1. Quinonez, Ernesto. Bodega Dreams. New York: Vintage Books, 2000.
2. "Bodega Dreams" by Ernesto Quinonez follows the life of Chino in Spanish Harlem. We get a taste of his younger years in the beginning of the book as well as his marriage to his girlfriend Blanca. Chino's best friend Sapo introduces him to Willie Bodega. What Bodega does is buy up old run down buildings, renovates them, and sells the appartments cheap to people who would serve him if he would ever need it. Bodega needs Chino to get in contact with Blanca's aunt Vera. Vera and Bodega's lawyer, Nazario, ended turning on, and killing Bodega.
3. I read this book about a month ago for a presentation and I really enjoyed it. Bodega had a dream, and that dream was to make something of his life. He did, but he trusted the wrong people. This book really comes down to trust. Trust between Chino and his wife, trust between Chino and Bodega, trust between Chino and Nazario, and even between Bodega and Nazario. Blanca left Chino "for a while" towards the end because she couldn't trust him in telling her anything straight up. Chino trusted Bodega to a certain point, but didn't trust Nazario at all. Bodega on the other hand trusted Nazario completely. That trust came down to Vera. Bodega said to Chino that Vera loved him, not her husband. Turns out she really loved Nazario. Her and Nazario killed Bodega after he trusted them so much. The element of trust rings true today as, out in the real world, you don't know who you can really trust.
4. The aspect of a dream can be compared to "Great Expectations." Willie Bodega had a dream to make something of himself to impress a woman. Pip had a dream to become a gentleman to, you guessed it, impress a woman. Bodega's dreams came true, well, until they were crushed when he was murdered by the same woman he wanted to impress. Pip's came true to a certain point. He became a gentleman, but he didn't impress Estella, nor did he become a better person.
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Even closer would be a comparison to The Great Gatsby.
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