The Motorcycle Diaries – A Che Guevera Memoir

‘A revolutionary Bestseller’ – Guardian

Frankly speaking I am not a travel freak. After reading 80 pages of ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ by Ernesto Guevera, I can’t wait to travel the world on my bike. This is the impact I had while going through the travel diaries of Cuban Revolutionary Che Guevera.

A rare pic of Che Guevera in his travelogue book – The Motorcycle Diaries

‘The Motorcycle diaries’ is not a fast-paced, high-octane adventure trip where you will witness car chases, fight sequences, damsels in distress type stuff you see in a Hollywood movie. If you are expecting such stuff, better switch to some action packed novel. ‘The Motorcycle diaries’ is a travel journal that later became a sensation in world of literature. During his trip to Latin America, Guevera recorded his events in a diary that became an inspiration for every youngster to follow his heart.

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

The iconic pic of Che Guevera

The photographs of Che Guevera on casual T-shirts are a craze. Youngsters love to wear the T-shirts with the image of Guevera printed on it. It is a sad irony that youngsters love his pic on their casual attires, but hardly know about him. It was this curiosity that took me to research on the man behind the iconic pic. Ernesto Che Guevera’s personal diary records his observations, feelings, joy, sympathy he felt while traveling through the bike. The sufferings, misery, political corruption, tyranny all changed Guevera during his trip and what came back from the trip was a revolutionary in making. Despite facing so much road side skids, falls on their bike, Ernesto and Alberto witness a life changing journey during their trip. Even hunger, thirst and fatigue can’t break their resolve to roam Latin America.

‘A Latin American James Dean or Jack Kerouac’ – Washington Post

The motorcycle trip that begins from Buenos Aires takes them to Chile, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Miami and finally to Argentina. Accompanying Guevera on his trip was his friend Alberto Grenado, a medical practitioner. Even Ernesto Guevera was a medical student specializing in ‘Leprology’ (curing Leprosy) before he embarked on the path of revolution. Guevera’s transition from a medical student to a revolutionary is really surprising. Hadn’t Guevera gone on a road trip, he wouldn’t have become ‘Che’ the Cuban patriot.

The 2004 movie adaptation – The Spanish 2004 movie based on the book captured the spirit of Che Guevera’s lyrical observations during his motorcycle trip to Latin America. Directed by Walter Salles, the movie featured Gael Garcia Bernal as the young Ernesto Guevera. The movie is equally enjoyable as the book.

Scene from the 2004 movie – The Motorcycle Diaries

There is not a single reader in the world who hasn’t read Guevera’s ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’. It is not just a travelogue of two youngsters; it is a trip of self-discovery that changed their perception towards life.

You don’t need to be a travel lover to enjoy this book. This book is a trip to the one moment that gives one the joy of a lifetime. Go, take this trip!!

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2 Replies to “The Motorcycle Diaries – A Che Guevera Memoir”

  1. A lovely and lingering review of one of the definitive tales of coming-of-age and self-discovery of one of the most iconic rebels of the century…well done, Prashant

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