Vicente Puchol
Vicente Puchol

El Hombre de Humo


Synopsis: El Hombre de Humo


A novel that blends love, thought, and - above all - music.


El hombre de humo is the story of Juan Trevijano, a pianist who is marked by his difficult personal history. After playing in third-rate orchestras, he obtains a position in the most renowned music hall in his city. When the music hall closes down, Juan continues to study piano on his own for years, with a tenacity worthy of Beethoven himself. One night, a wealthy and influential man, who is a great lover of music and who knows of Juan's singular passion, hears him play. They become friends and after numerous fruitless attempts to find a scholarship that would enable Juan to study music, the man decides to pay for his studies in Vienna.


It is there that Juan's fortunes change - he falls into the hands of Gretl Breker, a world-famous pianist, now retired. Not only does she provide him with the lessons he needs, but a passionate love grows between them, despite the difference in their ages. Gretl encourages him to enter a piano competition that offers its winner a worldwide launch.


After winning the competition, Juan suffers a serious nervous breakdown that leads him to rethink his whole life. In connection with this narrative thread, this novel blends love, thought, and - above all - music. In the author's hands, this last element is one and the same with his protagonist; he expresses all of its key interpretations in literary form.