"A new and authentic voice of the urban Latino experience." --Esmeralda Santiago, author of When I Was Puerto Rican
In a stunning narrative combining the gritty rhythms of Junot Diaz with the noir genius of Walter Mosley, Bodega Dreams announces the arrival of a writer who The Village Voice has already hailed as "a Writer on the Verge."
The word is out in Spanish Harlem: Willy 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.
Lyric, 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.
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"Chino, come closer," Victor said, "You got to ... take me ... to Mount Sinai," he
whispered. "But Metropolitan is two blocks from here." It made sense to go there,
because Mount Sinai was all the way west on Fifth Avenue. "Nah, cuz Negra
Blanca whispered to me. I always sat next to Blanca. I would leave my science
book at home on purpose so I could use the excuse of sharing hers. Tapia
understood this and, even though we had assigned seats, would always let me
"Shhh," he whispered, "Vera's sleeping." "You got problems," I whispered back. "
It's all going to be taken care of tomorrow." He accompanied me to the kitchen,
the room farthest from the bedroom where Vera must have been sleeping.
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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