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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“You back down once," Sapo had told me,"andyou'll be backin' down f the res' of
your life. It's a Timex world, everyone takes a lickin' but you got to keep on tickin'.
Know what I'm sayin', papi?" Sapo was one of those guys who went around ...
Indio, if you had straightblack hair, tan skin, and looked like a Taino; Batuka, if
you liked Santana music and played the congas real good; Biscocho, if you were
fat but told good jokes; and so on. Then there were names that were added to
I'm willing to put up with a lot, but I want to be told. If you keep me in the dark it's
like insulting me. And you know Enrique is trouble." “Blanca, I'm here with you,
right? Have I ever been in any trouble? I'm here, right?" “But what if one day ...
It was a good one. But I just played it off as if she was wrong and told her to go to
sleep. Without saying another word Blanca handed the remote back and slowly
walked into the bedroom. I guess she'd had her say and was leaving it up to me.
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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