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Back on the Road (Otra Vez): A Journey Through Latin America

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  632 ratings  ·  36 reviews
The fascinating travel diaries and photographs that make up Back on the Road are a vital complement to The Motorcycle Diaries, described by the London Times as "Das Kapital meets Easy Rider." These journals chronicle Che Guevara's second trip through Latin America as his youthful idealism was developing into the political fervor that made him a revolutionary icon. More tha ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 17th 2002 by Grove Press (first published March 1st 2000)
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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Yasmin
May 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well for those of us whose Spanish is not very good or have any at all it would have been nice if the two poems of his had been also translated into English. Be that as it may this is an extraordinary book by a remarkable man. However, it is rather curious that in his diary (really a journal) he doesn't always put much importance to certain people and his relationship with them, I'm primarily thinking Hilda Gadea. It's quite a mystery as to why he married her at all. Unless by an odd obligation ...more
Karen
Feb 06, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel-the-world
This book wasn't as engaging as Guevara's first journey across Latin America, but this second trip is a glimpse into his interest in politics. There were times in this where I felt that a lot was missing, that I was walking into the middle of a conversation.

Latin American Diaries takes place between 1953 and 1956. Guevara is present during a military take over in Guatemala, meets Fidel Castro in Mexico City in 1955, and spends a lot of time reading up on Marx and Engel.

By the end of the book,
...more
Thomas Boeckner
May 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Was a good read. Felt much more like a diary (which it is) than the first one... I like his description of ruins and his knowledge of precolumbian indigenous mesoamerican culture... obviously slightly problematic here and there but overall Che cared about equity for the poor and they way he lived and travelled gave him the right to do so
Helmisade
I actually enjoyed this more than Motorcycle Diaries. In this book we see young Ernesto making the decision that he really wants to dedicate his life to the revolution, even if it means death.

He isn't just looking for adventure anymore, he's looking for meaning and purpose: the chance to make a difference in his beloved South America. I think there's a lot here that anyone can identify with, regardless of how you feel about communism.

I wish the book had included a short history of Latin America
...more
Pooja Agarwal
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book is like taking the Journey with Che..His transformation from a young, carefree wanderer to the revolutionary is so evident through his writings. How his surroundings influenced him, the person that he was when he left home ( at times you don't like him) but his honesty is so evident. His thirst for knowledge is inspiring, I may not completely agree with his ideology, but just can't deny the life that he lived. He lived for what he believed in and justified it by his actions.
Daniel Headifen
Quite hard to follow the structure in parts with it not having an ordinary diary format. And it seems to skip some of the big life moments (marriage, daughters birth) or give them only small mention. But then it seems that's not what he wrote it for...so tha challenged you to think of it in a different way. There are parts that are really attention grabbing though - the appendix on the Incas.
Rick Browne
Jun 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Doesn't flow as nicely as The Motorcycle Diaries, more of a collection of letters and journal entries simply put in chronologically without attempt to pull it together. However, lots of gems if you stick with it. Requires more knowledge of the time and important people to really get the messages. I did lots of looking things up.
Jason P
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really cool little book which documents Che's travels through Latin America. This book is especially interesting as you see him maturing into the Marxist he would later be known through experience the coup against Arbenz in Guatemala and eventually meeting Fidel Castro and deciding to join him for the Cuban Revolution.
Gina Wilson
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this in English and I believe quite a bit of the sentiment is lost in translation. Also, there are no indicators separating the journal entries (dates, spaces...) so they all run together which was kind of annoying.
Lennon
Mar 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lennon's Book Collection Review: Not the hardcore Che you'll expect but his travels before he became a revolutionary. The young Che immersing himself to the Latin American culture. These travels will eventually strengthen his revolutionary insights.
#backontheroad
Crowley
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I may be in the minority, but personally this book was superior in my opinion to the motorcycle diaries. An interesting insight into 20th century Latin America and the development of Che’s political beliefs.
James Barker
This was quite an infuriating collection- it does not have the clarity of 'The Motorcycle Diaries,' principally because this was not edited by Guevara the way his earlier diaries were (although I notice his wife edited out sexually explicit passages). Entries are lumped together without differentiation, dates are not used to give sense of the time involved- and, all in all, it is principally of interest because of who Che was to become. None the less, if you are fascinated by Guevara and his ide ...more
Baratang
Oct 11, 2012 rated it liked it
The book is a chronological narrative on Che's travels through Latin America, and written in simple English.I believe readers remained glued to the book because of the "Deity" Che became through this exploration. If it was an ordinary man's story, it wouldn't make much impact.

I bought the book in Cuba while on a work related visit, and was amazed about his post humus presence in the that country. He is integral to their proud revolutionary struggles.

It was interesting how he classified his acqu
...more
Arjun
Dec 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Back on the Road is a personal text of Ernesto Che Guevara’s long journey through the American continent in his simmering surge to ‘explore America’. The descriptions rich with the spirit of youth gives the reader a clear image of a young Argentine doctor’s gradual development in to a full revolutionary icon.
The text contains numerous letters to his mother soaked with love and affection describing to her even the tiny details of their journey. from the way Che Guevara writes it the reader is ab
...more
Gemini
Sep 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was not digging this book at all. I thought I would but I actually didn't which was pretty surprising to me. I mean it's Che, I am supposed to be into it, right? Well I think I am now more confused as to what exactly he did & how it all came about. I mean he was a doctor who helped people in a variety of ways in different countries but he was also buds w/ Fidel & exiled from his homeland.
I don't understand how this book was done either. There were stories/letters from him but then the timelin
...more
Scott
Jan 09, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2008
I really wanted Motorcycle Diaries but the local library branch only carried its "sequel". As a narrative, it reads more or less like a series of notes that Guevara left so he could remember who he met and where and when he did it. As such, it's a very skeletal read. It would be completely unreadable if it weren't for letters that were woven into the narrative that contain more of his thoughts and observations. Since I wanted to read this narrative (or the first travel narrative) primarily for t ...more
Marc
Jan 30, 2009 rated it it was ok
Not as interesting as the "motorcycle diaries". Che is clearly more radical at this point and has chosen his path to be a communist.
The book is a little dissappointing, since we do not learn much new about Che. Like stated above, he is more dedicated to comunism and is prepared to take a stand, but we get little hint when and where this development accelerated. I'm further pretty poitive that this is not complete, since the biography written by Anderson quotes parts of this diary, that are not
...more
Mary
Although this book touts itself as the sequel to The Motorcycle Diaries, it's pretty different from its precursor. Instead of mischief exemplified in Che's first trip around South America, his second trip, more into Central America, is very politically oriented. While giving a great insight to Che's experiences that aid his political evolution - it can be a dry read (compared to The Motorcycle Diaries). Probably best recommended for readers specifically interested in Che's personal journey, inst ...more
Robert Stout
Oct 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Che Guevara's second trip from Argentina through South America to Mexico lacks the dynamism of The Motorcycle Diaries. It seems not to have been written for publication and though it provides a clear picture of the young author/doctor and his interests it often is mundane in its reportage. The translati0n is inadequate and makes Guevara seem like a rather ingenuous American tourist rather than a politically motivated Argentinian. Nevertheless it gives insights into the personality of the man who ...more
Tim Weakley
I'm reminded of the Monty Python skit "The Poet McTeagle" in which the poet writes constantly about how strapped he is for cash. "What's twenty quid to the bloody Midland Bank?" A fair amount of Guevara's journals concern his constant striving to pay for his room and board, and his many failed attempts at employment. It was interesting enough, but mostly a stage setting for the Cuban revolution to come.
Abe
Jan 25, 2009 added it
Ernesto "Che" Guevara de la Serna's diary of his second trip through Latin America. Unlike the first diary, Guevara travels through Central America, where he witnesses the fall of Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán, and his movements in México. I read both Spanish and English versions. Read the Spanish version if you can as somethings are lost in the translation.
Kim
Sep 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Memoirs- diaries, letters- by Che Guevara,the pre-revolutionary man's adventures and trials as he traveled and worked in Central and South America in the 1950's. I most enjoyed his descriptions of the indigenous peoples' ruins he explored alone the way. And it is appears Guevara and I have something in common- a strong attraction to Machu Picchu!
Kriegslok
Apr 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Reads as the not intended for publication jottings, musings and aid memoires of a young man finding his feet and exploring hisworld and none the worse for that and the honesty it offers as such. Che's literary talent is more apparant in his letters and journalistic articles some of which also appear in this slim volume.
Jeanette
Jan 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
I like that Che has a clearer picture of himself, yet still out to find himself, in this book. I think he had some great ideals at this time and truly wanted to help people. I really want to find out what happened to change his motives.
Juan
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
A mishmash of Che Guevara's personal journal entries, which were heavily edited, and letters to his mother and friend. There are few passages that are noteworthy, on Arbenz and Guatemala, and Peronism, but it is a book where much of the information is filtered.
Jbondandrews
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really found Che's second diary to be very interesting. He had further matured in his views and I enjoyed the letters he wrote to his parents. I find his family to be almost as intriguing as Ernesto was.
Jose
May 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Is a remarkable book to read . It's could be considered travel book for the travel of che and no diaries , his description of the places that he visited , and his analysis making this book an extraordinary reading,
Cherie
Dec 08, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, travel
B Kind of confusing and chaotic
Eric
Feb 01, 2008 added it
never ever i couldn't get why they want to make an idol of this womwn seeker... now you can see his pidtures on corsets
he was just a doll for her bosses
Minäpäminä
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
What is says on the tin: a travel diary, for good & bad. ...more
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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
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