Era más grande el muerto
Luis Miguel Rivas

NOVEL | 2015 | 404 pages

Unlike every other novel about drug trafficking and violence in Colombia, this story focuses on the everyday nature and banality in the lives of characters that are mainstays in the narco mythology (the cowardly wannabe, the errands boy, the boss, the bosses' gals, the rich and classless woman). This is a story that narrates these characters' most human feelings.

Two young men find out they can buy luxury brand clothing at the morgue—the clothes they would otherwise never have access to. Meanwhile, a couple of vicious hitmen are hunting down a dead man in order to finish the kill. An upper class girl decides to leave her family after discovering the crimes they have committed. A nostalgic worker insists on demanding the labor conditions under which he worked years earlier.

At the climax of the war against his worst enemy, the most powerful mafioso of Villalinda falls madly in love and takes lessons in general world culture in order to to seduce an woman who is out of his reach. To the tunes of tango, salsa and vallenato music and among shops, streets and mansions, Luis Miguel Rivas tells the story of a town that has been permanently permeated by drug trafficking. 

RIGHTS: spanish SEIX BARRAL | french GRASSET | film/TV rights SONY

In reading Rivas one regains faith in literature of the marginal as art—original, genuine, connected with the history of the author, with his soul and the soul of his city. Era más grande el muerto is the product of an agitated relationship with the outside world and a conflictive one with the inside world. The (astonishing) delight and the fluency with which one reads Luis Miguel Rivas is a testament to the patience and pain that hides behind his writing.
— Ana Cristina Restrepo Jimenez, El Espectador
Era más grande el muerto is not just another narco book. If the mafiso years have been widely told, many times and in many ways, something different is happening here. One the one hand, the story is told with humor... On the other, this novel’s protagonists aren’t the thugs, the hitmen, or the bosses—not even the victims. They are two characters that belong to the purest, simplest and most modest middle class: a couple of “chichipatos”, or cowardly wannabes, to use the author expression.
— Esteban Duperly, Revista Arcadia

Era más grande el muerto
NOVEL, 2017
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