"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 to Sapo, who
"Nah, don't talk to me, Chino. You fucked up." "Why? Because I don't want to work
with Nazario?" Sapo looked at me and nodded as he took a long drag. Pero no
tenia dinero. So mami, mami perdoname pero es que tuve que darle un holope ...
The phone rang again. "Nancy!" "Chino, you owe me big." It was Negra again. I
sighed and let her talk. "You owe me big." I sort of knew what she wanted. Blanca
had told me. "Negra, what makes you think I can have your husband beat up?
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