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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Freddy would hang there all night. I want it to say, 'Freddy the best of 109th Street
, R.I.P.' And then I want the flag of Borinquen and a big conga with Freddy's face
on it, can you paint that?"You would say, "Yeah, I can paint that" and never ask ...
They lived on Pleasant Avenue off 116th Street, and ifyou were caught around
there at night you'd better have been a light-skinned Latino so you could pass
yourself off as Italian. So, since we were almost convinced that our race had no ...
Made you want to pick up a tambourine and join her one night in her church.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord so she would begin to jump up and down to all
that religious salsa. And maybe you'd be lucky enough to cop a cheap feel as the
Anyway, it was Sapo who introduced me. Sapo would knock at my door at crazy
hours of the night. “Yo, Chino, man, whass up? You know yor my pana, right?
And like, you know yor the only guy I can trust, right? I mean, we go way back.
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. How sweet.
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