Daniel meets Fermín when he’s a homeless man living near the Barceló apartment; on a hunch Daniel offers him a job at the bookshop, and Fermín turns out to have an encyclopedic knowledge of literature and a rare ability to track down books. Flamboyant, excitable, and enthusiastic, Fermín soon becomes a father figure to Daniel, a fun-loving alternative to the sad and serious Mr. Sempere. Daniel asks Fermín for assistance in his investigations long before he confides in his father, which causes some tension with Mr. Sempere. Fermín is particularly loquacious when giving Daniel unwanted advice on his love life, often making troubling generalizations about women and how best to seduce them. However, his hypothetical misogyny is somewhat balanced by his genuine love for Bernarda, the Barcelós’ maid, with whom he eventually settles down. Well acquainted with Barcelona’s seedy underside, Fermín is always introducing Daniel to hidden corners of the city. He reflects and represents the city’s manifold energies and resilience; however, like the city, he’s also shaped by the trauma of his experiences during the Civil War, when he was jailed as a political subversive.