The Motorcycle Diaries: A Journey Around South America, Ernesto "Che" Guevara - My review

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Overview (from Barnes & Noble)

In January 1952, two young men from Buenos Aires set out to explore South America on an ancient Norton motorbike. The journey would last six months and would take them thousands of miles, all the way up from Argentina to Venezuela. En route there would be disasters and discoveries, high drama, low comedy, fights, parties and a lot of serious drinking. They would meet an extraordinary range of people: native Indians and copper miners, lepers, police, wanderers and tourists. They would become stowaways, firemen and football coaches; they would join in a strike. They would sometimes fall in love, and frequently fall off the motorbike. Both of them kept diaries. One of them was a tall and good-looking medical student called Ernesto Guevara de la Serna. Using the standard Argentinean nickname, others would sometimes refer to the two companions as Big Che and Little Che. In Ernesto's case, the nickname stuck. Within a decade the whole world would know Che Guevara. This is the story of that remarkable journey, eight years before the Cuban revolution, in Che's own words, and illustrated with rare contemporary photographs. For Che it was a formative experience, and amidst the humour and pathos of the tale, there are moving examples of his idealism and his solidarity with the poor and oppressed. But it is far from being the diary of a militant and sometimes very far from being 'politically correct', which may be the reason that the manuscript has only been made available now, a quarter century after Che's death in the Bolivian jungle. Instead it is a vivid record kept by an exuberant, intelligent and acutely observant 23-year-old, describing what might have been the adventure of a lifetime - had his lifetime not turned into a much greater adventure.

Product Details (Barnes & Noble)

My opinion:
I wanted to read this book for so long that when I finally started reading it, I was afraid I was going to be disappointed. But I'm not.
I usually get a hard time reading biographies or diaries, but I really enjoyed this one from the first words.
Che Guevara's diary show us the journey he made with his friend Alberto Granado. It's a diary and we have to read it as a diary, not a romance or something like that.  I have to tell you that the way the diary it's written impressed me; Che Guevara wasn't a professional writer and what we read came straight from his mind, but we can find some beautiful paragraphs, great descriptions, beautiful words.
This is not a book about heroic feats or political actions. We get to know a different Che Guevara; a caring and gentle guy that wanted to help other people, and we can get a good laugh with some of the things they did. Sometimes I could even forget that what I was reading really happened.
This book shows us hope for justice, courage and intelligence. After this journey, which Che started has a medical student, he will never be the same; he has a new perspective of South America and that's way he had a future as a political revolutionary. Maybe many of you will say that he was a murderer, that you don't know how people can admire someone like him. Well, this book shows why. This is Che Guevara "before".
I recommend it. It's a short book, easy to read, and you can understand more about Che Guevara.

My rating:

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