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The Motorcycle Diaries (Movie Tie-in Edition) : Notes on a Latin American… (original 1993; edition 2004)

by Ernesto Guevara

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2,466302,488 (3.65)62
Member:iara
Title:The Motorcycle Diaries (Movie Tie-in Edition) : Notes on a Latin American Journey
Authors:Ernesto Guevara
Info:Ocean Press (2004), Edition: Mti, Paperback, 175 pages
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The motorcycle diaries : a journey around South America by Che Guevara (1993)

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English (27)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All (30)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
Honestly I expected to see a little more revolutionary spirit, and fewer complaints about modes of transport and his self-inflicted poverty. ( )
  reganrule | Oct 20, 2016 |
a good story of being young, travelling rough ( )
  mahallett | May 19, 2016 |
THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES: NOTES ON A LATIN AMERICAN JOURNEY, by Ernesto "Che" Guevara.

Guevara's journal of his "off to see the world" trip with his older pal, Alberto Granado, was fairly interesting, if not compelling, reading. I have only the usual vague knowledge of Guevara, Castro's important compadre in overthrowing the Batista regime in Cuba's 1959 revolution. Several years ago I read Chuck Pfarrer's excellent novel, KILLING CHE (2008), a fictional look at Che's final months in the jungles of Bolivia, where his life ended under shrouded circumstances, after his capture by government troops in 1967.

This book is vastly different. It's in Guevara's own words, the words of a very young man (he turned 24 in these pages, in 1952) "off to see the world" with a pal, Alberto Granado. His friend was already a doctor who specialized in leprosy, but Che was taking a break from his last years of med school to make this trip. He had not yet become the "revolutionary." He was just a young guy off on an adventure. And they had plenty, enduring multiple wipeouts and mechanical problems on the rough roads of South America. Granado's old Norton cycle, reduced to a badly broken machine held together with odd bits of wire, tires and inner tubes with multiple improvised patches, was finally abandoned before the trip was half over. The pair's status as "motorized bums" then entered a new stage as "bums without wheels." They were also plagued by various illnesses, mosquitoes and road injuries, and Guevara himself suffered numerous attacks of asthma, a chronic condition that stayed with him throughout his life.

They made numerous stops in cities, towns and villages as their trip took them from Argentina through Chile, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil and beyond. They visited a leper colony along the way, as well as tiny villages with primitive native inhabitants where clothing was sometimes optional, a feature our young narrator appreciated. In one visit to a tribe of "Yaguas, the Indians of the red straw," he commented, "The women had abandoned traditional costume for ordinary clothes, so you couldn't admire their jugs." And later, during their stay in Caracas, he makes this comment about blacks and white Portuguese workers -

"Discrimination and poverty unite them in the daily fight for survival, but their different ways of approaching life separate them completely: the black is indolent and a dreamer; spending his meager wage on frivolity or drink; the European has a tradition of work and saving ..."

Not exactly politically correct, but these are the observations of a still-young man, not the legendary revolutionary that Guevara would later become. THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES is a pretty detailed look at the early opinions of the young Guevara who is often moved by the social inequities and abject poverty he sees on his journey. The book also contains a detailed introduction by Cintio Vitier placing the narrative in historical context, as well as timelines of both the journey and Guevara's life. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about Latin America, its history and revolutions. Oh, and P.S. - I learned that "Che" is simply an Argentinian interjection that can mean simply "hey," or is a conversational 'filler' word. It was a nickname given him by his Cuban compatriots because of the way he used the word constantly in his conversation, an oddity to the Cubans. In our own language, it might manifest itself as the ubiquitous "like" or maybe, "dude." And no, it's not in this book. I had to look it up. ( )
  TimBazzett | Dec 5, 2015 |
A rambling but highly entertaining diary of Guevara and his pal Alberto Granados and their rambles around and across South America, via a motorcycle at first and then by whatever would get them to the next stop.
  amyem58 | Jan 12, 2015 |
Che Guevara became an iconic figure because of his work as a revolutionary in Cuba, but long before that he wrote this memoir about his travels as a young man. When he was 23-years-old, he and his friend Alberto left Argentina in the 1950s to travel through South America.

He chronicles his thoughts and feelings about the things they see and the people they met along the way. It’s impossible not to spend much of the book wondering which events helped plant the seeds that made him into the man he became. For example, his work in the leper colonies showed him a completely different side of humanity.

This was one of the few examples of a book that I thought was better as a film. There’s something about the stilted nature of Guevara’s narration that didn’t work well for me. The 2004 film allows that to drop off and shows the audience the beauty and pain of what he sees instead of trying to describe it. ( )
  bookworm12 | Oct 13, 2014 |
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This is not a story of incredible heroism, or merely the narrative of a cynic; at least I do not mean it to be.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Based on a true life story, The Motorcycle Diaries is an inspiring and thrilling adventure that traces the youthful origins of a revolutionary spirit. The film follows two daring friends, Ernesto "Che" Guevara (Gael García Bernal, Y Tu Mama Tambien) and Alberto Granado (Rodrigo de la Serna), who hop on the back of a beat-up motorcycle for a breathtaking and exciting road trip across Latin America. From executive producer Robert Redford and acclaimed director Walter Salles (Central Station) comes a life-changing journey that critics are hailing as "Magnificent!" (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone). 2 copies, runtime: 2:07:00.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0007172338, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:14 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

These travel diaries capture the essence and exuberance of the young legend, Che Guevara. In January 1952, Che set out from Buenos Aires to explore South America on an ancient Norton motorcycle. He encounters an extraordinary range of people, from native Indians to copper miners, lepers and tourists, experiencing hardships and adventures that informed much of his later life. This expanded, new edition from Ocean Press, published with exclusive access to the Che Guevara Archives held in Havana, includes a preface by Che's daughter, Aleida Guevara. It also features previously unpublished photos (taken by Che on his travels), as well as new, unpublished parts of the diaries, poems and letters. In January 2004, the film by the same name, The Motorcycle Diaries, will have its world premiere at the Sundance International Film Festival, in Park City, Utah. Directed by Walter Salles (Central Station, Behind the Sun), produced by Robert Redford and with a screenplay by Jos Rivera, the film stars the up-and-coming Mexican actor Gael Garc a Bernal (Amores Perros, Y Tu Mam Tambi n, The Crimes of Father Amaro).… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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