In a stunning narrative combining the gritty rhythms of Junot Diaz with the noir genius of Walter Mosley, Bodega Dreams pulls us into Spanish Harlem, where the word is out: Willie 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.
Lyrical, 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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(courtesy of my father's Ecuadorian side of the family), and because kung fu
movies were very popular at the time, when I was in the eighth grade, I was
tagged Chino. I was happy with the name. Chino was a cool name, qué chévere.
Anyway, it was Sapo who introduced me. Sapo would knock at my door at crazy
hours of the night. “Yo, Chino, man, whass up? You know yor my pana, right?
And like, you know yor the only guy I can trust, right? I mean, we go way back.
“Yo, Chino, whassup?" "Whassup, man." “So like, can you do me a solid? Like,
you my pana, right? You know, like the day Mario DePuma jumped yo' ass at
school? Who was there to save you from that fucken Italian horse? I mean, I know
Tweety, remember him? Tweety from Julia de Burgos? Later on everyone started
calling him Sylvester b'cause when he talked he gave you the weather.
Remember him?" “Ho, shit, that guy still alive?” “Alive and spitting. Yeah, so
Chino, come ...
"I'm researching even as we speak, see?" I showed her my book. Blanca
squinted at the title. She had her suspicions but let it go. Then someone knocked
at our door. I went to answer it. It was Sapo. “Yo, Chino, Bodega wants ta speak
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