"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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"All over the neighborhood, Que Pasa Power! Even old ladies started to smuggle
things for us, b'cause Mayor Lindsay's dogs would never think of frisking them.
Old ladies, Chino. Old ladies would do this for us b'cause they knew, they knew ...
A few roaches crawling nearby. Two windows with no curtains. "So, man, like yo'r
perfect, Chino." "Perfect?" I asked, taking my joint, which was halfway finished
now. "Perfect to represent me. You and Nazario. B'cause, Chino, it gets bigga.
b'cause I am in charge of their well-being. They are dependent on me for their
shelter. Where the city sees burned buildings I see opportunity. I'm talking about
becoming the second-biggest slumlord after the City of New York." My joint was ...
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