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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“When I'm in a fight," Sapo would spit, "whass close to my mouth is mine by right
and my teeth ain't no fucken pawnshop.” I loved Sapo. I loved Sapo because he
loved himself. And I wanted to be able to do that, to rely on myself for my own ...
... Margaret Knox to Julia de Burgos. To the white teachers we were all going to
endup delinquents. "I get paid whether you learn or not," they would tellus. So we
figured, hey, I ain't stealing food from your kid's mouth, why should I do my work?
... way they could, even though she was a church girl and all they'd ever get
would be a peck on the cheek. All the guys, I mean, except Sapo. “Shit, man, she
ain't gold. She ain't the fucken Virgin Mary." “Blanca's Pentecostal, bro. Not
She ain't no angel. Yo, my aunt was Pentecostal and she, bro, she has fucked
half the men in her congregation. Esa ha cosido mas huevosque una sartén.” “
Respect, Sapo. Blanca believes in that shit, so—" Sapo would cut me off. “So you
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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