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Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
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Bless Me, Ultima (original 1972; edition 1999)

by Rudolfo Anaya

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2,035873,287 (3.65)52
Member:marfec2012
Title:Bless Me, Ultima
Authors:Rudolfo Anaya
Info:Warner Books (1999), Edition: 0025-Anniversary, Paperback, 290 pages
Collections:Read Fiction
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya (1972)

Recently added byhannah0772, mccbookdrive, ArleenWilliams, Stevejm51, quantum326, 826NYC, csweder, private library, mcfdyn
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English (85)  Dutch (1)  All languages (86)
Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
This was a pretty good book. It touched on a lot of really interesting issues. I was, the entire time, wanting to keep reading.

The reasons I listed it as a 3, rather than 4, might be superficial. In theory this book is portraying the thoughts and actions of a 6 (then older) year old boy. Yet the thoughts and actions and words that this 6 year old uses...is just too much for me.

I like the use of a young boy's experience relates some of the cruelness of religion (you know me, anything that makes religion seem bad or unfair, I like). But I felt a little let down that we never knew his choice. Every other sentence in the book (I felt) mentioned the inner struggle for him to choose his mom's wishes, or his dads....and nothing. ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
This was a pretty good book. It touched on a lot of really interesting issues. I was, the entire time, wanting to keep reading.

The reasons I listed it as a 3, rather than 4, might be superficial. In theory this book is portraying the thoughts and actions of a 6 (then older) year old boy. Yet the thoughts and actions and words that this 6 year old uses...is just too much for me.

I like the use of a young boy's experience relates some of the cruelness of religion (you know me, anything that makes religion seem bad or unfair, I like). But I felt a little let down that we never knew his choice. Every other sentence in the book (I felt) mentioned the inner struggle for him to choose his mom's wishes, or his dads....and nothing. ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
This is a story about a young boy, Antonio, growing up in rural New Mexico in the years just after the Second World War. The story deals with Antonio struggling with the problem of good and evil, and life and death, and with the religious versus moral approaches to the same. It was the author's first book, and in a few places the writing seems a little awkward or forced. However, the theme is dealt with in several original inter-related stories, so that overall, it is a well-written book.
When Antonio is six years old, Ultima, a local “curandera” (healer and midwife), who helped deliver all the Marez children, comes to live with his family in her old age. The story covers Antonio's and Ultima's friendship, Antonio's introduction to school and community, and his experiences with death. Four characters in the story, Tenorio Trementino and his three unnamed daughters, were essential to the plot, yet I felt that the motivation for their evil behavior was not clearly explained. Still, the lessons that Antonio learns from Ultima, his father, and even his schoolmate Florence make it an excellent story. ( )
  dougb56586 | Jun 1, 2014 |
An encounter with a good book is occasionally as mystical as the story within it. As I prepared to move to New Mexico, several people told me I had to read [b:Bless Me, Ultima|14362|Bless Me, Ultima|Rudolfo Anaya|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1166605641s/14362.jpg|1828689]. I had never heard of it.

Then, during the Great Yard Sale, it happened. I spread my books out over several tables and crates, saying goodbye to hundreds of comrades who had been with me for so long. And there, on the top of a box that I could have sworn were all cookbooks I was letting go of, I saw [a:Rudolfo Anaya|8925|Rudolfo Anaya|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1227823059p2/8925.jpg]'s novel.

What can I say? What can I add to the river of ink that has poured out this story's and this writer's praise? What insight can I add to the banks of book reports written by students forced to read this by wise teachers? What revelation can I share that won't simply be lost in the flood?

None but this: this book that insisted on being read, lived up to and beyond the amazing nature of my encounter with it. ( )
  IsotropicJoseph | Apr 28, 2014 |
A boy's coming of age with a spiritual bent. Touching, suspenseful, moments of laughter and joy. This is the second time I've read it. I listened to it this time and really enjoyed it. Great reader! ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rudolfo Anayaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ramirez, RobertNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
Con Honor Para Mis Padres
First words
Ultima came to stay with us the summer I was almost seven.
Quotations
And that is what Ultima tried to teach me, that the tragic consequences of life can be overcome by the magical strength that resides in the human heart.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Bless Me, Ultima is about a young boy named Antonio who lives in Guadalupe with his family and an old curandera, Ultima. Antonio was born into a Catholic family. As Antonio grows every day, he learns the ways of good and evil, confussion with religion, the differnce between the Marez side of the family and the Lunas side, and the ways of the river and the earth. Antonio strugles with many friends dieing because of an evil man named Tenorio. Tenorio owns three daughters who are witches. The man seeks revenge for the death of two of his daughters torwards Ultima and Antonio. He calls Ultima the brueja, or witch. This leads to Antonio's confussion with God. "Why hasn't God prevented my friends from dieing? Why did Tenorio det away with killing them? Why are you letting evil get away with out being punished? I have so many questions to ask You, but none are getting answers. Is God still alive, did he even exist?" Antonio wonders.
Cico, one of Antonios friends took him to see the golden carp pass in the river. Cico does not believe in God, but the golden carp as his god. He thinks our God is a jealous god because he does not want us to believe in any other God. Antonio wondered if the golden carp was a god of beauty.
His fathers side, Marez, is all about adventure, the wind, and the llano. The mothers side, Lunas is all about religion, the earth and staying put in one place. Antonio's mom wants him to becone a farmer or a priest, a man of learning. She brings this on Antonio alot. There always seems to be competition between the mom and dad because they are totally two different people. Antonio has a hard time deciding who he wants to be, a Marez or Luna. He finally realizes that he can be both though and learns his destiny that way. As he gets to now Ultima better he learns more of how his future will be.
Antonio goes on a journey with Ultima to help cure his uncle from the curse that one of Tenorio's daughter layed upon him. Antonio had a connection with his uncle and felt everything he felt. He learned the power that Ultima has from the curing of her herbs she uses for medicine. At the end of the story he figures out the connection with Ultima and her owl. The owl is her soul/spirit.
I would recommend this book it makes you think alot and is in depth with many things. The book has many events through each chapter that makes one want to keep reading to find out what happens next!

FROM BACK COVER:

Rudolfo A. Anaya is the winner of the $1,000 Second Annual PREMIO QUINTO SOL national Chicano literary award. Mr. Anaya was born in New Mexico. He attended public schools in Santa Rosa, New Mexico, and was graduated from the University of New Mexico . .

writing his novel, Mr. Anaya has said: "I have been writing for the past ten years. I have written volumes of poems, stories, novels, burned some, saved a few. Out of a suitcase full I have, it seemed that ULTIMA distilled into something worthwhile. Writing is not easy . It is a lonely, and oftentimes unappreciated endeavor. But I had to keep creating, I had to keep trying to organize all the beautiful, chaotic things into some pattern. Writing is never quite learned. I have to rewrite and rewrite each manuscript before I'm satisfied. By the way, my writing is completely self-taught. I have never taken a writing course. It's easy . You just have to sit down and write, write, write, and write . . . hasta que te lleva la madre, y las almorranas."

The illustrations for BLESS ME, ULTIMA are by Dennis Martinez, also a native New Mexican, now residing in Los Angeles, California. He teaches art in the Los Angeles Public Schools.

Cover design : Octavia I. Romano-V.
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Six-year-old Antonio embarks upon a spiritual journey under the watchful guidance of Ultima, a healing woman, that leads him to question his faith and beliefs in family, religion, and other aspects of his Chicano culture.

(summary from another edition)

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