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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A Rivera from Spanish Harlem by any other name would still be from Spanish
Harlem." Blanca laughed and called me stupid. Then she said, “I have an aunt
named Veronica. When she married this rich guy from Miami, she changed her
The honeymoon had been over for months. “What is your problem? You know,
Julio, I married you because I thought you had brains. I thought you had more
brains than most of the f.s.fucks in this neighborhood." When Blanca cursed, I
When I asked her to marry me, her pastor, Miguel Vasquez, had warned her that
if she marriedme—a worldlyperson, a mundane—she'd lose the privilege of
playing the tambourine in front of the congregation. That meantalotto Blanca. At
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 mess that up
. the N one day when I came home from work and was getting my books to go ...
“Let me tell you, bro, I always knew you were gonna marry that girl. And that's all
right cuz she's fine, but you got to admit she's a bitch sometimes." His hand
landed on my shoulder and he said, “Bodega is nice, man. You'll like the guy." “
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