In a stunning narrative combining the gritty rhythms of Junot Diaz with the noir genius of Walter Mosley, Bodega Dreams pulls us into Spanish Harlem, where the word is out: Willie Bodega is king. Need college tuition for your daughter? Start-up funds for your fruit stand? Bodega can help. He gives everyone a leg up, in exchange only for loyalty--and a steady income from the drugs he pushes.
Lyrical, inspired, and darkly funny, this powerful debut novel brilliantly evokes the trial of Chino, a smart, promising young man to whom Bodega turns for a favor. Chino is drawn to Bodega's street-smart idealism, but soon finds himself over his head, navigating an underworld of switchblade tempers, turncoat morality, and murder.
"Bodega is a fascinating character. . . . The story [Quiñonez] tells has energy and verve." --The New York Times Book Review
"Rich with eye-opening detail, [this is] a lively and entertaining work by a young writer whose talents are deserving of a wide readership." --Oscar Hijuelos, author of The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love
"A new and authentic voice of the urban Latino experience." --Esmeralda Santiago, author of When I Was Puerto Rican
"[Quiñonez's] ideas for using fiction to galvanize the city into confronting poverty are invigorating. . . . Blend[s] street-smart dialogue, culturally relevant prose, and progressive politics into a noir thriller with literary merit." --Time Out New York
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Those were the days when all conversations seemed as important as a cabinet
crisis . We ' d always talk about graduating and saving up to buy a house . About
children who looked like me and slept like her . With Blanca next to me , El Barrio
I didn ' t study . Even with the apartment empty except for boxes , it felt good to be
all by myself . The wooden floors were all shiny . The place seemed huge . I went
to the bedroom and got a pillow . I stretched out on the living room floor and it ...
Vera was very much alive and seemed more composed than when I ' d last seen
her . But she also seemed exhausted . Her makeup was smudged and her
clothes rumpled . It reminded me of the day when she and Bodega had arrived at
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
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