"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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We waited and waited. Nazario said nothing to me and I said nothing back. We
waited for one hour and most of another. I didn't say or ask anything. Nazario just
looked straight ahead like he was in the fifth hour of a twelve-hour drive.
Blanca didn't say anything. They just walked out. I knew they'd talk about me as
they walked to Blanca's mother's house. I didn't know which I dreaded more,
dealing with Blanca later or with the police now. I waited a minute before going
Those who had cars gave lifts to those who hadn't, and a growl of motors
drowned out the chirping birds. As the cemetery was emptying, I waited until
Nazario and Vera had embraced the Jesuit and whomever else they were
continuing to fool.
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