German children's book
by Erich Kaestner
, written during the 1930's. In it, a rich businessman
, Eduard Tobler, wins second place in a magazine contest, and first place
is won by Fritz Hagedorn, a broke advertiser
who lives with his mother
. Both of them win a vacation in an upscale ski resort. Tobler decides to portray himself as a poor
man, and brings his butler, Johann Kesselhuth, to play the role of his rich friend.
Tobler's daughter, Hildegard, deciedes to ruin Tobler's fun, and calls the hotel and informs the owner that one of his guests is really a rich man. The owner then decides that Hagedorn is the rich man in disguise, and treats him like royalty while putting Tobler in an unheated room in the attic.
Johann, Eduard, and Fritz and up becoming good friends, spending all theit time together. However, Hildegard, not content just to call the hotel, visits the hotel, along with another servant, who pretends to be her Aunt Julchen. Hagedorn, who has been hounded by the other female guests, falls in love with Hildegard; she requites the love. Unfortunately, she and Tobler must lie to Hagedorn to protect their secret.
Then, one morning, Tobler, Hildegard, and Kesselhuth leave. Hagedorn is heartbroken, and looks all over for Tobler. Eventually, he is hired by Tobler and invited to mansion, where all is revealed, and he marries Hildegard.
Of course, Tobler wants his revenge, so he tries to arrange the purchase of the hotel in orger to purge all the rude employees, but he then finds out that, in all of his vast wealth and glory, he already owns the hotel!
Despite the low-quality
summary, this is a very good book, especially if you speak German
. If not, it's rather hard to understand. It's really quite funny, especially when the male leads get drunk and build a snowman
Also available as a movie.