It is an uneven novel. The biggest problem is that a lot of the dialogue, upon which so much of the neighborhood character and culture rests, comes off as kind of stilted, and as such does not convey the relationships that carry so much of the action. As such, when the protagonist Chino agrees to help him, I am left wondering why. Since we, as readers, remain unconvinced, it is hard to accept that Chino is convinced.
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Shelves: realistic-fiction Hello, everyone. So I was assigned to read Bodega Dreams for my Writing the Urban Experience class, which is this cool class where we read and write about urban things. So … I was assigned to read Bodega Dreams for my Writing the Urban Experience class, which is this cool class where we read and write about … urban things.
But anyway! But even so, it was a fairly enjoyable read. To put it simply, this book is The Great Gatsby set in Spanish Harlem, and dealing with drugs rather than bootlegging. Bodega is pretty much a clone of Gatsby. So yeah, sounds rather familiar, eh? Throughout the book, I had trouble putting Gatsby out of my mind and not comparing him and Bodega. I mean, it was just impossible. So, it felt a bit like cheating. But, oh well. The lack of originality aside, it was a pretty good read.
It was well-written and dealt with some interesting characters. I have to say my favorite part was the dialogue. It was excellently done.
In fact, the whole time I was reading this, I was thinking it might make a better movie than a book. Because really, the conversations between the characters were definitely the most interesting part of the whole thing. Anything the community needs, Willie Bodega provides; but at what cost? Bodega intends to convinceor even hypnotizehis community into believing that his way is best.
But he needs Chino to help him. Bodega intends to convince—or even hypnotize—his community into believing that his way is best. Bodega Dreams is a wonderful novel that will force the reader to explore the line between pride and humility.
Ernesto Quinonez : Bodega Dreams : Spanglish Stories
Bodega Dreams (2000)