Román is a retired university professor haunted by nostalgia for the bright days of his teaching career when he was able to transfer his love for knowledge to his students, helping them to live nobler, better lives. He is still in touch with two of his former students, the doctors Elena and Eugenio, having formed complicated intellectual and emotional relationships with them both. Flattered by the interest of a young journalist, Héctor, the professor allows him into his life unaware that the tortured past of his new acquaintance will leave him trapped in a situation in which he is unable to take decisions; to commit himself to the drama of which he has a become a part.
This is a novel about the machinations of deceit, which can be especially hurtful when the relationship is between two unequal parties. El temblor del héroe is, in Álvaro Pombo’s own words, ‘a critique of the banality of evil so common today in one of its most painful guises: indifference to the pain of others and the tragic consequences of a superficial interaction with the world; sliding from surface to surface without ever caring about anything.’
PREMIO NADAL 2012
Written in a tense, vibrant manner that will grip readers with both its artistry and philosophical depths, El temblor del héroe is an act of faith in literature as a territory on which great issues can be explored: trust and betrayal, the possibility of regret, guilt, cowardice, bravery and the meaning of existence.