The Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevera (1993) 155 p.

I’m currently riding through Vietnam on a rickety 1980 Minsk motorcycle, so I felt like a bit of topical reading, and was lucky enough to find this in a second-hand bookstore in Hoi An. It’s a non-fiction memoir detailing the travels of famous revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevera, as he and his friend Alberto travel across South America.

Firstly, I need to clarify something: this title of this book is a goddamn lie. It should just be called The Diaries, because they total their bike within the first 50 pages and spend the rest of the book hitchhiking.

It’s a moot point anyway, because I wouldn’t have enjoyed this book either way. Maybe it’s the translation, or maybe there’s just something about Latin people, but Guevera’s writing style drove me nuts. It’s far too lyrical, too vague, too swept up in itself. It reminded me of the only other Latin writer I’ve sampled, Garbiel Garcia Marquez, whom I found equally unreadable.

If you don’t mind that sort of thing, or if you’re interested in Che Guevera, go for it. Otherwise avoid. Excuse the brief review, I’ve just picked up my fortnightly bout of TD and feel like crap. God I miss the first world.

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