"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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The meanest and ugliest kid on the block loved himself and not only that, he was
my pana, my friend. This gave me hope, and getting a name seemed possible.
So I decided that I no longer wanted to be called by the name my parents had ...
"Yeah, you're right, pana," I said to him, but knew I didn't mean it. I gave my kite to
the wind, which took it with a hiss, and I thought of Blanca and let out more string.
ROUND 2 Willie Mega Sn the eighth grade I applied BODEGA DREAMS.
"Sapo is my pana. If he's in trouble — " "Wha'? You think I'm gonna let Sapo fry?
Let me tell you, Salazar was a worthless piece of shit who didn't even make a
deal with his own people. He got what was comin'." "Shit, bro, just like that?" "
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