The Motorcycle Diaries

The Motorcycle Diaries

Book rating: 03 Paperback

By (author) Che Guevara, Translated by Alexandra Keeble

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  • Publisher: HarperPerennial
  • Format: Paperback | 176 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 198mm x 14mm | 181g
  • Publication date: 19 July 2004
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0007172338
  • ISBN 13: 9780007172337
  • Edition statement: Media tie-in ed
  • Illustrations note: Illustrations, ports
  • Sales rank: 6,002

Product description

In January 1952, two young men from Buenos Aires set out to explore South America on a 500cc Norton. One of them was the twenty-three-year-old Ernesto 'Che' Guevara. Written eight years before the Cuban Revolution, these are the diaries of Che Guevara, full of disasters and discoveries, high drama and laddish improvisations. Touring through Argentina, Chile, Peru and Venezuela, his greatest concerns are where the next drink is coming from, where the next bed is to be found and who might be around to share it. Within a decade Che Guevara would be a household name. His trip might have been the adventure of a lifetime - had his lifetime not turned into a much greater adventure. More recently made into an Oscar-winning film starring Gael Garcia Bernal, 'The Motorcycle Diaries' is an extraordinary account of a hero in the making.

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Author information

Ernesto 'Che' Guevara was born in Argentina in 1928. After fighting alongside Fidel Castro in the three-year guerrilla war in Cuba, he became Minister for Industry following the victory of the Cuban Revolution. In 1966 he established a guerrilla base in Bolivia. He was captured and killed in 1967.

Customer reviews

By Lindsey Griffith 06 Sep 2010 3

What surprises me most about this book is how much more real and good and personal Che Guevara seems to me after reading it. I have seen the movie and expected the Diaries to be much more political, but there is actually only a single passage in the Diaries about a unified Latin America. He is moved by the conditions of the people he encounters and specifically notes aspects of healthcare that desperately need improvement, in addition to economic factors like how the mining industry impacts communities, but his notes seem to be much more personal than political. It is his personal voice that really impressed me and makes me want to know more about Che Guevara as a leader.

Review quote

'It's true; Marxists just wanna have fun...A revolutionary bestseller.' Guardian '"Easy Rider" meets "Das Kapital".' The Times 'What distinguishes these diaries is that they reveal a human side to El Che which historians have successfully managed to suppress...A joy to read from start to finish.' Financial Times 'For every comic escapade of the carefree roustabout there is an equally eye-opening moment in the development of the future revolutionary leader. By the end of the journey, a politicized Guevara has emerged to predict his own legendary future.' Time 'The vision of the noble loner, whether freedom-fighter or hope to world-weary revolutionaries and non-revolutionaries alike.' Telegraph 'An extraordinary first-person account...It redoubles his image and lends a touch of humanity with enough rough edges to invite controversy.' Los Angeles Times 'Political incorrectness galore...this book should do much to humanise the image of a man who found his apotheosis as a late Sixties cultural icon. It is also, incidentally, a remarkably good travel book about South America.' Scotsman 'A Latin American James Dean or Jack Kerouac.' Washington Post 'The great thing about this book is that Che Guevara is never a bore. It satisfies both as an enjoyable travelogue and as a chronicle of the development of one of this century's most romantic figures.' Literary Review 'Politically-correct revolutionary hero? Perhaps a few years later, but in this account Che Guevara comes over as one of the lads.' Bike News