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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Sapo and I played in those cars with no doors, tires, windows, or steering wheels,
where mice had made their nests inside the slashed seats. Sapoloved ...
Someone close to the deceased, usually a woman, would knockon your door. “
Mira, my ...
Sapokept walking and she ran toward the door and blocked his path. She dared
him to push her. She said to him, “I'll get your mother. I bet she hits harder." And
Sapo had no choice but to go back to his seat. From that day on, no one messed
It was always about Bodega and nobody else but Bodega and the only reason I
began with Sapo was because to get to Bodega, you first had to go through Sapo
. Anyway, it was Sapo who introduced me. Sapo would knock at my door at crazy
So, without telling Blanca, I did as Sapo had asked. THE NExt night Sapo
knocked at my door and handed me fifty dollars, just for taking something to
where I was already headed. “Compliments of Willie Bodega, my man. For your
"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