Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey” as Want to Read:
The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  32,150 ratings  ·  1,796 reviews
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This new, expanded edition features exclusive, unpublished photos taken by the 23-year-old Ernesto on his journey across a continent, and a tender preface by Aleida Guevara, offering an insightful perspective on the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.

Features of this edi
...more
Paperback, 175 pages
Published August 1st 2003 by Ocean Press (first published October 1st 1992)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Motorcycle Diaries, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Robert Cai The book is a collection of travel notes che. This book is a new version that includes previously unseen photos, published in English and Spanish. It …moreThe book is a collection of travel notes che. This book is a new version that includes previously unseen photos, published in English and Spanish. It is original in its version.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  32,150 ratings  ·  1,796 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey
Lit Bug
Apr 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-accounts
I have always been intrigued by this charismatic, utterly good-looking, athletic man who was instrumental to the toppling of the Cuban government, and who is now largely forgotten, remembered only as a mythological figure in legends about faraway lands. Suddenly this May, I chanced upon a biography of his in a book fair and grabbed it. At that time, I’d only heard of his name. I knew he was some kind of revolutionary. But nothing had prepared me for what was to come. The biography tormented me f ...more
Amalia Gkavea
 If you attempt ANY kind of political comments, the exit is THAT way. It's that simple. Don't provoke me, it won't end well.

  “This is not a story of heroic feats, or merely the narrative of a cynic; at least I do not mean it to be. It is a glimpse of two lives running parallel for a time, with similar hopes and convergent dreams.”

Two young men set off for the journey of a lifetime. Their chariot, a motorcycle. Their initial purpose, to know and understand the fascinating world of South Ame
...more
Alex
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
Che Guevara was a doctor, a revolutionary, extremely hot, and the subject of the most t-shirts worn by people who do not understand them ever.

che_on_che

Here's the young Che Guevara's chronicle of motorcycle crashes - nine in one day, great job! - on his busted ass motorcycle over busted ass roads, until the thing entirely breaks, and then he becomes a revolutionary.

che_map
you know what I like is maps

You could break Guevara's life into three phases. Phase 2 is where he's a crucial player in the Cuban revolution
...more
Riku Sayuj
Dec 06, 2011 rated it liked it

These Diary notes provide us with an ernest and fetching account of a young Che, a middle-class kid, not yet embarked on the violent and heroic road that stretched past these early trails. Not particularly educational or insightful, but yet strangely moving.

The carefree bikers turn into compassionate observers of humanity along the course of this journey, thus fulfilling the purpose of the journey, at least in retrospect. The passion and the compassion shines through the entire text and a youth
...more
Aishu Rehman
I rarely pick up non-fiction. And whenever I do, it's usually a hit-or-miss, I either like it or hate it. I have this idea that most of the non-fiction I have read, especially memoirs, are books that didn't sit well with me. However, I decided to give the genre another chance, and after reading this book, I am glad that I did.


So what is this book about?



This is the diary of the Argentine doctor and revolutionary, Ernesto Guevara, more known by his nickname of "Che," as he traveled around South Am
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Diarios de motocicleta = The motorcycle diaries: a journey around south America, 1995, Ernesto Che Guevara (1928 - 1967)
The Motorcycle Diaries (Spanish: Diarios de motocicleta) is a 2004 biopic about the journey and written memoir of the 23-year-old Ernesto Guevara, who would several years later become internationally known as the iconic Marxist guerrilla commander and revolutionary Che Guevara.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و هفتم ماه فوریه سال 2005 میلادی
عنوان: خاطرات موتور سیکلت: روزنگاشت سفر به آم
...more
Momina Masood
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
"This is not a story of incredible heroism, or merely the narrative of a cynic; at least I do not mean it to be. It is a glimpse of two lives that ran parallel for a time, with similar hopes and convergent dreams."


At times I mourn the inadequacy of the written word and how poor of an approximation it is of lived experiences. And yet reading transports you to places and into minds you could never have known otherwise, in any other way. As I closed this book with a sigh and put it aside, I fel
...more
Ash
I wanted to read this book so badly, mainly because I wanted to read about Che. He is such a popular icon and you see so many people wearing t-shirts with his image on them etc. I knew very little about him and that was the main reason for picking up this book. I would say I read more from Wikipedia, than from the book. I would open Wikipedia to read more about the cities mentioned in the book. I also read stuff about Fiedel Castro and few more people mentioned in the book. Apart from Che's pers ...more
Shovelmonkey1
Oct 19, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who want more than just kerouac in their gap year back pack
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: bin diving freeness
Shelves: read-in-2010
Sometimes my job sees me heading off to the worst kind of places (chemical works and sewage plants being two prime examples), however sometimes the gods just smile down and I find myself being sent somewhere really good. Really good, like where? Well, I'll tell you. I've been sent to work in a library for five days.

WHOO HOOOOOOOOO!

The local liberry (to quote Richard Derus) has been closed for a big refurbishment which partially involves whole scale demolition of parts of the building. Want to d
...more
Nikhil
Nov 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a book which everybody in their 20s need to read. At a time when everyone is trying to settle down into a career which would reap harvests eventually, where you dream of going on your dream trips eventually, where you would want to read that book or draw the painting or write the poem, eventually; we have a book about a 20 something who does it all. The story of Che before he became The Che, when he still is a rash youngster hot blooded and filled with hunger for adventure. In spite of w ...more
Kathleen
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
“I began dressing slowly, a task which wasn’t very difficult because the difference between our night wear and day wear consisted, generally, of shoes.”

Two buddies take a break from their medical studies to tour their home country of Argentina, then Chile, Peru, Columbia, and Venezuela. What gives this fun, youthful adventure a different twist (in addition to the fact their destination is a leper colony) is that one of the buddies is Che Guevera, the guy who would go on to fight with Castro in t
...more
Sleepless Dreamer
The Motorcycle Diaries is a series of diary entries written by Che Guevara back when he was a 23 year old medical student traveling through South America with a motorcycle. We follow his mishaps, encounters with strangers, discussions about poverty and poor health care, and general impressions of South America of the 50s. 

This feels like such an intimate look of a person. With our hindsight of what Che Guevara would become, every sentence feels fueled by context and predictions. We can already
...more
Matthew
Aug 30, 2007 rated it it was ok
This is a first-hand account of Ernesto "Che" Guevara's trip across South America with his good friend. Guevara is not a professional writer and it shows in his straight-forward delivery of the material. It's a diary and it reads like a diary. There is very little exposition here. It's just a blow-by-blow account of the events that took place.

What I found interesting was that Che was a passionate medical student who just wanted to help people, quite in contrast to his later guerrilla life with C
...more
Mahendra
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
His account begins: This is not a story of heroic feats, or merely the narrative of a cynic; at least I do not mean it to be. It is a glimpse of two lives running parallel for a time, with similar hopes and convergent dreams. In nine months of a man’s life he can think a lot of things, from the loftiest meditations on philosophy to the most desperate longing for a bowl of soup — in total accord with the state of his stomach. And if, at the same time, he’s somewhat of an adventurer, he might live ...more
Sash Chiesa
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
For life, courage, adventure, endurance and whatnot. Non-adherence to Marxist ideology should not prejudice me against him. The moving memoir gave me an access to the mind of pre-revolutionary Che Guevara which undergoes significant changes as the motorcycle moves ahead. With all the bumps, jerks and brief halts, this is a fascinating journey. A real journey which made me dream throughout and imagine myself as a part of this adventure. Lastly, I do not rate such kind of non-fiction on literary m ...more
Kevin
Sep 02, 2020 rated it liked it
23-year-old dude takes a break from his medical studies to explore Latin America while on his way to volunteer at a leper colony, showing glimmers of the revolutionary perspective eloquently spelled out by Hélder Câmara:

"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist.”

“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 j
...more
Amanda
Oct 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
My reading of "The Motorcycle Diaries" was corrupted by my multiple viewings of and strong affinity for the movie of the same name. I find it impossible to think of the book without comparing it to the movie.

I was also influenced by not being able to decipher from the introduction and preface whether this was a first-time publication of the diaries done before the movie, a first-time publication to correspond with the movie, or a cleaned-up version of previously-published materials to correspon
...more
Sikata
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ernesto or "Che" Guevara was a doctor. How many times have I thought of travelling and practicing medicine, reading books? Many times is the answer. How many times I've done it? Zero! ☹️

"There we understood that our vocation, our true vocation, was to move for eternity along the roads and seas of the world. Always curious, looking into everything that came before our eyes, sniffing out each corner but only ever faintly — not setting down roots in any land or staying long enough to see the subs
...more
Joseph
Adventure and travel literature is my go-to genre when I'm reading books, and a couple of years ago I came across a book called Chasing Che: A Motorcycle Journey in Search of the Guevara Legend. The author decides to revisit the famous route Che Guevara took across South America when he was 23/24. I thought about it and thought that perhaps I should read Guevara's book first, so I picked it up and put it on the shelf, waiting to get to it someday.

In 2004, a film version of The Motorcycle Diaries
...more
Ashley Marie
3.5-4 stars

Really interesting, and it actually reads like the diary it is. Took longer than I expected to get through all of it, but that's okay -- sometimes Che would meander off and wax philosophical here and there and then get back to what he'd started talking about, but that's how diaries go: personal thoughts. I was a bit perplexed by the idea that Che and Alberto made it through 2/3 of their journey with next to no money and basically existed on the hospitality of strangers. Perplexing mos
...more
Calzean
After reading The Bolivian Diary: Authorized Edition it was interesting to go back and reread this earlier more well-known work. In this one he is a much happier person soaking in the beauty of nature and the friendliness of the people. He dreams of returning after his road trip to work maybe in a leper hospital.
There's a lot about being hungry and who fed him what. In between eating, fixing the motorcycle and then hitching rides, there are glimpses of his social conscious, his hatred of America
...more
Paul
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
The diary of legendary revolutionist, Che Guevara, as he tours Latin America by motorcycle in his early twenties. This is a much more sensitive and positive Che, an eternal optimist, not the hard-hearted and resolute guerilla fighter of the Cuban revolution.

The description is beautiful and I was surprised how poignant and articulate the man was (shouldn’t have been a shock, given his education and oration skills). The trip through Chile, Peru, Columbia and Venezuela certainly opened Guevara’s e
...more
Julia
Aug 08, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those interested in Che and Latin Literature
Although it took me almost a month to read this relatively short book, I found it very interresting and written in a literary reflective style. It made me wish my journal sounded as coherent and intelligent. The Diary did a great job expressing the feelings and thoughts of a young man who changed from his journey through Latin America. It was really cool to get into the young Che's head and see how, why, and when he began to change into the revolutionary icon so many of us know him as today. Sin ...more
Gary
May 07, 2015 rated it liked it
So very glad I read this...some evening...when I am in the frame of mind, I'd like to see the film.....

Very interesting,but the man was not the best writer...IMHO......but his life is interesting,and I grew to have a better understanding of his motivations in Cuba....I think his heart was in the right place, not sure Communism is the best thing for Cuba...but hell, America seems to have its problems...is any form of government the best? Maybe a mixture...

Anyone have a suggestion of a biography t
...more
Madhulika Liddle
Aug 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Alberto Korda’s iconic photo of Che Guevara, moustached and capped, staring away into the distance, is arguably the most easily recognizable symbol of revolution around the world. I've seen that hundreds of times, on everything from T-shirts to coasters, satchels to posters to other stuff that has nothing even remotely to do with Che, Latin America, or revolution. That photo, incidentally, was also what prompted me to read Che’s The Motorcycle Diaries in the first place (no, I haven't seen the m ...more
Anushka
This book, written years before Che became a revolutionary icon, gives his story a human touch. (Auto) biographies usually serve the purpose of mythfying a person, whereas this book does the opposite for Che.

Now mostly remembered as a mythical persona, it's refreshing to see the 24-year old Che's perspective and a latent revolutionary spirit in him as he travels across Latin America, a continent bruised and exploited first by the colonisers, then the United States. He gradually undergoes a spir
...more
Kali Srikanth
Translated by his daughter, this book is a travel diary of Ernesto Che Guevara as an enthusiastic & excited youth, who planned an adventurous trip to all of Latin America, on a Motorcycle, along with a friend.

Book is enriched by rare collection of photographs that boasts of places they visited, people they met, food they ate & hiccups they experienced. One thing is clearly evident; they carried lot of energy with them. Sure they were low on fuel, finance & luck, but they got great passion for li
...more
Mel Vincent
Dec 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book told me how Ernesto Guevara transformed from a humble and passionate medical student into a articulate, cunning and brilliant revolutionary who not only changed the face of the entire Latin American continent but shaped the perspectives and the thoughts of millions of people from all the world over.

This book was eloquently penned and I thought that I was literally reading a novel. Che Guevara could have been a novelist or a writer and it would have produced a significant impact as well
...more
Maria
Jun 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

"After receiving my degree I began to travel through Latin America. Except for Haiti and the Dominican Republic, I have visited - in one way or another - all the countries of Latin America. In the way I traveled, first as a student and afterward as a doctor, I beganto come into close contact with poverty, with hunger, with disease, with the inability to cure a child because of the lack of resources... And I began to see there was something that, at that time, seemed to me almost as important as
...more
Lexie
Oct 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars
2.5 Stars.

The stuff we actually do in class about the book is often more interesting than the book itself. But there were some interesting insights that this book showed, and it was quite the journey they went on I will admit.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life
  • Traveling with Che Guevara: The Making of a Revolutionary
  • Remembering Che: My Life with Che Guevara
  • America's Daughter (Dancing Soul Trilogy, #2)
  • Che: A Memoir
  • The State and Revolution
  • More Than Love, A Husband's Tale
  • Losing Jon: A Teen's Tragic Death, a Police Cover-Up, a Community's Fight for Justice
  • Africa's Child (Dancing Soul Trilogy, #1)
  • The Communist Manifesto
  • The Myth of the Holy Cow
  • In Patagonia
  • Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism
  • Che Guevara
  • The Souls of Black Folk
  • Go Tell It on the Mountain
  • Sicilian Uncles
  • Long Way Round: Chasing Shadows Across the World
See similar books…
1,094 followers
Ernesto "Che" Guevara, commonly known as El Che or simply Che, was a Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, intellectual, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution, since his death Guevara's stylized visage has become an ubiquitous countercultural symbol and global icon within popular culture.

His belief in the necessity of world revolution to adva
...more

Related Articles

There is nothing like reading a history or biography book and being so completely transported to another time and place that you find...
66 likes · 25 comments
“I knew that when the great guiding spirit cleaves humanity into two antagonistic halves, I will be with the people.” 111 likes
“I now know, by an almost fatalistic conformity with the facts, that my destiny is to travel...” 67 likes
More quotes…