While surfing through a book store few days back, I saw the book The motorcycle diaries by Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara. Immediately decided to read it. I wanted to know more about Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara then knowing him just as a revolutionary figure and as a Graffiti on t-shirts of people who sometimes don’t even know who he is. This novel is a travel journal of Ernesto. Narrative from his travel diary. Don’t expect a great revelation regarding what lead him to become a revolutionary icon, or any political insights etc. But this will give you a hint of his persona. It reflects the experiences of two carefree riders, about their journey through the South American continent which later proved crucial in making Ernesto what he was. A legend.

The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara Review

The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto 'Che' Guevara

Genre :  Non-Fiction , Travelogue

The Book is a travelogue by Ernesto in it’s most natural form. Two friends on one fine day decide an impromptu journey toNorth America on their mighty motorcycle La Pedrosa II. And the deal was sealed laid on the foundation of improvisation and passion for travel. The adventures they encounter during this trip, written by Ernesto, is what this book is all about.

Let your mind not be clouded by prejudiced opinion of him being a non-believer of Marxist ideology while reading this novel. This is a pre-revolutionary Ernesto who is yet to become a legend. The details of the trip are mentioned to such intense measure, that you will feel being part of this adventure. Ernesto could have been a famous author too it seemed with a little more honing.

Him and Alberto, both students of biochemistry begin their journey to Miami from Argentina across South America. The trip was strenuous, vigorous and event-filled. The novel depicts various aspects of the change in persona of Guevara. The travel diaries started with craziness and absurdness which made us smile. But as the journey progresses, there is a change in the perspective. The writing has still the same magic. But now with a tone of concern after learning about the poverty, politics and his frailty to be of any help in these circumstances. At one point he writes :

“It is in cases like this, when a doctor knows he is powerless in such circumstances, that he longs for change; a change which would prevent the injustice of a system in which until a month ago this poor old woman had had to earn her living as a waitress, wheezing and panting but facing life with dignity … it is then, for people whose horizons never reach beyond tomorrow, that we see the profound tragedy which circumscribes the life of the proletariat the world over.”

More than just a travelogue the real theme at which it ends is of course Guevara’s political awakening. He was a medical student and a firm follower of the Hippocratic Oath. Humble and gentle when started the journey. Motivated and a man with a mission by the end.

The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara book will definitely jolt the traveller in you and will also give you reasons to introspect.

Recommended for :

Anyone who is interested in Travelling or maybe looking for a light read or anybody in their 20s. Specially recommended to people who wear t-shirt with his imprints but have no grasp of his legacy. This will give them an insight.

Also Read : 

The review of the book I-Robot by Isaac Asimov



8.0 /10


7.0 /10


7.0 /10


  • > First hand account of 'Che' Journey
  • > Traveller's delight


  • > Dry narrative in the middle
  • > Not the best of writing


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here