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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It was always easy to get into fights if you hated yourself. So what if you fought a
guy bigger than you who would kick your ass? So what if you got stabbed with a
007 in the back and never walked again? So what if someone broke your nose in
We hated Italians. At least that part of West Side Story was correct. Some Italians
from the old days of the fifties and sixties were still around. They lived on
Pleasant Avenue off 116th Street, and ifyou were caught around there at night
But the Hispanic teachers had very little say in how things were run in that school.
Most of them had just graduated from a city university and couldn't rock the boat.
Any boat. So we hated ourselves and fought every day. And finally, after a ...
My Mother hated Sapo. “I don't want to see you hanging around with that
demonio," she'd say to me. But I never listened, because Sapo meant adventure.
Sapo meant we could steal beer and drink it together. He meant flying kites on
the roof ...
“Julio, don't you hate it when people from the neighborhood who somehow
manage to leave change their names? Instead of Juan, they want to be called
John.” “I see your point. But what's in a name, anyway? A Rivera from Spanish
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