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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He'd been this way since we met back in the fourth grade when he threw a book
at Lisa Rivera's face because she had started to make fun of his looks by calling
out, “ribbit, ribbit." But in truth, Sapo did look like a toad. He was strong, squatty, ...
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, ...
It was Junior who introduced the phrase “Kool-Aid smile" when he cut a guy's
face so bad, from ear to ear, that he was left looking like the chubby, smiling
cartoon logo from Kool-Aid packets. Soon this term caught on and it became a
Her face could envelop you, almost convertyou. 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
Although only a few have seen his face." It's important for me to remember that
night, because once I heard that name it was never about Blanca or Sapo. As
important as they were to me, it was always about Bodega. We were all
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