"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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... when he laughed there was no denying the resemblance. It was like one huge,
happy toad laughing right in front of you. As far back as I could remember Sapo
had always been called Sapo and no one called him by his real name, Enrique.
If anyone called you by your real name you were un mamao, a useless,
meaningless thing. It meant that you hadn't proved yourself, it was open season
for anybody who wanted to kick your ass. It was Sapo who taught me that it didn't
matter if ...
Nazario said that was okay and that he would like to talk "bookshop," as he called
it, with me maybe even at the Aguilar branch, since he hadn't been inside that
building in years. A few minutes later I punched the clock and checked the ...
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