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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Her tone changed, a bit more angry. “But ifyou're up to something, something
stupid with Sapothat's going to get you in some trouble, I want to hear about it. I
want to hear it from you." Blanca faced me. Her hazel eyes stared fiercely into
“Yo, I hear that. All right, you know that taped-up paper bag I left wi'choolass night
?” "Yeah, but if you picking that up you gonna have to wait, bro. Because I have to
go to class and meet Blanca." “Oh, I'm touched, Jane and Joe Night School.
Then someone knocked at our door. I went to answer it. It was Sapo. “Yo, Chino,
Bodega wants ta speak with ya." As always Sapo was Sapo and he said this not
caring that Blanca could hear him. She strode to the door and stared at me, ...
Blanca called her sister only when she wanted to hear gossip or to complain
about me. Deborah was the complete opposite of Blanca. She wasn't as pretty,
wasn't Pentecostal, she cursed, drank Budweiser from the can, and got into fights.
As if it were there in front of him. “I hear you," I said. I always say “I hear you"
when I don't understand things or have nothing to add. “Nazario, he's amazin'.
Chino, he knows the law inside out, like a reversible coat. And thass just the
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