Jessica's Reviews > The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey

The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto Che Guevara
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's review
Feb 17, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: latin-america, non-fiction, 2009
Read in May, 2009

Really really worth it, for anyone who is interested in any aspect of Latin American culture or history, even if they would never entertain the idea of wearing a Che shirt.
I read it because I liked the movie (Gabriel Garcia Bernal, mmmmmm) and because he is an important fella in LatAm revolutionary history and a precursor to Hugo Chavez's and others' Pan-Americanism. I was surprised and pleased that many of the fun things in the movie (like hoarding away bottles of wine by a river to steal later) came straight out of his adventures related in the book.
But more than this, it was actually chilling to get to watch over Guevara's shoulder as he, at the same age I am now, deepened his understanding of the peoples and poverty of Latin America, and started forming the ideas that would lead him to stand at Castro's side in the Cuban Revolution. Awesome. He's just a goofy 23 year old rolling along and bumming rides, and all of a sudden is speaking out about the plight of the homeless laboring mestizos in the mines of central South America. Awesome!
If you read it, try to find the version with his father's prologue and epilogue (taken from his book 'Mi hijo, el Che'), which provide a nice "I thought my son was crazy, but I realized that he was pursuing his destiny" framework to the diary itself.
I am so psyched that little Ernesto took the time to put all these thoughts down in permanent form before he went and died in revolutionary struggles. (only leaving it at 4 stars for the drawn-out bits of non-fiction where I got bored.)

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Reading Progress

04/20/2009 page 118
67.43% "Huanbo section"

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