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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The meanest and ugliest kid on the block loved himself and not only that, he was
my pana, my friend. This gave me hope, and getting a name seemed possible.
So I decided that I no longer wanted to be called by the name my parents had ...
... of having someone there to watch your back. It was important to have a pana, a
broqui. But my mother didn't get it. And like my mother, that's what Blanca could
never understand. Sapo was important to me. 1 o E R N E S T oo U No N E Z.
You know?" “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 ...
Regardless of the distance created, I did know that he was still my pana, my
mainmellow-man. I knew that if I went to Sapo and said some guys wanted to
jump me, he'd round up a crew for me, a clique from 112th and Lex or from
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.
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