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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But in truth, Sapo did look like a toad. He was strong, squatty, with a huge mouth
framed by fatlips, freaking bembas that could almost swallow you. His eyes
bulged in their sockets and when he laughed there was no denying the
She only wanted us to listen, and when we did well on her math tests she was all
smiles. The Hispanic teachers, on the other hand, saw themselves in our eyes
and made us work hard. Most of them were young, the sons and daughters of the
She had lighttan skin, hazel eyes, and a beautiful mane of semibrown, semiblond
hair. Nancy exuded a purity rarely found among the church girls. She was as
genuine as a statue of a saint you want to light candles to, steal flowers for, or
I would collect our spoils of war, which we would sell to some kid and split the
money. My father understood where we were living. He knew, and when I would
come home with bruises or a black eye he never lost his cool. I liked my father,
... straight ahead, avoiding any possibility of eye contact. When she did this, I
knew a little speech was coming. “Julio, I know how you feel about your studies. I
B C D E G A D R. E. A. M. 5 15.
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