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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If anyone called you by your real name you were un mamao, a useless,
meaningless thing. It meant that you hadn't proved yourself, it was open season
for anybody who wanted to kick your ass. It was Sapo who taught me that it didn't
matter if ...
Fires, junkies dying, shootouts, holdups, babies falling out of windows were
things you took as part of life. If you were a graffiti artistand people knew you
were a good one, death meant an opportunity to make a few bucks. Someone
close to the ...
To them our self-respect was more important than passing some test, because
you can't pass a test if you already feel defeated. But the Hispanic teachers had
very little say in how things were run in that school. Most of them had just
“You know, Sapo," I said to him one day as we were preparing to fly kites on the
roofof a project, “if we could ride on top of these things, we could get out of here.
You know?" “Why would you wanna fucken leave this place?" he said with his ...
When I was accepted a lot of things seemed possible. I now left East Harlem
every day and without my quite knowing it, the world became new. Little by little
the neighborhood's petty street politics became less important. I started to hang
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