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.
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 ...
These teachers never took shit from us (especially Sapo), and they were
notafraid to curse in class: “Mira, sitdown or I'll kick your ass down.” At times they
spoke to us harshly, as if they were our parents. This somehow made us fear and
And maybe you'd be lucky enough to cop a cheap feel as the Holy Ghost took
over her body. All the guys felt this need to be nice to Blanca, to protect her in any
way they could, even though she was a church girl and all they'd ever get would ...
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 mean it. I gave my kite to the wind, which took it with a hiss, ...
As important as they were to me, it was always about Bodega. We were all
insignificant, dwarfed by what his dream meant to Spanish Harlem. And in
obtaining it, he took shortcuts and broke some laws, leaving crumbs along the
way in hopes ...
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