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The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey

The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey [Kindle Edition]

Ernesto Che Guevara , Aleida Guevara
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

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Product Description


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.

Product Description

The book of the popular movie STARRING GAEL GARCIA BERNAL


The young Che Guevara’s lively and highly entertaining travel diary, now a popular movie and a New York Times bestseller. This new, expanded edition features exclusive, unpublished photos taken by the 23-year-old Ernesto on his journey across a continent, and a tender preface by Aleida Guevara, offering an insightful perspective on the man and the icon.

"A journey, a number of journeys. Ernesto Guevara in search of adventure, Ernesto Guevara in search of America, Ernesto Guevara in search of Che. On this journey of journeys, solitude found solidarity, ‘I’ turned into ‘we’.”--Eduardo Galeano

"When I read these notes for the first time, I was quite young myself and I immediately identified with this man who narrated his adventures in such a spontaneous manner... To tell you the truth, the more I read, the more I was in love with the boy my father had been."--Aleida Guevara

“Our film is about a young man, Che, falling in love with a continent and finding his place in it.” --Walter Salles, director of “The Motorcycle Diaries.”

“As his journey progresses, Guevara’s voice seems to deepen, to darken, colored by what he witnesses in his travels. He is still poetic, but now he comments on what he sees, though still poetically, with a new awareness of the social and political ramifications of what’s going on around him.”--January Magazine

Also available in Spanish: DIARIOS DE MOTOCICLETA (978-1-920888-11-4)

Features of this edition include:

--A preface by Che Guevara’s daughter Aleida--Introduction by Cintio Vintier, well-known Latin American poet--Photos & maps from the original journey--Che’s personal reflections on his formative years: “A child of my environment.”

Published in association with the Che Guevara Studies Center, Havana

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1773 KB
  • Print Length: 181 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0007172338
  • Publisher: Ocean Press (1 Aug 2003)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006T3MBPY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #51,801 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "El Che", South America and adventure... 6 Sep 2006
I thought the 2004 film "Diarios de Motocicleta" was beautiful, with enthralling performances from Gael Garcia Bernal and sumptuous South American scenery. However the film has been accused of glorifying "El Che" and neglecting to feature the darker elements to his soul, rendering Guevara a squeaky-clean paragon of charity.

The book, on the other hand (on which the film was based) seems to convey many facets of Guevara's character, from a genuine care for the welfare of the peasants he encounters, to a cheeky "laddishness" including a "bad case of the runs" which the young Guevara directs onto his host's sun dried peaches! Finally we witness the hardening of Guevara's character into a rather bloodthirsty revolutionary intent on seeking justice for the downtrodden of South America.

Although the book is not short of adventure, to read this book merely as a travel journal would diminish some of its most poignant features. Through the impact of each experience we can chart the shaping of Ernesto Guevara into the figure he became. The book also offers a mystical perspective on some of South America's secrets including its silent mountains and lakes and the vibrancy of the people, unfortunately often combined with desperate poverty.

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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The man he once was 17 Aug 2002
In the brief preamble to his 'The Motorcycle Diaries', Che Guevara sets us straight by telling us to read the work as a record of a journey undertaken by the man he "once was". This statement is, in fact, a direct reference to the author's method of working, which was to make extensive notes whilst travelling and then to transcribe and polish the narrative up to a year later. Forewarned is forearmed, however, and 'The Motorcycle Diaries' is possibly not a book for aficionados of the iconoclastic Che, the one that has adorned countless posters and T-shirts since his untimely death trying to spark off a new Vietnam in Bolivia in 1967.
In 'The Motorcycle Diaries' we can still find Che the adventurer and , moreover, there is clear evidence of a heart sensitive to the plight of the poor guasos (Chilean peasants) and other indigenous South American Indians encountered along the way. There are also signs that Che was beginning to awaken politically. (See, for example, his references to the material and cultural differences between the Chilean copper mine foremen - "blond and efficient, insolent administrators. ..the Yankee masters" - and the poor native miners . ) However, it is a far lighter , younger soul that we get in this work, one not yet fully locked-into revolutionary idealism.
'The Motorcycle Diaries' is actually a blow by blow account of the journey Che and Alberto Granado undertook across five Latin America countries between 1951-52. The journey occurred during an extended sabbatical from Che's medical studies at the University of Buenos Aires. (He did, in fact, manage to complete the six year course to become a doctor of medicine at this institution in just three years).
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling story 3 Nov 2005
In this book of Che Guevara's diaries one discovers what compelled this upper-middle class student of medicine to become possibly the most iconic of guerillas and champion of the repressed. He leaves Buenos Aires a naive student with his best friend to tour South America on a battered old motorcycle. The poverty, deprivation and exploitation that they saw along their travels changed Guevara forever and ultimately led to his death in a Bolivian jungle years later. A fascinating account for those wishing to scratch beneath the surface of the cheesy Che T-Shirts and posters.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real 'Che' 11 Aug 2009
A very important book for people who want to know about the real 'Che', not the one who is idolised on T-shirts.

Even if he wasn't famous, this would still be enjoyable... He was a complex character, who cared deeply about the poor of the world, but in the book he didn't mind committing petty thievery, and wasn't embarrasse about some attempts he made with married women. He was very youthful, full of life, very vivacious. It's a short book and a great one.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I found this book entertaining and interesting yet I could not help wondering how much of it WAS written by the 22 year old Ernesto and how much of it was written by the older "Che" in Cuba. I felt that too much was added in hindsight for the book to truly work. It felt like I was being presented with an "On The Road" copy mixed with why a young medical student became a great revolutionary.... and don't get me wrong, I admire Che enormously. I feel the book should not be taken as a great work of literature or philosophy. The only importance this book holds is that it was written by a great man whose memory will live on a lot longer than the memory of "The Motorcycle Diaries". Not everything a great person does is great, sometimes the things they do can be, in this case, just ok.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but dry 28 May 2009
I found this quite interesting to read from a content point of view and how the things he saw and experienced shaped him, but in terms of writing style it was quite dry and hard going.

I read the book before I saw the film, and this is one of the few occasions where I enjoyed the film more. As someone who has travelled around South America, I thought it captured the essence of the continent much better.

Definately woth reading if you're interested in Che though.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing
The title is slightly misleading. Te bike dies about a quarter of the way into the journey and we never hear about it again. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Colin
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and important insight into the historical figure
Ernesto Guevara is articulate in explaining the history and injustices of what he see on this trip, whilst including funny tidbits of his and Alberto Granado's trip.
Published 2 months ago by Jennifer
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
Wonderful book that serves to inspire and stir the wanderlust within. Do not hesitate to go ahead and give this a read
Published 8 months ago by Ben
4.0 out of 5 stars brilliant book
I have looked for this book in many book shops and was so happy when my daughter found it for me.
Published 8 months ago by Jade
5.0 out of 5 stars The transformation of Ernesto
From the man himself.

To read this book is to travel with Che, and it is to witness the boy that is the aspiring Med student become ablaze with indignation. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Conor Sugden
3.0 out of 5 stars Classic book
I had high hopes for this book, and to be honest I prefer his book on guerrila warfare to this. It's a very informative travel book.
Published 13 months ago by Hugo Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Tour del Che
Wonderful little book that gives some insight into the making of latinamerican hero in the struggle to liberate a people, a continent and the souls of mankind from opression and... Read more
Published 15 months ago by aquagama
5.0 out of 5 stars The awakening of understanding
I enjoyed the journey of both these fine brave explorers - the diary opened up the Americas to my imagination and a desire to make the same epic trek. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Ian
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Interesting read. Well-translated, well-formated for kindle. Quite short, however - I can't find a kindle compilation of all Che Guevara's various diaries.
Published 17 months ago by JKR
4.0 out of 5 stars Branding Che
I think that this is a really good book, but also a fascinating piece of posthumous branding. Published for the first time in 1993, it makes Che a much more approachable figure... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Mr. D. E. Calladine
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Popular Highlights

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It is there, in the final moments, for people whose farthest horizon has always been tomorrow, that one comprehends the profound tragedy circumscribing the life of the proletariat the world over. &quote;
Highlighted by 11 Kindle users
but its time that those who govern spent less time publicizing their own virtues and more money, much more money, funding socially useful works. &quote;
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the division of [Latin] America into unstable and illusory nations is completely fictional. We constitute a single mestizo race, which from Mexico to the Magellan Straits bears notable ethnographical similarities. And so, in an attempt to rid myself of the weight of small-minded provincialism, I propose a toast to Peru and to a United Latin America. &quote;
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