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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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
Blanca stepped forward and snatched the remote from my hand. “But unlike you, I
'm almost finished at Hunter. Maybe if you would stop hanging around with Sapo,
you could finish up before the baby arrives. We're going to need real money, ...
When she knew I was going to hang with Sapo, she would throw her hands up in
disgust and ask the Lord for forgiveness. To forgive me, that is, never her. Always
me. This also meant I couldn't touch her. I was impure and her body, round as ...
Sapo slapped the crisp bill in my hand. And that's when I heard the name Willie
Bodega for the first time. “Willie wha'?" I thought it was a funny name. “Willie
Bodega? You nevah heard of him? He's like the bigTaino in this neighborhood,
And that's all right cuz she's fine, but you got to admit she's a bitch sometimes."
His hand landed on my shoulder and he said, “Bodega is nice, man. You'll like
the guy." “What does he want with me?” I asked again. “He didn't say. He just
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