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3.76  ·  Rating details ·  1,025 ratings  ·  98 reviews
"Alburquerque is a rich and tempestuous book, full of love and compassion, the complex and exciting skullduggery of politics, and the age-old quest for roots, identity, family. . . . There is a marvelous tapestry of interwoven myth and magic that guides Anaya's characters' sensibilities, and is equally important in defining their feel of place. Above all, in this novel is ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published February 1st 2006 by University of New Mexico Press (first published August 1st 1992)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,025 ratings  ·  98 reviews

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Jun 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, ebooks
3.5/5 I'm a little mixed on how I feel about this one. While I did enjoy all of the cultural aspects of the book from the rights of Native Americans to growing up mixed race, I didn't really care for the way the female characters were portrayed. Their only purpose seemed to be guiding the men along and supporting them. Even though there are several potentially strong female characters, they all seem to be diminished or demeaned by men in one way or another. I haven't really read a lot of Chicano ...more
Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this book for a class called Life and Literature of New Mexico. Rudolfo Anaya is a powerful Chicano writer and his book, Bless Me, Ultima is one of my favorites. I thought much of the character development and dialogue in this book ran on the shallow side but the themes of multiculturation and the intermingling of past and present are forefront in this book. This is a must read if you appreciate Southwest or Chicano lit.
Jun 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was my second book written by Rudolfo Anaya and it was just as gripping as the first. His word-weaving is beautiful. So talented. Anaya has the ability to make the milti-cultural setting of New Mexico come alive in such a way that I wish I could see it the way he does. New Mexico is alive in his words. And I've never felt that way before - being from there. This is the story of a young man who finds out he was adopted and goes on a journey to discover who his father is when his biological m ...more
Dec 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Anaya's writing astounds. the language sweeps across the page like a wave, and you as a reader are brought in and out like a tide. Leaving this book is hard, not because I felt connected to the characters or the plot, but because I never wanted to step out from his ocean.

Yet, I did. This is my second Anaya novel I have finished. Undeniably talented, this novel weaves personal growth, identity, and politics into a narrative about a boy discovering he is adopted. Anaya paints a beautiful picture
Mar 08, 2009 rated it liked it
So the reviews I read hailed this book as vastly superior to "Bless Me, Ultima" boy were they wrong. The book wasn't nearly as dense or complex. The characters were likable but fairly underdeveloped. The ending was too happy and the book was predictable overall. However, I did enjoy the book- books don't have to be classic literature to be good. I learned a bit about Alburquerque and it's history. I also felt connected to the truth of the book it was very believable and related to my knowledge o ...more
Jun 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Thank you to Open Road Integrated Media for reissuing this classic book about a young man’s journey to discover his true heritage and identity. Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo myths, folklore, and traditions are expertly woven into this captivating story. As someone who grew up in the Southwest, I appreciate novels that accurately portray this mix of cultures, and Anaya’s books are some of the best.
Jeremy Espinoza
I may be a bit biased in my review. I am a Native New Mexican, and no other writer captures the spirit of New Mexico quite like Rudolfo Anaya. The racial divisions in Abq, both geographically and economically and the love that can bridge those divisions are the main theme of this story. The story is awash with the rich and unique culture of New Mexico, and stirred-up deep memories in me, of my history.
Susan Ray
Jun 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am a big fan of Tony Hillerman and am pleased to rediscover Rudolfo Anaya. Don't let any less than favorable reviews keep you from reading this book. I found the descriptions colorful and the characters interesting. While some reviews thought the ending was predictable, I found the journey worth it. ...more
Hoenese Ruebesch
Pretty decent tale if you are into Chicano's culture added with a little bit of political twist and drama. ...more
Juliette Mccoy
Feb 13, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars ⭐️
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a novel of a young man who finds out he is adopted when his mother reveals this when she dies. He searches for his father, and through the search finds love, political entanglements, and friendships. The writer incorporates the culture of the area - Mexican, Indian, Spanish and mixture of many of them. I found it fast paced and I didn't want to put it down. At times the writing was quite symbolic. I would like to read more by this author. I enjoy learning about the cultures of the Weste ...more
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
What struck me about this book repeatedly is how weak the female characters are. They only seem to exist to serve men, in a man's world. They can be mothers, they can be sources of inspiration, they can be spiritual guides, they can be lovers- and yet their function in this book is about how they are of service to men. The way the author repeatedly talks about women bearing children for men, as if they were vessels of procreation and not full human beings, is disconcerting.

The story, itself, fo
Dec 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The protagonist, Abran, learns at age 21,that he was adopted by a hard working, moderately poor hispanic couple. He meets his biological mother, a talented Albuquerque artist, on her death bed, but who was his father? Thus begins Abran's search. It leads into the politics of Alburquerque, across its ethnic boundaries, and travels through the mixture of Native American, Hispanic, and white myths, religions, and traditions. The story makes for a thought provoking journey through the complex societ ...more
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the book and liked reading a story set in ABQ. Familiar locations and streets made it come alive moreso than it might otherwise. The plot centers on a young man's search for his birth father. In this searching, he winds up as a pawn in the politics of the city & begins to lose touch with what he had considered important. ...more
Nihar Gokhale
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
A powerful story of change, memory and redemption among the Hispanic people of New Mexico. From knowing nothing about them I now feel their history as if it's mine. The narrative seemed dry at first but it's a style that eventually grew on me. Looking forward to reading more Anaya. ...more
Aug 13, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Anaya writes captivating stories and I love the New Mexican history and folklore. The quality of writing in this book isn’t his best. Some of the dialogue is stilted and pedestrian. Nevertheless, a fun, quick read by a State and National treasure.
Ryan Mishap
Nov 03, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: novel
Good people driven story marred by cheesy "must knowmy father" business and a too-male point of view. ...more
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Mr. Anaya is in the top three of my favorite authors. His books about New Mexico tradition and superstition bring my childhood back to me.
Marion Hill
Sep 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, 2020-reads
One of the great joys of reading fiction is when you get a novel that makes want to read on after you finished it.  There are a lot of novels I have enjoyed reading, but once I close the book or eBook (these days) then I'm done with it.  Well, Alburquerque by Rudolfo Anaya is one of those few novels I wanted to continue reading on after completing the last page.

It is the story of Abran Gonzalez, a young boxer from Alburquerque who is brought to the hospital to see his biological mother, Cynthia
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Trust the people," Ben whispered. "New Mexicans love a fiesta, especially when there's free tacos and booze, but in the morning they are pragmatists." Pg. 275

"Ben Chavez nodded. Yes, once you deliver a soul into the world it re-enters the cycle of creation." Pg. 257

"Eufemia was a study of the old Mexican matriarch. She never left don Manuel's side and listened closely to everything that was said. Later, in the privacy of their home, she rendered her opnion. Then it was don Manuel who listened."
I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. The writing was very powerful in places, always strongest when focused on the land and New Mexico. The individual scenes were also beautifully crafted. The fight scene in the bar, Abrán at his mother’s bedside. I have read some criticisms that the female characters were one dimensional but for me all the characters felt underdeveloped although I would agree that female characters were reduced to bit parts and background supporters. It was a very ...more
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read this book again as an adult, having fond memories of this writer when I was young. I found it to generally be a good book, but it was a bit unsatisfying. It read a bit like a boy fantasy rather than legitimate coming of age story. It is about variety of things, but mainly a young man who discovers he is adopted and is searching for his father. But everything felt to be a bit clumsy of a simile, and overall this was not what I had remembered the writer being when I had read him while young ...more
Courtney Hatch
Jul 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really 3.5 stars.
If you are an Albuquerquean, this is a must-read. If you aren’t? I’m not sure it would hold the same magic. So much of what I loved about this book was the incredible portrayal of the setting. Anaya writes the Southwest in such a thoughtful way. Because I know ABQ well, I LOVED his perfect understanding of this city.
The plot and character development are a little weak. I have issues with his portrayal of female characters but appreciated his nuanced ideas about multiculturalis
John Benson
Mar 16, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a novel of a young boxer, Abran Gonzalez, who meets his birth mother the night of her death, but is not told who his birth father is. The book details his search for his birth father amidst a sleazy Albuquerque mayoral race and his romance with Lucinda. While the plot is interesting, I felt that many of the characters were just archetypes. I found that disappointing. Not as strong as BLESS ME, ULTIMA.
Apr 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: usa, fiction
This read was inspired by a recent trip to New Mexico. I appreciate the doors it opened to a variety of issues / themes that are, up till now, relatively uncharted territory for me. I enjoyed Anaya’s writing style and this short novel has all of the hallmarks of a quick, engrossing read. I agree with one of the reviews that comments on the undeveloped female characters but think this applies to almost all of the characters given the short length of this book.
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It had everything a book needs: a mystery- who is Abran’s father? A few dirty politics- who is going to be mayor? As well as a little love story- who is Abran going to choose? It was a fantastic read. I did have a challenge with the bit of Spanish in the book, because I don’t speak it read Spanish. However, there wasn’t that much and it usually came in context.
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book because I spent a very transitional 8 years in Albuquerque (ages16-24) and I enjoyed the nostalgia of feeling like I could have known some of the chatacters. The book is set in more modern time period than Bless Me, Ultima but it's just as poetic and mesmerizing to read. Dialogue, character development, and story are expressive and relatable. Chicano lit with love and loss. ...more
Kelsea Kilbride
Dec 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
A real love letter to Albuquerque! The characters feel authentic to the city and are a beautiful tapestry of stories that come together in that "big city, small town" feel unique to ABQ. I honestly wish it was longer so the characters could have been deeper and more fleshed out, instead of the sort of vignette feel, but I'd absolutely recommend to anyone who has a tie to Albuquerque. ...more
Dalvina Chin
May 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Everything happened so fast in this book. I was left with a ???? sort of feeling more than once. I feel like if this book were longer, it would have given more time for the characters to develop. They feel a little bit bland.
May 31, 2021 rated it did not like it
Almost didn't finish. Not that any character in this was well rounded or interesting, but this book clearly does not consider women as full human beings.
Read it because I went on a trip to New Mexico and I remember liking Bless Me Ultima when I read it in 2006.
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Rudolfo Anaya lives and breathes the landscape of the Southwest. It is a powerful force, full of magic and myth, integral to his writings. Anaya, however, is a native Hispanic fascinated by cultural crossings unique to the Southwest, a combination of oldSpain and New Spain, of Mexico with Mesoamerica and the anglicizing forces of the twentieth century. Rudolfo Anaya is widely acclaimed as the foun ...more

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