Bless Me, Ultima

Narrated by: Robert Ramirez
Length: 11 hrs and 12 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4 out of 5 stars (979 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

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, 1974 Rodolfo Anaya (P)2004 Recorded Books LLC

Critic Reviews

"If you haven’t encountered Rudolfo Anaya’s classic 1972 novel in another form, there could hardly be a better introduction than this fluid performance by Robert Ramirez.... Kudos to all involved in this moving tale of growth, belief, and the nature and sources of goodness. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, 2005 Audie Award Finalist." (AudioFile magazine)  

"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

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    556
  • 4 Stars
    217
  • 3 Stars
    124
  • 2 Stars
    50
  • 1 Stars
    32

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    485
  • 4 Stars
    198
  • 3 Stars
    83
  • 2 Stars
    32
  • 1 Stars
    27

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    479
  • 4 Stars
    178
  • 3 Stars
    102
  • 2 Stars
    36
  • 1 Stars
    34

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Modern classic - but prepare to think

Rudolfo Anaya's "Bless Me, Ultima" can't seem to decide if it's a childhood coming of age story, almost Shakespearian tragedy, or good vs evil morality tale.

It is a good portrayal of what it's like to grow up Chicano in the 20th Century, with parental ambitions, pressures and conflict in the local village shaping young thought. It will make you think about what is good, what is evil, and how everyone else's perceptions shape your own.

If you're looking for easy entertainment, go elsewhere. If you want to think a bit, this one could be for you.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Southwestern classic

My favorite all time book. Recommended reading for anyone living in the SW who wants to learn more about the cultural traditions of the area. Great read for those interested in SW culture, spirituality, religion, naturalists, dream symbology, family...

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    out of 5 stars

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.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Simple story that reminds us of our Spiritual root

Performance by reader was a little comic. The story in itself is beautiful. Reminds me of the stories that old Indian Chiefs would share with the young ones. A way to teach spiritual roots, legends, a sense of respect to all, to earth, to the living, and spirits.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One Word: Excellent

This was a great book. there are many literary elements that can be explored as well as a deep culture that is explored by the author.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Maybe this one should be read and not heard

I found the readers lack of fluidity and monotone voice took away from the story experience; I was so fixated on how broken up the thoughts and sentences were read by the Narrator that I didn’t enjoy the story at all.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

beautiful insight into another culture.

the wisdom in this story is universal. loved this. was spellbound. perfect ending. recommend wholeheartedly.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good Narrator

Loved the narrator. He did an excelent job with all the Spanish. Bless Me Ultima has always been one of my favorite books. Upon my second reading I was able to see some more of the colonial elements emebeded in the story.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book! But annoying reader.

It's a really good book, great themes, so engaging, but the guy reading it was annoying

1 person found this helpful