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Bless Me, Ultima | [Rudolfo Anaya]

Bless Me, Ultima

As Tony follows his own path toward adulthood, he relies on the wisdom of Ultima, a magical healer, to forge his unique identity. With hundreds of thousands of copies in print, Bless Me, Ultima has been called the most widely read Mexican-American novel in the English language. Richly evocative, it has earned its place among the classics of modern literature, even drawing favorable comparisons to Herman Melville's legendary Moby Dick.
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Publisher's Summary

With hundreds of thousands of copies in print, Bless Me, Ultima has been called the most widely read Mexican-American novel in the English language. Richly evocative, it has earned its place among the classics of modern literature, even drawing favorable comparisons to Herman Melville's legendary Moby Dick.

©1973, 1994 Rodolfo Anaya; (P)2004 Recorded Books LLC

What the Critics Say

"Besides winning the Premio Quinto Sol national Chicano literary award, this novel of a young boy in New Mexico in the 1940s has sold more than 300,000 copies in paperback since its 1973 debut....LJ's reviewer asserted that 'the novel has warmth and feeling'." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (137 )
5 star
 (56)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.7 (87 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.0 (87 )
5 star
 (41)
4 star
 (21)
3 star
 (11)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (6)
Performance
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  •  
    Clodhopper Tucson, AZ, United States 10-10-12
    Clodhopper Tucson, AZ, United States 10-10-12

    I'm a geologist and I use Audible books to while away long hours on the road... My pickup truck is my reading room!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Mysticism, Catholicism, Naturalism"

    This is one of the books that establishes the "mystic" tradition in Latino culture - along with Castaneda's Don Juan books. I've always thought that this aspect of Mexican/Mexican American culture is overemphasized. However, this book wraps the mysticism around an entertaining plot that builds slowly to a dramatic denoument. The ending binds up all of the book's spiritual themes into an epiphany of sorts. Certainly an essential part of any anthology onthe American Southwest.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mjbooknerd 06-22-14
    mjbooknerd 06-22-14 Member Since 2013
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    3
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    "Bless my soul, I made it to the end of the book!"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    More character & story development. Less Spanish phrases, I don't remember that much from high school Spanish class!


    Would you ever listen to anything by Rudolfo Anaya again?

    No


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    No, it was painfully slow. I increased the speed to 1.5 times the norm and it was still slow at times.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Bless Me, Ultima?

    The scenes with the father talking about moving to California, it just didn't flow with the rest of the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marsha UPLAND, CA, United States 04-17-13
    Marsha UPLAND, CA, United States 04-17-13 Member Since 2010
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    "a very good read/listen"

    I first saw the movie "Bless Me, Ultima" and was quite taken by the story. I knew that as good as the movie was, the book would be better. I was not disappointed. The book took the story much deeper into the lives of the characters and reveled so much more than the movie. Read or listen to it. You'll certainly enjoy this delightful story of a young man learning about himself, family, life, religion and spirituality.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Padma devi California 02-24-12
    Padma devi California 02-24-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Bless me for finishing this book."

    Perhaps it is because I am not of Latin or Hispanic descent, or perhaps I am the wrong age, but I had a very hard time with many aspects of this book. The tirades about religion went on too long while there was not enough character development of Ultima. She was much more interesting than Antonio but we really do not find out much about her. This surprised me since her name is in the title.
    I did not enjoy the tales of teenage boys spitting and pissing and having epileptic fits and being cruel and unthinking toward each other. Perhaps I am too old to appreciate a "coming of age" book. I also thought the use of vernacular perpetuates the use of bad grammar and poor English. I do not think this sets a good example for young people.
    The narrator did well and I found it to be easy listening; it was the story that I did not like.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annemarie Santa Monica, CA, United States 09-27-11
    Annemarie Santa Monica, CA, United States 09-27-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Wonderful Reading of a Great Novel"

    Although I read the book years ago, I wanted to review the novel. At the same time, I’ve gotten back into calligraphy and so wanted an audio book. There are sadly few works of Latino/a literature on Audible.com but Bless Me, Ultima is one of them. Listening to the wonderful reading by Robert Ramirez brought me a different and deeper appreciation of Rudolfo Anaya’s novel. I would highly recommend discovering or rediscovering this text through its audio form.

    Published in 1972, the Bildungsroman novel Bless Me, Ultima is a Chicano literature classic. The basic story is narrated by Antonio Márez, who is only six years old at the novel’s beginning. He is a child torn between ways — between the Lunas –his mother’s Catholic farmer family and his father’s wild vaquero background; between Spanish, the language of home and English, the language of education; between the Catholic religion and the traditional earth religions of the curandera and his native ancestors. Though Ultima, the curandera who comes to live with the family at the story’s beginning, Tony becomes entangled in a series of battles between good and evil, personified in the struggle between Ultima and three evil witches and their father. He is also witness to three deaths which change him and cause him to question all he has faith in (except for Ultima) and realize he must define his own faith.

    The story of Bless Me, Ultima is well known, but it takes on added dimension through Ramirez’s reading. I normally tend to read quickly, but listening to to audiobook forced me to slow down and appreciate the quiet beauty of text and its evocative depiction of the New Mexican landscape. I listened to the book as though the adult Tony were telling me this story of his childhood. There is reverence in Ramirez’s voice as reads Anaya’s words about the wisdom and magic of Ultima. It was like being in a dream and I was sorry when the novel ended and I had to awaken.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Truitt Halifax, VA, United States 08-22-10
    Truitt Halifax, VA, United States 08-22-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyed it"

    Never read this author and not the type of book I usually read but I did enjoy the story.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth P. Giddings 04-17-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Great book. Brings great understanding to Culture"
    Where does Bless Me, Ultima rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's probably on the top two.


    What other book might you compare Bless Me, Ultima to and why?

    Anything, having to do with culture and understanding of human differences.


    What about Robert Ramirez’s performance did you like?

    He was Okay. A bit slow and drug out at times.


    If you could take any character from Bless Me, Ultima out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    That's easy! La Ultima of course. She is the heart and soul of the Mexican culture.


    Any additional comments?

    I love my audible books!!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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