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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The one that faces 111th Street. Freddy would hang there all night. I want it to say
, 'Freddy the best of 109th Street, R.I.P.' And then I want the flag of Borinquen and
a big conga with Freddy's face on it, can you paint that?"You would say, "Yeah, ...
You know?" “Why would you wanna fucken leave this place?" he said with his
Sapo smile, showing all his teeth as he glued some razors to his kite. “This
neighborhood is beautiful, bro." “Yeah, you're right, pana," I said to him, but knew
I didn't ...
"Yeah, but if you picking that up you gonna have to wait, bro. Because I have to
go to class and meet Blanca." “Oh, I'm touched, Jane and Joe Night School. How
sweet." “Whatever, bro. Look, I have to get off." “Pero, bro, no corra, I call to askya
Yo, I swera-ma-mahthah. There's a guy in the library. You know where the library
at Hunta is, don'cha?” “Yeah, so?” “Well, just put the bag in a backpack and he'll
take it. It's no big deal. You'll lose the backpack but it's a cheap fucken bag ...
“Yeah, I know,” I said, and we walked out to the street. From my place in the
Schomburg projects on 111th and Fifth to Casablanca the camiceria on 110th
between Lexington and Park is only four blocks. Regardless, Sapo led me to his
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