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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So I decided that I no longer wanted to be called by the name my parents had
given me, Julio. I wanted a name like Sapo had and so I looked for fights. It was
always easy to get into fights if you hated yourself. So what if you fought a guy ...
“Julio, don't you hate it when people from the neighborhood who somehow
manage to leave change their names? Instead of Juan, they want to be called
John.” “I see your point. But what's in a name, anyway? A Rivera from Spanish
"He's a drug dealer, Julio." “Man, you're brilliant, Blanca. What could have
possibly given him away?" The honeymoon had been over for months. “What is
your problem? You know, Julio, I married you because I thought you had brains.
“What we want, Julio, what we want." She pointed at the two of us. “Blanca, I hate
that supermarket job and I've no classes tonight so don't ask me right now what I
want. Right now justlet me watch Jeop. ardy, okay?" She went over to switch the ...
“Julio, I know how you feel about your studies. I do. But I'm only thinking about the
baby. I would have preferred to have waited a year or two after we graduated, but
it didn't work out that way." “Oh, so it's my fault, right?" “It's no one's fault. Look ...
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