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 made us fight and throw books at one another, sell loose joints on the stairways
, talk back to teachers, and leave classrooms whenever we wanted to. We hated
the white teachers because we knew they hated their jobs. The only white ...
“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.
“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
And when that short-lived light went supernova, it would leave a blueprint of
achievement and desire for anyone in the neighborhood searching for new
possibilities. It was always about Bodega and nobody else but Bodega and the
He can't leave because his money is only good here. You don't see him living on
Eighty-sixth Street with the blanquitos, do you?” “Did you figure all this out by
yourself, Blanca?" I acted more interested in looking for the remote, so I could ...
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