The Legend of the Holy Drinker

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This article is about the book. For the film, see The Legend of the Holy Drinker (film).
The Legend of the Holy Drinker
The Legend of the Holy Drinker.jpg
Paperback edition cover
Author Joseph Roth
Original title Die Legende vom heiligen Trinker
Translator Michael Hofmann
Country Netherlands
Language German
Publisher Allert de Lange Verlag
Publication date
Published in English
Pages 108

The Legend of the Holy Drinker (German: Die Legende vom heiligen Trinker) is a 1939 novella by the Austrian writer Joseph Roth, published posthumously by Allert de Lange Verlag in Amsterdam. It tells a story about an alcohol addict, Andreas, who wants to return money he has borrowed, but fails because he spends all of his money on alcohol.


In a 1992 review for Publishers Weekly, the critic wrote that "the author transforms his personal tragedy into a light, sparkling modern fable", and that Michael Hofmann's "inspired translation showcases Roth's galvanizing, constantly surprising style."[1]


Franz Josef Wild directed a 1963 adaptation for German television. In 1988 a film adaptation with the book's title by Ermanno Olmi premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where it went on to win the top prize, the Golden Lion for best film. Olmi's version starred Rutger Hauer as Andreas.[2]

In 2016 Winchester-based theatre company Platform 4 a created a touring production using a puppet to tell Andreas' story.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Staff writer (1991-02-03). "Right and Left and the Legend of the Holy Drinker". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2012-01-01. 
  2. ^ Vivarelli, Nick (2008-05-12). "Olmi to receive Venice Lio". Variety. Retrieved 2012-01-01. 
  3. ^ "Platform 4 Production of The Legend of the Holy Drinker".