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

The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto Che Guevara
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's review
Aug 22, 2011

really liked it

The Motorcycle Diaries highlighted the long and turbulent adventure of Ernesto "Che" Guevera, a young doctor at the time, and his friend, Alberto Granado. They go on a cross-continental journey searching for new lands that though close in proximity to their homeland appear foreign, no pun intended, to them. They find that though different in some respects there in a brotherly bond between them and their continental neighbors.

The largest difference I found between Argentinian and US American cultures is the fact that though there is migration and emigration of peoples to other countries the bond the have culturally prevents the level of bitterness the US Americans have with our Neighbors to the north and south.

The Authors purpose in writing the text was to express his findings and adventures to those who could learn something from them. The main evidence of this is in the way the text portrays their journey the vivid descriptions inspire and the bonds formed among characters are touching. The fact that the Author published his diaries as a book also atests to the purpose of the book.

The theme of the text is that no matter how different two people or peoples are they have a bond through humanity that when combined with good will can conquer almost any obstacle. This theme is evident throughout the book when the travelers are hosted by strangers who later become friends. this theme is also prevalent in the thinking and ideals of Che in his more revolutionary day following the trip portrayed in the book.

I highly recommend this text. I found it inspiring the extent of the journey that was fueled by pure ambition and dreams of progress. Despite the sappy inspirational crap there is still a lot to gain from the book. Be it the look into the birth of a revolutionary, or the struggles that made him what he became, this book has something for everyone. This is the best book I've read in a while.


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Reading Progress

August 22, 2011 – Started Reading
August 22, 2011 – Shelved
August 22, 2011 –
page 67
38.29% "Up to this point in the book I have found it interesting how self-sufficient and willing the two young medical students were to venture into the unknown without much but hope that the hospitality of their fellow countrymen and those in neighboring countries will allow them to complete their long trek through South America towards Miami"
August 22, 2011 –
page 67
August 22, 2011 –
page 86
49.14% "Halfway through the journey of Che and alberto the pair sought out a way to research their field of medicine on Easter Island but due to the limited access they had to proceed on their journey and with the help of an ever kind ship's captain they stowed away on a ship going to the other side of chile. It is surprising the pace the pair keeps without their bike using only the kindness of others as a mode of transport."
August 23, 2011 –
page 120
68.57% "As the characters progress through their journey they have progressively gained fame to some extent, as others hear of the "traveling doctors" their journey progresses in ease. Nonetheless the most culturally interesting thing I have found in this section of the book is the extent of knowledge and preservation of the Inca peoples traditions in the region despite the conquests and pressures of other cultures."
August 23, 2011 –
page 175
100.0% "In concluding the book the thing I found most interesting about Argentine and that of the surrounding cultures explored in the book is that no matter how different their culture be it slang or even completely different linguistics they always helped each other and formed a bond based on their similarities no matter how few there were."
August 23, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Zach Flint The struggles faced by Ernesto (che), and Alberto up to this point in the book have been mainly due to mechanical difficulties on La Ponderosa, their motor cycle, and they recently left their bulky and unreliable former mode of transportation behind. This will surely be rise to all new issues seeing as they are far away from their final destination.

Zach Flint Though at this point in the book the pair had struggled to find way to the leper colony on Easter Island they seemed to face little difficulty in the face of the harsh climate and extreme lack of supplies that would have conquered any lesser men by now.

Zach Flint Though the ease of travel has increased with their familiarity among the people they still have internal struggles due to their lack of proper clothing and uncertainty of the shelter and food that is to come.

Zach Flint In the last chapters of the book the characters faced illness, poverty, and numerous encounters with pesky mosquitoes but despite all of that they always found the humor in the situations and in doing so spared themselves from a great deal of mental anguish.

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