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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It made us fight and throw books at one another, sell loose joints on the stairways
, talk back to teachers, and leave classrooms whenever we wanted to. We hated
the white teachers because we knew they hated their jobs. The only white ...
Blanca thought the same, and when we started going out we would talk about
this all the time. “Julio, don't you hate it when people from the neighborhood who
somehow manage to leave change their names? Instead of Juan, they want to be
I wish you'd talk to me about it." Her tone changed, a bit more angry. “But ifyou're
up to something, something stupid with Sapothat's going to get you in some
trouble, I want to hear about it. I want to hear it from you." Blanca faced me. Her
So when we get there he is going to open the door and that nigga, bro, that nigga
talks in songs. Like, he fucken grew up on radio. Ese tipo está craquiado.” When
we arrived Sapo parked the car right next to a fire hydrant. Outside the walkup ...
Word had it he started to talk in song years ago, when AM radio broke his heart
by going all talk. I figured Bodega kept him as someone to watch his back or at
least to watch the door. “Oye, como va. Buenopagozar," Nene said to Sapo, who
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