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 ...
“Shit, man, she ain't gold. She ain't the fucken Virgin Mary." “Blanca's Pentecostal,
bro. Not Catholic.” “Whatevah the fuck she is. All the guys really want is to fuck
her, so why do they keep her in some fucken glass case?" “Yo, respect that shit, ...
She lights all these fucken candles so the Virgin will give her the numbers. When
that bitch saint tells my moms the Lotto numbers, then I'll believe. Yo, I'll believe.
Yo, I'll believe so bad I'll buy Santa Clara a fucken wax museum.” My Mother ...
“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 mean it.
“Yo, Chino, whassup?" "Whassup, man." “So like, can you do me a solid? Like,
you my pana, right? You know, like the day Mario DePuma jumped yo' ass at
school? Who was there to save you from that fucken Italian horse? I mean, I know
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