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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Sapo and I played in those cars with no doors, tires, windows, or steering wheels,
where mice had made their nests inside the slashed seats. Sapoloved killing the
little mice in different ways. I liked to take a bigpiece of glass and tear open ...
Now I know about wanting some sort of recognition, of wanting to have some sort
of status, but when I think about yelling things like Cristo salva! I get the heebie-
jeebies. You don't know what it's like inside a Pentecostal church full of Latinos.
Sapo led me inside the old tenement where the storefront butcher shop
Casablanca had been been serving up meat to the neighborhood for years. We
walked up three flights. Inside the tenement the walls were torn up, the stairs
creaked, the ...
I just shrugged, “You cool, Chino, because any businessman can come and drink
my wine. Come and dig my earth.” And he letus inside. Sapo just shook his head
and muttered curses under his breath every time Nene used a piece of a song.
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