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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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 never walked again? So what if
someone broke your nose in a fight? You were ugly anyway. Your life meant shit
Someone close to the deceased, usually a woman, would knockon your door. “
Mira, my cousin Freddy just passed away. Canyou do him a R.I.P.”You would
bemoan Freddy's death whether you knew him or not, say you were sorry and
It was guys like these who on any given day were looking to beat someone up, so
it was up to me to either become like them or get the shitkicked out of me. Junior
High School 99 (aka Jailhouse 99), on 100th Street and First Avenue, became ...
... 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
... name because of who you were, what you were known for, or what was said
about you. Like a guy I knew named Junior, of 109th and Madison. Junior not
only carried a knife, a jiga, in his backpocket, he had used it to cut someone's
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