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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I wanted a name like Sapo had and so I looked for fights. 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 ...
... a city university and couldn't rock the boat. Any boat. So we hated ourselves
and fought every day. And finally, after a while, when I lost the fear of hitting
someone else (not the fear of get. ting hit but of hitting someone else), I looked for
Indio, if you had straightblack hair, tan skin, and looked like a Taino; Batuka, if
you liked Santana music and played the congas real good; Biscocho, if you were
fat but told good jokes; and so on. Then there were names that were added to
About children who looked like me and slept like her. With Blanca next to me, El
Barrio seemedless dirty, lifeless hard, God less unjust. Those were the good days
, when Blanca and I worked hard to invent new people. It was important to have ...
You knew their beauty was real because they didn't wear any makeup and still
looked good. And I had married one of the the prettiest. Like with Sapo while I
was growing up, I needed Blanca with me so I could feel valuable. No, I didn't
want to ...
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