"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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Word had it he started to talk in song years ago , when AM radio broke his heart by going all talk . I figured Bodega kept him as someone to watch his back or at least to watch the door . “ Oye , como va . Bueno pa gozar , ” Nene said ...
Then we spotted Nene sitting on the stoop . Sapo pulled over and I unlocked ... Yeah , I know you , Chino , " Nene said , recognizing me . ... But when he started the car , Nene got nervous , and seeing him nervous made me nervous .
I stared at Nene for a little while , lost . I thought of Sapo . No , Sapo hadn't killed Salazar . It wasn't Sapo . Nene saw me looking at him and smiled . I nodded and left . I took a shortcut through a huge vacant lot .
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