Hot town, summer in the city. This brilliantly entertaining novel - has it all: cracking dialogue, fast-paced plot, broken hearts and broken dreams, love and passion, betrayal and murder, and extraordinarily vivid characters: Sapo - who bites ( Whass close to my mouth is mine by right and my teeth ain t no fucken pawn-shop ); Chino - trying to get through college and out of the ghetto; Blanca - not allowed to wear jeans but makes up for it with tight, short skirts; Vera - with her dyed blonde hair she could almost be some middle-age Anglo woman with a taste for shopping on Fifth Avenue; Nene - who speaks in song titles ( You know me, I m just a soul whose intentions are good ); and Willie Bodega - the mover and shaker, king of Spanish Harlem.
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In El Barrio you always think that the fire engines are headed to someone else's
house . You never think it will be your own home that's on fire , but when it is , all
the toughness , the calloused nonchalance of watching fires and hearing sirens ...
fire itself . Slowly , like a mirage from a desert sandstorm , a figure emerged
walking toward the people . A tall , elegant man came into focus with his arms
outstretched and a face of pure empathy . It was Nazario . When the people saw
He walked in and looked around and then asked me , “ Do me a little solid ,
Chino , and open the fire escape for me . I have to show you something . " I
opened the window and we climbed out onto the fire escape . East Harlem
loomed below ...
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - BtB_Library - LibraryThing
Bodega Dreams features really well-written, sympathetic characters living in Spanish Harlem. With a gripping, detailed portrayal of the neighborhood and a fast moving plot that's very easy to get ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - marciathing - LibraryThing
The books by Ernesto Quinonez were my first introduction to Spanish Harlem. Thanks to my Midwestern existence, and even to some years in S. Texas, I had never known this place existed. Both his novels are fantastic and engrossing. I'm looking forward to more. Read full review