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La leyenda del Santo Bebedor

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  3,358 ratings  ·  259 reviews
Relato de encanto peculiar y teñido del aura póstuma que le confiere el ser el último escrito por Joseph Roth (1894-1939) poco antes de morir como consecuencia, precisamente, de su alcoholismo, " La leyenda del santo bebedor " fue el canto del cisne de un escritor que ha alcanzado la categoría de clásico indiscutible del siglo XX. Mitómano, impostor, comediante, Roth brind ...more
Paperback, 120 pages
Published February 20th 2020 by Alianza (first published 1939)
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Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a strange tale - something between a magical wonder and a harsh social study.

What if a homeless drinker in Paris miraculously found himself with enough money to re-establish some of the basic needs of humankind? If he could eat, drink, dress and wash, and even have social and sexual encounters? What if he could once again remember who he is and what brought him to the delirious existence of sleeping rough and drinking when drink is available?

What if he was given the blessing of dying in a

[This book has been translated into English with the title The Legend of the Holy Drinker.]

Born on the outskirts of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1894, Joseph Roth became a star journalist in Vienna, Frankfurt and Berlin while publishing a fair amount of fiction on the side. But on January 30, 1933, the day before Adolf Hitler became Germany's Chancellor, Roth left all that for exile in Paris, where he spent most of the rest of his life. In a letter to Stefan Zweig written around this time he
Claire  Admiral
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
★★★★☆ 4 stars
Guy Portman
Jul 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The Legend of the Holy Drinker is a short novella written by the iconic Austrian-Jewish author and journalist Joseph Roth, best known for his seminal work, The Radetzky March. Set in Paris between the wars the story is about an alcoholic tramp by the name of Andreas, who lives under bridges of the river Seine. Andreas finds himself in luck when he is given two hundred francs by a stranger, which allows him to recapture something of his pre-tramp existence. Our generous spirited protagonist plans ...more
Dhanaraj Rajan
Three and half stars......

It is a lovely story.
And as some other reviewer said it is like a folktale.

It is a story of a poor, pitiful vagabond who has a liking for alcohols is visited by a Good Samaritan who all of a sudden appears and offers him money. In return when it is possible the 'holy drinker' is to restore the debt to the church close by and specially to make an offering of it to St. Therese of Child Jesus, also known as Little Flower after attending the mass on Sunday.

Initially the po
Sharon Barrow Wilfong
This bizarre little story left me pondering the possible meanings that Roth might be trying to communicate.

A homeless man, Andreas, is approached by a stranger who insists on giving him two hundred francs. The man's stipulation that he must eventually pay the sum back to St. Therese at at particular Cathedreal. Andreas promises.

It looks like his luck has changed. He spruces up and drinks,gets another job, more money and drinks. On Sunday he goes to Mass to pay back St. Therese. He comes too earl
Brian Reynolds
Jan 28, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novella reads shorter than its listed 98 to 100 pages. This is partly due to the illustrations at the beginning of each chapter which, as this story reads like a fable or folktale, were both charming and appropriate.
I very much enjoyed this little story. The story concerns a dissolute drinker who lives under a bridge, and the events following his receipt of an unexpected windfall. Roth’s combination of a precise journalistic style and wit seems especially appropriate to such an adult folkt
Lee Klein
Aug 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A feelgood alcoholic wish-fulfillment happy-ending hybrid of chilled-out Gogol and irresponsible Norman Rockwell. Makes you wanna down a few Pernod and visit cafes where ladies for hire hang out. A short story more than a novella. The last thing Roth wrote. Not really on the same level as his masterpiece, The Radetzky March, but a nice lil' literary sumptin' sump. ...more
Charlotte Jones
This was my first read of Joseph Roth's but his final book. Drawing on the author's own life, this novella takes the life of a lowly alcoholic homeless man and takes us through a series of extraordinary 'miracles', happenings that proceed to raise his fortune and his standing in life, only to see it lost and won over again.

This was simply written and had an almost fable-like quality to it. There were simplistic illustrations at the beginning of each chapter that added to this kind of fairytale a
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well-crafted, easy-to-read novella. Breezed through it with pleasure.
Stephen Douglas Rowland
Dull. A major disappointment.
Nov 04, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
?????? Heh????
Ana Ruiz
I am torn between rating this four stars or three stars. I will rate it three to glamourize myself into sharp literary critical eye.

Anyways, I really enjoyed this book, but then, I feel that it's not a new story, although it WAS told with the innovativeness of alcohol's sacrality and the result was oh so dear. (At some point in the book I felt I was reading a historical version of MTV's Made, the TV show.) It's fun, short and snappy, an all around recommendable read, but debatably undeserving of
This autobiographical novella reads like a 20th century fable. The protagonist, Andreas Karnak, is a Polish immigrant in Paris who has been through rough times and is now an alcoholic who lives on the streets. A stranger lends him two hundred francs, which he fails to return despite his best intentions. Andreas is a tragic and flawed yet dignified figure, who is a "saint" because he seems to live in the world without ever actually being part of it. His simplicity makes him appreciate "miracles" ...more
Dublin James
May 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

you remember the scene in the simpsons where hans moleman says "you stole X amount of minutes from my life and i want them back!"....... well trust me that won't apply here! for you'll finish this book in under an hour though it will stay with you a lifetime.

next time you browse through philip roth books at your local bookshop do yourself a favour and look to the left of these for joseph roth's books. then pick out this book and enjoy.
We cannot control our destiny, I think is the main message of this book
Michael Haase
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Part religious parody, part socio-psychological tragicomedy, Joseph Roth's novella about a homeless man's surprise encounter with a large sum of cash strikes cords on several levels, inciting a range of emotional attitudes from hope and pity to disappointment and scorn, and revealing to us a part of ourselves we'd probably rather not acknowledge. Despite Andreas' shabby characterization, he embodies an eternal struggle which every man and woman faces, regardless of their circumstances; a conflic ...more
Merry Creig
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Andrea's reflected us a person who has to do something like paying debts in life. Indeed Andreas was an ordinary man until he had met the rich guy underground near Seine river, yet he accepted money and he owed this man but this man warned him not to be owed him, to be owed Saint little Theresa. He took chance many times to pay back his debt to Saint Theresa but there was a ban on his life all the time.
Some parts of this novel I found myself and regrets. This novel shows us the chances in our l
Jul 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really curious novella about how money can make us feel; the detachment we can feel towards it when its not really ours. The flow of money and the way Andreas drifts in and out of hotels bars and bridges moves as swiftly as the prose. There’s something quite joyful about the way Andreas can embrace the present and throw himself into it wholeheartedly. The reader knows that the novella must surely end when Andreas returns the money to Saint Thérèse but will returning the money mean a final life ...more
Brett Warnke
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As you walk through life’s many hardships, the great Austrian Joseph Roth helps you remember the generosity of spirit and jolly wastrels that bring a sparkle to life’s ordered facade. His Andreas wanders—without opinion, perspective, or caprice. He drinks and maintains a brief toehold on the earth as luck or Providence or some kind of hidden blessing sends him gently down a river of booze, under Paris’s bridges, and to his life’s last creditors.
This book, translated by Michael Hoffman, will only take a couple of hours at most to read but take your time over it. A trusting and at times naive alcoholic has a run of good luck which improves his life. The story has humour and warmth with an almost fairy-tale quality about it. One for your bookshelf.
Felipe CZ
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Andreas, a clochard, encounters an elegant man who gives him money, to be paid later on to St. Theresa in a church in France. But the clochard faces many adventures and encounters different people, as well as old lovers, as he spends, manages and even gets more money. A very entertaining book.
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strange meandering tale of a Parisian hobo, who has numerous strikes of good luck, but keeps being side-tracked by his desire to drink from doing the right thing. Style is interesting: ornate yet detached. It reads like a modern fable--or "legend". ...more
Hopeful and sad.
Joyous and hopeless.
João Antonio
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice short story of an old homeless immigrant with his blessings and defects, and how he gets along after something marvelous happens to him.
Dean Anderson
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The film made from this novella stars the recently departed, great Rutger Hauer in a very fine performance.
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really found this interesting. Having read several of Joseph Roth's books, I remain a great fan. ...more
Jun 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I enjoyed the novel, I actually got more enjoyment and enlightenment from watching Ermanno Olmi's wonderful film adaptation of the book. ...more
Sigrun Matthiesen-Campbell
I absolutely loved this!!!! It has such great humanity. I finished the last sentence with a smile
Nov 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great allegory
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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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“So they bring our poor Andreas into the vestry, and unfortunately he's no longer capable of speech, all he can do is reach for the left inside pocket of his jacket where he has the money he owes the little creditress, and he says: 'Miss Thérèse!' - and he sighs once, and he dies.
May God grant us all, all of us drinkers, such a good and easy death!”
“Voglia Dio concedere a tutti noi,a noi bevitori,una morte così lieve e bella” 1 likes
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