters, and crossroads of everyday lives. Like a Casino of Fate, Hotels are where
Vit Babenco
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some books are like no other books… Some books are more like paintings…
It is always like this with great events, with comets and revolutions and royal weddings. Great events tend to take one by surprise, and anticipation only tends to postpone them.

Hotel Savoy is like an expressionist’s painting – everything happens here and now and all the scenes are painted in rich emotional colours and all the characters are full of colourful emotions…
And it is hard to say what it really is – a circus pageant
Jacob Overmark
Lonely Hearts Hotel Savoy

1919, The Great War ended a few years ago, but PoWs held in Siberia had a hard time finding back through Russia as Red, White and Green armies fought for control of the newly formed Soviet Union.
But, the city of Łódź that had been part of The Russian Empire between 1815 and 1916, was now back on Polish hands and even it was considered an outpost, it had, and still has, one big asset; Hotel Savoy, built in 1911.

This is where our protagonist Gabriel Dan one morning turns
Set after WW1, in the Polish town of Lodz, Hotel Savoy has the quality of a grim fairy tale, a vehicle for Roth’s bleak vision of post-war Europe. Roth’s story’s told from the perspective of Austrian-Jewish soldier Gabriel Dan, returning after three years in a Russian prison camp. Gabriel Dan’s a curious figure he has all the attributes of a real person but something’s missing perhaps buried in memories of his past. Gabriel’s a homecoming hero with nowhere to go, his parents are dead, as is his ...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
A soldier is on his way home after being confined to a Russian prison camp during the Great War. He fetches up in an Eastern European town in the Hotel Savoy, his first taste of civilized Europe in ages. At first it seems like a return to the pre-war verities: a soft mattress, maids with starched collars, a certain settled way of life that had gone on for ages. But he soon realises that, if the hotel is a microcosm of Europe, it is a microcosm of a Europe that has changed in a fundamental way, a ...more
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As one who is descended from ancestors living in the old Austro-Hungarian Empire (I am mostly Hungarian, with some Czech and Slovak), certain names such as Galicia and Bukovina have a certain resonance with me. Consequently, when I read someone like Joseph Roth, who himself is a Galician from Brody, near Lviv, and writes longingly of Franz Josef II and the old Empire, I am reminded of the old stories my great grandmother told me.

Hotel Savoy consists of the novella "Hotel Savoy," as well as two s
Charles Dee Mitchell
Gabriel Dan spent the last years of WW I in a Siberian POW camp. As a freed prisoner, he has worked his way for five years across Russia on foot and has now arrived at the “gateway to Europe,” an unnamed city in which he knows he can find wealthy relatives. He also finds the Hotel Savoy, a seven-storey edifice that promises a return to the comforts and solidities of the old Europe. But of course, that world is gone forever. Dan knows this from his five-year, postwar journey. The plot of Roth’s n ...more
Catherine Corman
They talk about prohibition in America. What can one do in a country such as that?

"What does one do in America when one is sad - without alcohol?" asks Zwonimir.

"One plays the gramophone," says Bondy.

-Joseph Roth, Hotel Savoy
Hotel Savoy is an early work by Roth which was published in 1924. The main character is Gabriel Dan, a soldier returning home from a Russian concentration camp after World War I. He's ended up at the Hotel Savoy in an unnamed city in Eastern Europe (Wikipedia states that it's Łódź, Poland), his ultimate aims are unclear but he's currently just looking forward to some running water, a clean bed and soap.
I am thankful once again to strip off an old life, as I so often have during these years. I lo
Robbie Bruens
While not quite as mysteriously beautiful and haunting as Flight Without End, Hotel Savoy is still a very good novella. Roth's books are potent yet subtle explorations of class and corrosive and divisional effects of money. ...more
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't actually finish this one.

Overall, I think the best conclusion I can make is this book did not age well. The story could possibly be great, but the characters are undeveloped and their relationships are declared instead of developed. Women are sadly represented and usually an object of desire. Everyone is distinguished by one feature that is often repeated. Example: the lift operator with the "beer-colored eyes" was easily stated 10 times. I also wonder if it was poorly translated, thou
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vienna, novels-german
Wow! What a brilliant story or parable... it needs rereading...
Apr 23, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
HOTEL SAVOY is a highly symbolic history of the fall of the Habsburg Empire. Anyone who is deeply interested in the subject should find this novel interesting.
Jul 02, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick read. An absurdist, Eastern European take on conditions in the early 1930's. ...more
A.M. Oldroyd
May 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredibly evocative description of a specific time & place, that brilliantly describes the ravages of the post war experience on mind, body, soul & nation.
Diane S ☔
3.5 review to follow.
Naim Frewat
I kept hesitating with the rating of this book. I started with 1 star for the first part, then progressed to two stars with the start of the second part of the book, at times even thinking that it merits 4 stars and then settling at 3 (2.5 to be accurate).
The problem is the shortness of this story. It's not about the characters who move into the hotel. It's not about the times and it's also not about some philosophical reflection about war and post-war Austria and so there's a bit of everything
Richard Thompson
I was expecting a quirky comedy of manners, a parody of the classic story setting of people in a resort hotel, but that isn't at all what this book is. It does have its quirky characters -- Zwonimir and Zlotogor in particular, but also others who are interesting and a bit out of the ordinary. But essentially this is a post-Great War story of life and death. The Hotel Savoy is an allegory of purgatory, a gray place in a gray city that sits between east and west between life and death presided ove ...more
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Their clothes are torn, their sticks rough and worn. They all come the same way, not by rail, but on foot. They must have wandered by the year before reaching this place. They know about foreign countries and strange lives and like me they have brushed against many lives. They are tramps. Are they happy to be tramping home?" (of returning POWs, 76)

"He [grifter Erich Kohler] is a bad man: he does not lie for the love of lying but sells his soul for shabby profit." (100)

"Henry Bloomfield came to
D.B. Sertaine
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like Zweig, he evokes in the three stories (in the volume I read) the world of yesterday and the unravelling disaster thereafter in the Austro-Hungarian empire. Roth is unflinching in his description of the dissolution of the necessary lie that bound people together in the multi-cultural empire, as the tribal nationalism fed hatred and did more so much more harm than good. A reminder to be careful what you wish for.
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A soon-after-WWI novella by Roth. More about post war Europe, on the Eastern border of Europe, than about the fallen Empire. I was surprised, this felt more like something that his estate would have published years after his death, when a renewed interest in his writing would have warranted its publication. Quick study of "types" and decadence soon after WWI.
2 out of 5 = "it was OK". Felt quick and disjointed.
Oct 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
This a short read I read for my book club, in the aftermath of the Great War men have to get home on foot. Like plastic blown in a hurricane they get caught on things. One is the Hotel Savoy.

I enjoyed this for being transported into another time, and hundred year ago, half a world away. The beauty is in the details.
David C Ward
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Hotel Savoy: you can check in but. . . The hotel as microcosm, a ship of fools, a bit like the steamboat in Melville’s Confidence Man. Everyone is going somewhere else but everyone is waiting. The business men all speculate and the poor pawn their suitcases and die. An allegorical novella of Europe in the early 1930s, on the brink. Reminded me a bit of the Waste Land.
Jul 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
***3.5 stars***

Too short and poorly translated (I assume). Otherwise, excellent.
3.5. clever but wasn't particularly engaged with the characters, who seemed a pretty rum lot! But then in times of great change they would have to be just to survive. ...more
Erinn Klein
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quick read, but very smoothly written. Felt similar to Fitzgerald. Haunting and compelling.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Clive La pensee
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant read. I'm glad to see Roth has earned a translation. Well overdue and it tells us the reality of being on the losing side in a conflict. ...more
Nov 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a good novel truly describing the unhappy period of Europe between the two WWs. ...more
Dec 22, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hotel
An important book for remembering the situation in Europe not that very long time ago. This book should be compulsory in high school.
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Joseph Roth, journalist and novelist, was born and grew up in Brody, a small town near Lemberg in East Galicia, part of the easternmost reaches of what was then the Austro-Hungarian empire and is now Ukraine. Roth was born into a Jewish family. He died in Paris after living there in exile.

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