ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ernesto “Che” Guevara was born in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina on June 14, 1928. He was a Marxist revolutionary and one of the prominent leaders of the Cuban Revolution. Guevara was also a physician, writer, diplomat, and military theorist.
Born in an upper-class family, Guevara was introduced to politics at a young age by his father. Despite his struggles with asthma, he was an active kid. He was also an avid reader with a great intellect. He would keep a diary to record his thoughts and adventures, one of which came during his time at the medical school. Guevara took a couple of breaks to travel across Latin America. This journey would change his outlook on life. The Motorcycle Diaries recounts Guevara’s second trip.
One of the significant figures in the Cuban Revolution along with Fidel Castro, Guevara played major roles in the subsequent government. He served at several diplomatic missions for Cuba. In 1965, he left Cuba to join other revolutionary conflicts overseas.
Guevara was executed in Bolivia in 1967. His iconic photo by Alberto Korda has become a symbol of rebellion worldwide.
The Motorcycle Diaries is a posthumous memoir based on the diary entries of Ernesto “Che” Guevara. This autobiography is widely regarded as Guevara’s coming-of-age book.
The plot follows Guevara and his friend Alberto Granado, who embarked on an adventure of a lifetime on a 500cc Norton bike, La Poderosa II. For Che, this would mark the beginning of an epic adventure that would go on to define his legacy.
The duo traveled through Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela. Guevara took a nine-month sabbatical from medical school for the ambitious trip.
His journey was far from smooth. Both the journey and the two friends’ relationship underwent several ups and downs along the way. However, it had its fair share of good moments and a lot of interesting individuals, too. Guevara and Granado also spent a considerable amount of time volunteering at a leper colony. By the time the trip came to an end, Che was a changed man. While he had always been politically active, any remaining doubts he harbored were dispelled by the sufferings and plight of the Latin Americans he witnessed along the way. The rest, as they say, is history.
WHAT WE LIKED ABOUT THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES
The Motorcycle Diaries is a fun read. It is the riveting tale of two intrepid young men on an adventure of a lifetime. For Che, however, it was the beginning of another epic adventure.
The narrative is light, but it doesn’t fail to do justice to the questions that bothered and haunted young Che. For people who aren’t familiar with Guevara and his legacy, this is the perfect book to learn about his sensitivity and intelligence.
That said, the biggest takeaway from this book is how effortlessly it awakens the travel bug in almost every reader, who may want to pack their bags and set out on an adventure of their own.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER ABOUT THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES
Honestly, nothing. The book is as perfect as they get.
Comeback is both a symbol and a survivor: a symbol of the union demanding my return; a survivor of his own bad luck — two falls from the bike (in one of which he and his bag flew off the back), his persistent diarrhoea and even getting trampled by a horse.
It was our last day as “motorized bums”; the next stage seemed set to be more difficult, as “bums without wheels.”
…now that you’re here
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A proverbial bookworm, Anusuya is always hungry for new stories and adventures.