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Paperback The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey Book

ISBN: 1876175702

ISBN13: 9781876175702

The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

A New York Times bestsellerWith a new introduction by The Motorcyle Diaries filmmaker Walter Salles, and featuring 24 pages of photos taken by Che. The Motorcycle Diaries is Che Guevara's diary of his... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

diarios de motocicleta

I got the book in good condition, it took a little longer than I expected to come though. I didn't realize that it was from a library and would have spine stickers. oh well

Child of the environment

The Motorcycle Diaries exposes another side of Che Guevara. Che's writing shows an aspect of him something other then the gun-toting communist that he was. If one can separate the literature from the man, one would certainly say pure genius. How his words blend raw life, and thought from Goethe and on into drama that one just cannot put down; simply captivating. At the end of the book in an appendix is a speech Che made to some Cuban medical students titled "a child of my environment". Reading it, I realized that what Che meant by revolution, was not so much of changing governments, but rather of changing the thought of man. Jesus with a machine gun? Hmmm, too bad he did not drop the gun. Too bad Che was all too mortal, and in the reality Che was nothing more then what the environment of his time made him. I still relish the legend, and his words.

A Must Read for those Traveling to South America

Over time, Che Guevara has emerged as a larger than life figure. It's difficult not to spot someone wearing a Che t-shirt in downtown Lima or Mexico City. The film, "The Motorcycle Diaries," attempted to tap into the cult of Che Guevara, and also create a road movie in the tradition of such Hollywood films as "Easy Rider," "Thelma and Louise," and "Rain Man." While I enjoyed the cinematic version of "Motorcycle Diaries," the book is even better because it's more honest. Reading Che's notes about his Latin American journey allows one to see first-hand how his revolutionary consciousness begins to develop over time from his chance encounters with numerous dispossessed peoples. I decided to read this book after a recent trip to Peru and was astounded by how accurate Guevara's observations are even today. The bourgeois still sip coffee in their gated communities in Lima while the poor suffer horribly in the countryside, either mining or trying the eek out a living from the harsh land. This book, though, also contains the humor and adventure one would expect from a classic travelogue. That he and his companion had very little money on the trip and had to rely on their wits and the kindness of strangers to survive makes this book that much better. Unlike many modern travel writers, who stay in five star hotels, and write glowing descriptions of their surroundings for "Travel and Leisure," Che slept with pigs, traveled with cows, and suffered constantly from the elements and frequent asthma attacks. In short, there's often not much physical separation between him and the poor people he observes, and that makes for a better yarn. Regardless of what you think of Che and the revolution he ultimately helped to lead, this book should be read by anyone interested in traveling to South America.

A Sweeping Portrait of South American Life in the 1950s

The hooks are obvious: charismatic revolutionary Che Guevara on a continent spanning motorcycle trip of South America. However, this book is by Ernesto Guevera, a 23 year old middle-class medical student looking for a break from his studies, and the motorcycle doesn't last through two countries. It is a rare glimpse into the young mind of a major cultural revolutionary. The book is also a unique look into the everyday life of South America in the middle of the 20th century. The point of view is of sons of privilege wandering the countryside and living off the land. Sometimes they are encountering the workers and experiencing their simple hospitality and honest struggles. At other times, they rely on their social class and education to open doors to more polite society. What I found compelling about this book is that in such a brief work the author was able to present a sweeping portrait of South American life. it was, for me, a wonderfully human introduction to the people and lands of this vast continent.

Not a motorcycle book

I think the title of this book was a calculated effort to sell this book to people like me--people who care more about motorcycles than revolutionaries. If you pick it up determined to read about a guy who rode a motorcycle all over South America, you'll be disappointed. If you're seeking an adventure touring story, you won't be. I finished the book in a few hours and walked away glad I didn't give up when a youthful Che's motorcycle broke for good 30 pages into the book. The rest detail the travels of Che and a friend, total slackers posing as doctors and leprosy experts (which they were, in loose senses of the words), as they scam their way across the continent by hitching rides, sucking up to cops and brown-nosing anyone with food, booze and a warm place to sleep. The reader gets the feeling that this journey was perhaps the defining experience in Che's pre-revolutionary life, and that his worldview really came into focus based on the things--beauty, oppression, generosity, treachery--that he saw on his bohemian-style trip. This compelling read changed my impression of the man we call Che--much for the better.
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