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Grand Hotel, della austriaca Vicki Baum, è stato uno dei primi best seller internazionali. Pubblicato in Germania nel 1929, presto tradotto in tutta Europa, già nel 1932 era diventato quel film da Oscar (con Greta Garbo e John Barrymore) che oggi ricordiamo meglio del romanzo che ne era all’origine: con la battuta finale – «Grand Hotel, gente che va, gente che viene» – cheGrand Hotel, della austriaca Vicki Baum, è stato uno dei primi best seller internazionali. Pubblicato in Germania nel 1929, presto tradotto in tutta Europa, già nel 1932 era diventato quel film da Oscar (con Greta Garbo e John Barrymore) che oggi ricordiamo meglio del romanzo che ne era all’origine: con la battuta finale – «Grand Hotel, gente che va, gente che viene» – che volgarizzava la fine del libro: «Si entra, si esce... si entra, si esce... si entra, si esce... Del resto è così che è la vita». Difatti è l’ambientazione – il Grand Hotel, appunto, in quegli anni simbolo popolare di vita privilegiata e moderna, sogno di massa –, il principale fattore, forse, del grande successo di lettori. «Gli hotel offrono opportunità infinite – asserisce la scrittrice Monica Ali –. Ogni ospite potenzialmente ha una storia. Altre storie nascono quando gli ospiti interagiscono. Basta il ruotare di una porta girevole. Grand Hotel, di Vicki Baum, dimostra questo principio alla perfezione. Sei persone si fermano in un albergo e nei successivi cinque giorni le loro vite si intrecciano. Il romanzo si muove tra personaggi storie e luoghi diversi e solo il Grand Hotel fa da collante a tutti questi frammenti». Un movimento frenetico, che trascina il tragico passato di ciascun personaggio in un’apparente pausa del presente in cui al contrario i destini si compiono; e questo è reso dall’autrice con una strategia narrativa, con un «montaggio» visivo significativamente attuale: l’affaccendato cicaleccio della hall dell’albergo, l’aprirsi e il richiudersi della bussola rotante, scandiscono i diversi quadri della trama, come se i sei personaggi ogni volta fossero zoom che inquadrano e lanciano in primo piano i volti isolati, presi da una moltitudine indifferenziata. E come se le mura dell’albergo racchiudenti i personaggi, rappresentassero al contrario la città che escludono, metafora della sterminata e modernissima metropoli berlinese. Sicché Grand Hotel, best seller senza apparenti pretese simboliche, mostra oggi la forza di figurare la moderna folla solitaria al suo nascere, la massa anonima, dentro cui s’ammucchiano innumerevoli tragedie silenziose, l’una affiancata all’altra ma prive perfino dell’energia esistenziale di accorgersi l’una dell’altra....

Title : Grand Hotel
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9788838924484
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 426 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Grand Hotel Reviews

  • Hadrian
    2019-04-27 09:11

    Quick, enchanting read about life in a Berlin hotel in the fading glory of the Weimar era. With the visual descriptions and long monologues, it seemed almost made for a film adaptation.

  • Cheryl
    2019-05-08 15:15

    I pulled this old rebound book off the library's shelves just to see whether a novel this old would be interesting, and surprisingly it was. Interwoven stories of hotel denizens is a now-classic plot, but this 1920s German novel must have been one of the first. Good points: it was an authentic glimpse of Berlin at a time when the Gedaechtniskirche still gleamed white in the electric lights. The story remains fresh because Baum shows rather than tells what is happening: the sights, the smells, the rhythms of life in the hotel all work together to move the story forward. None of the characters is a stereotype--and when they encounter each other their lives veer off in unexpected directions. Grusinskaya the aging Russian dancer, Kringelein the provincial clerk with a bucket list, Otternschlag the wounded doctor, Gaigern the handsome impoverished nobleman, Preysing the industrialist, even page boy no. 18 Karl Nispe all are interesting studies of the human condition without hitting you over the head with a simplistic Moral of their stories. At the end of the book you really feel like you have been there in that hotel at that moment in time.

  • Linda
    2019-04-27 13:05

    I wanted to read this book for quite some time but recently I stumbled upon it on my grandmas bookshelf. It's a copy from 1952 and therefore smells exactely like that. I borrowed it and truly enjoyed the read and the "time travel" to a Berlin Hotel during the jazz-age, despite the mouldy odour ;) Vicky Baum has a nice writing style, I really appreciated the plenty neologisms which made me laugh from time to time. At some points it became almost philosophical and definitly critical in regards to the society during the roaring twenties (f.e moral decline, class differences and anonymity in the mass society of the 20th century).The characters of the book are at the beginning in large part lonly and mentally as well as physically deformed. All of the main characters (except of the pitiable Doctor Otternschlag-the selftitled "living suicide") experience a change because everyone finds on their own way the joie de vivre with the increasing interweaving of the stories. True love, a lie, unexpected wealth or sensual pleasures are only some of the causes. But several characters are lying to themselves and some unexpected plot twists are changing their situation. This novel is definitly worth a re-read and right now I am planning to watch the film version of the novel with the enchanting Greta Garbo!

  • Cphe
    2019-05-04 08:22

    Already a more than adequate synopsis on offer so no point in rehashing. Thoroughly enjoyed this little known novel from the wonderful New York Review Books Classics list.A handful of characters here but they are so well portrayed and the atmosphere and mood of the novel does take the reader into the Grand Hotel in Berlin in the 1920's. The Grand Hotel that is no longer quite as grand as the name implies. There were a few surprises along the way regarding the characters and their motives, all is not as it first appears and appearances can be deceptive. Ended up enjoying this one far more than I originally thought I would.

  • Markus
    2019-05-08 16:13

    Menschen im Hotel,published 1929Vicki Baum (1888-1960)“Grand Hotel," would be the name by which this work would have reached worldwide fame. This is the name of the movie created after her novel. If movies are the crown of entertainment, so this book is most of all a book of entertainment.The witty, intricate construction of the following events have become a model of the kind. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Grand Hotel in Berlin was the most luxurious and expensive hotel in the country. High society had made it a meeting point of their kind, the exclusive elite. Regular guests would be the like of:The Prima Ballerina Elisaweta Alexandrowna Grusinskaya, an ageing star of world-class ballet dancing, close to the end of her long career, still beautiful, but tired and lonely. Then there is Felix Amadei Benvenuto Freiherr von Gaigern, young, idle, elegant, charming and irresistible to any lady he may encounter, and he seems to have no other occupation.Mr Kringelein, out of place in this luxurious environment, is a retired bookkeeper, fatally ill and having scraped up all is savings, wants to encounter ‘real life’ before dying. Dr Otternschlag, an invalid from one of the last wars, suffering from depression, just sits around in all the various lounges of the hotel, not doing anything but thinking about his suicide which he has prepared efficiently in a leather case in his room.Among the crowd of businessmen, there is this unpleasant and rude Director Preysing, He has come in a last desperate hope to negotiate a joint venture with some other sharks of this world to save his company from bankruptcy. The biggest liar will win the deal.Flämmchen or ‘little flame' is the name of a beautiful young secretary, trying to make ends meet, she swims around the business crowd, ready to follow up on any job, short or long term, official or intimate, happy and full of love of life. These are the principal actors of this story. People spending a few days at the hotel, turning a few pages of their life, and some even their last page.They cross each other at the reception, the elevator, the smoking room and at dinner and breakfast, exchanging glances, nodding their heads and eventually have a little chat together.For a few days, their destinies become entangled, mixed like a cocktail in a bowl, shook up and poured out. To avoid any spoilers, I will leave it to my friends to discover the various outcomes. All for the most enjoyable and entertaining reading pleasure.

  • Chris
    2019-05-11 12:09

    June 2016 NYRB Book Club Selection.Baum's book is a slow start. It took me awhile to get into it. But then when you get to the ballerina and the thief, it is so beautiful. What is amazing, in some aspects, is how little things have changed.

  • Jim
    2019-05-13 11:14

    Although she described herself as "a first-rate second-rate author," Vicki Baum's Grand Hotel is actually quite a bit better than that. Baum managed to parlay the novel into a 1932 blockbuster starring Greta Garbo, John and Lionel Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery and a host of supporting stars. Baum tried to reprise her success with Grand Hotel by writing a number of other novels, but none of them quite hit the mark. Still, the one novel for which she is known has some nice characterizations:The experiences people have in a large hotel do not constitute entire human destinies, full and completed. They are fragments merely, scraps, pieces. The people behind its doors may be unimportant or remarkable individuals. People on the way up or people on the way down the ladder of life. Prosperity and disaster may be separated by no more than the thickness of a wall.The relationship in the book between Kringelein, Baron Geigern, and Flammchen is particularly interesting. In the film, Dr. Otternschlag is a relatively uninteresting character, whereas in the book he is a morphine addict to deal with the pain of having had half his face shot away in the war.As a result of reading Grand Hotel, I should like to read more in the weeks to come about the Weimar Republic and its culture.

  • Ali
    2019-04-25 08:12

    Grand Hotel is set in the post World-War One world of the Weimar era. Berlin of the 1920’s, and here we meet a host of remarkably well drawn characters, who are explored in astute and searching detail.Through the revolving doors of the Grand Hotel come all kinds; the war damaged, the dying, beautiful ageing ballerina, businessman, thief. The hotel exists to provide the very best of everything for their guests, and yet there is a feeling that like some of its guests, the hotel’s best days are in the past. The porter on the front desk is a count, putting his ancestry behind him to serve the guests of the Grand Hotel. Doctor Otternshlag, is the first of the hotel residents who we meet, a veteran from the war, half his face destroyed by a shell, he sits in the hotel lounge viewing the same scene as the day before, reading the paper, as does every day. He asks the porter if there are any letters for him, a telegram perhaps or a message, there isn’t – there never is, no matter how many times he asks.Full review:

  • Melissa
    2019-04-27 10:20

    I received a review copy of this title from NYRB classics.The Grand Hotel is the place to stay for anyone who wishes to be surrounded by luxury and high society in 1920’s Berlin. The guests that have all checked into the hotel in March of 1929 are an interesting mix of misfits whose stories all collide in a cleverly intertwined plot.The first character to whom we are introduced is Dr. Otternschlag. He sits for hours each day reading the paper and watching people go in and out of the revolving doors of the hotel. He asks the porter several times if a letter has come for him and it is sad that no letters ever arrive for this lonely man. He suffered a horrible injury during World War I which has left his face horribly scared. He is utterly lonely, sad and has no zest for life. He is the absolute opposite of Baron Gaigern who is also a guest at the hotel.The Baron wears the finest clothes, has impeccable manners, is charming and extremely handsome. He enjoys life to its fullest with gambling, fast cars, and lots of women. But little does everyone know that the Baron is actually a petty thief and has no money other than that which he steals from his unsuspecting victims. He latest mark is an aging ballerina named Grusinskaya whose famous string of pearls are said to be worth over 500,000 marks. He has been secretly following the dancer around so that he can best ascertain how to get his hands on those pearls without being caught. His plan for the heist is one of the most amusing and thrilling parts of the plot. In the course of carrying out his carefully laid out plan, the unexpected happens to the normally cool and collected Baron–he falls in love with the woman who is supposed to be his victim.The next person to check into the Grand Hotel is Otto Kringelein who is a lowly and badly paid clerk from a small town. He is very sick and has only been given a few weeks to live so he gathers up all of his life savings, leaves his miserable wife and books a room at the hotel where he intends to have an exciting adventure before he passes away. When his boss, Mr. Preysing, also checks into the hotel, he won’t let this angry and horrible bully spoil his fun. Kringelein finds a companion in the doctor for a while and even goes to the ballet with him. But it is not until Kringelein meets up with the Baron that he really starts to feel alive. The adventures that the Baron takes this provincial and naïve man on, which include boxing, gambling and flying, are absolutely hilarious.The final adventure that Kringelein takes is of his own making as he comes to the aid of a beautiful young woman. The story ends well for Kringelein even though it is still likely that he doesn’t have long to live. He, like many others, checked into the Grand Hotel, as a solitary misfit. But his exploits with the other guests turn him into a more worldly and confidant man who yearns to experience all that life has to offer. The New York Review of Books has managed to reissue another fantastic classic that I devoured in just a few sittings. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

  • James Murphy
    2019-05-18 10:00

    This isn't the kind of book I would have walked through a bookstore and selected. I knew of it but associated it with the 1932 Hollywood film and with the style of movies of the period one might say is stilted and long out of date. But the book came to me through my New York Review of Books subscription. I let it age on my shelf over a year before I dived into it. What I found is an engaging work of modernism written in naturalistic prose which vividly sketches characters as physical figures inhabiting their world as well as interior beings dealing with their emotions, needs, and motivations. In addition to the staff there's a disfigured war veteran, a bookkeeper from a small town far from Berlin, a businessman, a ballerina, and a man posing as a baron who intrudes into their lives hoping to take advantage. The hotel itself is seen as a kind of haven where the needs of these characters are realized, as opposed to the banality they know away from the hotel. Much is made of the revolving door, the way in and out of this blissful life. The hotel provides value and consequence and intimacy. There's a universalism about it so that the characters--guests and staff--experience the various ingredients of life, like birth and death, love both romantic and illicit, class distinctions, crime, art, and commerce. I believe the disfigured Dr. Otternschlag represents war. One imagines lives being lived in the Grand Hotel year after year in much the same way, people going in and out the revolving door. I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by the novel.

  • Jules
    2019-05-22 15:09

    My favorite read this year so far. A charming slice of life narrative set in a hotel in interwar Germany which bring a multitude of colorful characters together for a brief moment in an intertwined web that changes them in various ways. Very thankful for the NYRB classics list for this gem.

  • Chinook
    2019-05-09 13:12

    Character StudyThis book started off very slowly for me. I read maybe the first thirty pages and wasn’t too inspired to continue, except that I was reading it to complete a reading challenge. There was a lot of set up and a lot of description of the various characters in the hotel. However, once things start happening, they happen with a bang. I hadn’t at all anticipated that ending. It’s surprising to look back and realize the action takes place in just two days, framed by the beginning of labour of a staff member’s wife and then the birth of his daughter.

  • Annie
    2019-05-05 08:26

    Last semester, when I worked with a World War II history class, I quickly learned how little the students knew about the interwar period in Germany. As far as they knew, it was World War I, Treaty of Versailles, Hitler, World War II. A few knew about the Weimar period, but no one had a really good idea of ordinary life at the time. Even though the professor frowned on fiction, I wish I could have snuck the students a few novels to help them understand. Grand Hotel, by Vicki Baum (translated by Basil Creighton), would be another terrific entry in my fictional arsenal. Grand Hotel offers linked portraits of five visitors to the Grand Hotel in Berlin in the late 1920s. Each struggles with their past lives and their hopes for and worries about the future. Through them, we get a cross section of German society, examined from a deeply human and apolitical perspective...Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from Edelweiss for review consideration.

  • Jesse
    2019-05-24 09:04

    Because I need to know: is one of cinema's most immortal quotes actually in the novel?

  • Rubi
    2019-04-26 11:20

    Lo primero que tengo que comentar es cómo de curiosa fue la adquisición de este libro, puesto que algún desalmado lo había dejado abandonado, junto con otros, al lado del contenedor de reciclado de papel... No puedo creer que alguien intente deshacerse de libros de esta manera; aunque bueno, le agradezco que lo haya hecho porque así yo he podido recogerlo y descubrir esta historia.Una historia ambientada en el Grand Hotel de Berlín, uno de los hoteles más lujosos del mundo. Magistralmente escrito, la combinación entre las diferentes historias me parece magnífica, así como las situaciones en las que se encuentran varios de los personajer principales. Además el transfondo filosófico que tiene (la vida, la muerte, el destino, el hastío de vivir, la "búsqueda de la vida", el dinero...). En general un muy buen libro, altamente recomendable. Me he enterado de que hay una película basada en esta novela; habrá que verla, ¡a ver si no defrauda!

  • Joel Fishbane
    2019-04-29 08:21

    Long out of print (even the reprint is out of print), Vicki Baum's Grand Hotel is mostly forgotten except to librarians, famed only to lovers of old films (two versions were made) and musicals (a Tommy Tune directed version appeared on Broadway in 1989). The novel itself seems to have been swept from our cultural memory and this is unfortunate: it remains a tightly conceived story of six disparate characters and the way their fates intertwine over the course of two days at the eponymous hotel. Both story and prose (translated by Basil Creighton) survive the ages and in some cases remain surprisingly relevant - most especially in the story of Preysing, the manager of a company, who is faced with the decision of whether or not to succumb to dishonest business practices just to make a buck.The other narrative threads remain undated too: the secretary Flammschen could be any modern girl on the move while Baron Gaigern, the charming rogue of a thief, somehow manages to represent the American dream: no matter how bad things get, he remains optimistic, convinced that something better will come along. Mixed up with these two is the novel's heart, Otto Kringelien, the dying bookkeeper who cashes in his life savings and tries to live all the life he's never lived. There's also a morphine-riddled doctor and a fabled ballerina in the mix, but it's Preysing, Flammschen, Gaigern and Kringelein who dominate the narrative. They all exist in Berlin, 1929 but they might as well be living in Anytown, Today and for this reason Grand Hotel deserves to be rediscovered.Count yourself lucky if you read the book without ever having seen either of the films (Grand Hotel, A Week-end at the Waldorf) or the musical; the narrative will be fresh and rewarding as it was for readers back in the 20s. Being a novel, it goes into far more psychological depth and is a great deal more risque - when Flammschen flees from Preysing's room, for instance, she is stark naked, which both clearly indicates her close call with prostitution and represents a rebirth: like a baby she emerges naked and (quite literally) crying and later decides to change the direction of her life. Kringelein also becomes far more complex: both the musical and the films eliminate the fact that his illness has led him to abandon a shrewish wife. And yet despite the fact that he loathes her, he approaches Preysing (his employer) to fight to ensure she is taken care of in his absence, all of which sets the scene for the novel's climactic events.Elements of Grand Hotel have been mimicked and copied for decades - pretty much anytime you have multiple interweaving storylines you're in Grand Hotel territory - but there's something charming about returning to the original. Baum wasn't the first author to throw several narratives into one (think Les Miserables, for instance) but she does keep the story fairly constrained, focusing the action over a period of 48 hours and keeping most of it inside the hotel. As she herself states:"The events that happen in a big hotel do not constitute entire human destinies complete and rounded off. They are fragments merely, scraps, pieces." (299)She was not concerned with the epic narrative but rather took part of that literary movement devoted to telling only a part of a person's life and using that to elucidate the whole. The characters are transient and pass through both the hotel and the book, leaving us in the same position as the hotel staff: watching people come and go, never quite knowing what happens to anyone when they leave. It's entirely appropriate, then, that the fates of the characters (those who live anyway) are left entirely unknown: reading the novel is like working for a few days at the hotel itself with Vicki Baum doubling as the concierge who lets you poke around in everyone's rooms.

  • JacquiWine
    2019-05-18 10:05

    First published in German in 1929, Grand Hotel is Austrian writer Vicki Baum’s best-known work. Following its initial success, this charming novel was quickly adapted for the stage, and subsequently for the cinema screen, with significant input from Baum herself – the film adaptation (which I have yet to see) features Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford and the Barrymore brothers, amongst others.The setting for the novel is the Grand Hotel in Berlin, an establishment which endeavours to furnish its residents with the best of everything the city has to offer. Baum’s carefully constructed story revolves around the experiences of six central characters as they brush up against one another during their time at the hotel. While it doesn’t aim to follow a conventional narrative arc, Grand Hotel has plenty of surprises in store for its readers, many of which are connected with the secrets and inner lives of this diverse group of guests.The central character in the mix is Otto Kringelein, a down-at-heel bookkeeper who has travelled from the provinces to Berlin to live the high life for a week or two. After enduring many years of bullying and penny pinching both at work and at home, Kringelein has come to the city with the knowledge that he has only a few weeks left to live. Backed by funds from his savings and life insurance policy, Kringelein is intent on experiencing Life and everything it has to offer before his time is up. Here are his first impressions of his new environment, a passage which I hope will give you a feel for the Grand Hotel itself.He stood there in his old overcoat, and through the lenses of his pince-nez eagerly devoured it all. He was as exhausted as the winner of a race when he breasts the tape, but he saw the marble pillars with stucco ornament, the illuminated fountain, the easy chairs. He saw men in dress coats and dinner jackets, smart cosmopolitan men. Women with bare arms, in wonderful clothes, with jewelry and furs, beautiful, well-dressed women. He heard music in the distance. He smelled coffee, cigarettes, perfume, whiffs of asparagus from the dining room and the flowers that were displayed for sale on the flower stall. He felt the thick carpet beneath his black leather boots, and this perhaps impressed him most of all. (pg. 13)At first, Kringelein is befriended by another guest, Doctor Otternschlag, a lonely, embittered war veteran who comes to the bookkeeper’s aid when the hotel staff prove rather reluctant to give him a room. Once he realises that Kringelein’s days are numbered, Otternschlag offers to show him something of Berlin with a trip to the ballet and other civilised outings. Nevertheless, Kringelein cannot help but feel that ‘real life,’ whatever that may be, remains out of his reach.To read the rest of my review, please click here:

  • Tobias
    2019-05-15 10:06

    Took me months to finish. Thought I would like it more than I did, since always interested in cultural depictions of interwar Germany, but reading this was at times excruciating. The second half was much better than the first, but every scene with Grusinskaya (the role played by Greta Garbo in the 1931 film) was torture.

  • Philip
    2019-05-10 11:27

    Something I enjoy from time to time is reading the original novels upon which famous films were based (VERTIGO, THE LODGER, WRITTEN ON THE WIND, IMITATION OF LIFE) - so, I'm finally getting around to GRAND HOTEL. As the back cover proclaims, "These are some of the men and women of the GRAND HOTEL: A beautiful ballerina to whom love is no less an art than dancing . . . a lovely and ingenuous peasant girl (with a fixed price on her charms) . . . a respectable business tycoon, caught in the web of an unholy lust . . . a world-weary cynic who lost hope (and half his face) at Flanders . . . a down-trodden clerk with only a few weeks left to in which to grasp life. . ."Sure - why not?(For the record, these roles were essayed by Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone and Lionel Barrymore in the 1932 film classic.)02/20: On Page 95; Although it's been some years since I watched the 1932 film all the way through, remembering what stars played which roles makes it easy to envision the characters!02/21: Turned out to be an engrossing novel; would be interesting to contrast/compare with its 1960s counterpart, HOTEL by Arthur Hailey.

  • Antje
    2019-05-24 11:14

    Ehrlich gesagt, hatte ich mir von Baums "Menschen im Hotel" bei weitem mehr versprochen. Obwohl es sich noch recht interessant anlas, zog sich die Handlung allmählich wie Gummi bis zur letzten Seite. Baum verwendete meinem Geschmack nach zu viele unnötige Worte, wodurch sie regelmäßig den Erzählfluss zum Stocken brachte und den dramaturgischen Aufbau immer wieder behinderte. Ihre Figuren bekommen zwar jedweilige Gelegenheit, uns ihre Gedanken und Gefühle mitzuteilen, sei es durch direkte oder indirekte Rede. Aber an einem gewissen Punkt begann mich die detailierte Schilderung nur noch zu langweilen, zumal ich für keine der Charaktere jemals ein tieferes Interesse gewinnen konnte. Diese besagten Menschen im Hotel blieben für mich bis zum Schluss blass und bedeutungslos. - Schade. Die Idee war einladend, die Umsetzung für mich leider enttäuschend.

  • Hyram Sempere
    2019-04-25 15:18

    Salvo por el detestable personaje de Preysing la novela se desarrolla de una manera sutil, amena, ligera y efervescente. Es un tanto Kafkiana respecto a un contador de poca monta, Twainiana por un Barón y Hessiana por la bailarina pero en resumidas cuentas un buen libro nocturno. La historia (por referencia actual) es un corretijo de actores a la mera orden de Wes Anderson y la calidad de la prosa se deja ver desde el primer instante.

  • Melinda Nelsen
    2019-05-09 07:58

    I saw the movie version of this many years ago and was delighted to see it was based on a book. And what a book! A precise observation of the human animal and how our lives end up as something we never imagined or, despite ourselves and situation, destiny can squeak in a good moment or two.Very memorable characters and good writing. Now it's time to watch the movie again with all those early famous Hollywood movie stars!

  • Terri
    2019-05-02 15:22

    Grand Hotel is a novel written by Vicki Baum and published in 1930. Although the book may be more than 80 years old, it still stands the test of time with themes and situations that you may find in a modern novel or movie. The story follows half a dozen characters with all of their own problems and worries. Once their lives intersect, trouble is sure to ensue.Read more:

  • Claire
    2019-05-24 15:20

    Schade, dass das Jahr so zu Ende gehen muss. Aber die Bewertung kann man auch toll für 2016 verwenden, findet ihr nicht? Das Buch wahr leider nichts für mich. 428 Seiten lang und nichts passiert. Hab aber auch keine Erwartungen gehabt - wurde also auch nicht enttäuscht.

  • Kathleen
    2019-05-04 08:23

    "For, long or short, Life is what you put into it. Two full days may be longer than forty empty years."

  • Linda
    2019-05-10 14:04

    Better than the movie and as good as the show! What a pity her books are not as available as they should be. Vicki Baum could write!

  • Nicholas Whyte
    2019-05-03 14:21 for the Oscar-winning film, which does not in fact stray very far from the book. Small differences: in the book, Flämmchen doesn’t appear until a quarter of the way through. We get much more insight into Preysing’s and Kringelein’s marriages. The brutal murder is carried out with a heavy ashtray rather than a telephone handset. The action does move outside the hotel now and then, notably to Grusinskaya’s theatre. Big differences: the ages of several of the main characters. Grusinskaya, played by 27-year-old Greta Garbo on screen, is old enough to have an eight-year-old grandson in the book. The baron, played by 50-year-old John Barrymore, is in his twenties in the book. (As I said, their love affair is more unusual in the book than on screen; but great stories often involve unusual happenings.) 26-year-old Joan Crawford plays Flämmchen, who is explicitly nineteen in the book, though a very worldly wise nineteen:"Flämmchen had no exaggerated opinion of herself. She knew her price. Twenty marks for a photograph in the nude. A hundred and forty marks for a month’s office work. Fifteen pfennig per page for typing with one carbon copy. A little fur coat costing two hundred and forty marks for a week as somebody’s mistress."The other change that was inevitable for a Hollywood film is to the appearance of Dr Otternschlag, played with mild scarring by Lewis Shine; compare the book’s chilling description:"His face, it must be said, consisted of one half only, in which the sharp and ascetic profile of a Jesuit was completed by an unusually well-shaped ear beneath the sparse gray hair on his temples. The other half of his face was not there. In place of it was a confused medley of seams and scars, crossing and overlapping, and among them was set a glass eye. “A souvenir from Flanders,” Doctor Otternschlag was accustomed to calling it when talking to himself."Otternschlag gets more to do in the book, and Flämmchen arrives late as noted above, but otherwise the main characters balance out much as they do on screen.And it’s a good readable story, the first “hotel novel”; apparently a massive hit during its original serialisation (to the point that readers wrote in to protest the killing off of one character in a reaction reminiscent of Torchwood fans’ reaction to the death of Ianto), very firmly moored in the context of late 1920s Berlin, grappling with modernity, with unforeseen and unspeakable horror yet to come (for those of us who know the city now, it’s a bit chilling to have the still intact Gedächtniskirche as a major landmark). Everyone has their arc, and we like and sympathise with all of them, even Preysing to an extent. It’s not deep and meaningful, but it’s well done and very entertaining; and the film does it justice. My edition has a very good introduction by Noah Isenberg which added to my enjoyment.

  • nettebuecherkiste
    2019-05-02 15:17

    In einem Grand Hotel im Berlin der Zwanziger Jahre leben unterschiedlichste Gäste: ein versehrter, depressiver Arzt, eine alternde russische Primaballerina, der Generaldirektor einer Textilfirma, der ein gewagtes Spiel treibt, ein gutaussehender Baron, der alle Herzen für sich gewinnt, aber nicht das ist, was er zu sein scheint, ein Hilfsbuchhalter, der nur noch wenige Wochen zu leben hat und seine Ersparnisse draufhauen will, um noch zu erfahren, wie das gute Leben sich anfühlt. Anhand dieser Personenkonstellation kreiert Vicki Baum einen Bildausschnitt der Zwanzigerjahre in Berlin.Ein Bildausschnitt, muss ich betonen. Trotz des Einsatzes typischer Bilder für das Berlin der Zwanzigerjahre, wie der noch intakten Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche, muss ich konstatieren, dass bei der Lektüre von Vicki Baums berühmten Roman aus dem Jahr 1929 bei mir weder ein rechtes Zwanzigerjahre-Feeling noch ein richtiges Berlin-Feeling aufkam.Ähnlich verhält es sich mit den Protagonisten des Romans, ihre jeweilige Sichtweise schildert Vicki Baum durchaus eindringlich, dennoch bleiben sie merkwürdig zweidimensional, einzig der todkranke Kringelein wirkt plastischer angesichts seiner Situation, er ist zweifellos der interessanteste Charakter des Romans. Eine echte Verbindung konnte ich jedoch selbst zu ihm nicht herstellen, sodass ich gestehen muss, dass der Plot mich eher langweilte.Sprachlich konnte Vicki Baum mich eher überzeugen, stellenweise ist die Sprache kraftvoll und starke Bilder:„‚Es ist gar nicht so schlimm'“, sagte Kringelein. ‚Man braucht keine Angst zu haben, es ist nicht schlimm.‘ Und damit meint Kringelein nicht nur die teure Schneiderrechnung und nicht nur die Avusfahrt und nicht nur den Flug – sondern all dieses zusammen und dann noch, daß er bald sterben wird, wegsterben von der kleinen Welt, hinaussterben aus der großen Angst, hinaufsterben, wenn es geht, noch höher, als Maschinen fliegen können.“ (Seite 161 meiner Ausgabe)Insgesamt ist dies ein sprachlich lesenswertes Buch, von dem man jedoch nicht allzu viel Atmosphäre erwarten sollte.

  • Frank McAdam
    2019-05-23 16:19

    A highly literate and stylish entertainment that offers fascinating glimpses of life in Weimar Berlin circa 1930. What's most interesting, though, is what's left out. In the privileged world of the grand hotel, there's no mention of the upheavals that were then shaking post-war Germany and that would soon bring down the Weimar Republic itself. Though the shadows of Hitler and the Nazis may loom large for the modern day reader, they are never even hinted at here. And so the b00k unwittingly becomes a portrait of a world on the edge of an abyss. It's filled with an assortment of characters who have no suspicion of the cataclysm that's about to overtake them.The book's structure is necessarily episodic as guests at the hotel come and go but Baum, through the use of an omniscient third person narrator, holds the story together very well as she traces the characters' interactions with one another. And what characters they are. The best is the aging ballerina Grusinskaya who frets over her fading career and beauty until rejuvenated by a one night stand with a suave aristocratic cat burglar. And there's Dr. Otternschlag, the morphine addict with ravaged face continually checking the desk for mail that never comes, who acts as the book's conscience.

  • SeitenReise
    2019-05-04 12:11

    I really enjoyed meeting those characters in the famous Hotel Adlon in Berlin during the "Weimarer Republik". But what I really loved about it, was the language Baum used and what wonderful words she found to describe people, situations and still lifes:„…stieß die Drehtür ein merkwürdiges Individuum in die Vorhalle.“„…hatte ein flüchtiges, zartes, kleines Mitleid mit diesen Resignationspantöffelchen…“„Er rannte sich selber davon, dieser korrekte, gewissenhafte und bedenkvolle Preysing, er schoß sich ab wie eine Rakete und landete in Flämmchens Armen.“„Mitten im Zimmer schliefen Gaigerns Lackpumps mit pflichttreuem und selbstzufriedenem Ausdruck.“