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Recommended Books:

Here are some great guidebooks to get you started on your journey to Argentina and the fantastic city of Buenos Aires!

Lonely Planet Argentina
Lonely Planet Buenos Aires City Guide
Frommer's Argentina (Frommer's Complete)
The Rough Guide to Buenos Aires 1 (Rough Guide Travel Guides)
South American Handbook
Argentine Handbook

Novels:

Why not take some books along with you to liven up your journey? We recommend the following Latin American writers that will open your mind up to the world of South America and some great reads to store away in your backpack for that rainy day…

Novels and other interesting reads:

One Hundred Years of Solitude (Cien Años de Soledad) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

An acknowledged masterpiece, this is the story of seven generations of the Buendia family and of Macondo, the town they have built. Though there was little more than a settlement surrounded by mountains, Macondo has its wars and disasters, even its wonders and miracles. A microcosm of Columbian life, its secrets lie hidden, encoded in a book and only Aureliano Buendia can fathom its mysteries and reveal its shrouded destiny. Blending political reality with magic realism, fantasy with comic invention, "One Hundred Years of Solitude" is one of the most daringly original works of the twentieth century.

Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (La Tía Julia y el Escribidor) by Mario Vargos Llosa

This book explores the tragicomic relationship between two artists and their material. While each feeds off the other, the narratives of Mario are nourished by the life around him, those of Camacho by the fantasies engendered by his disintegrating mind. The author's other works include "The Storyteller".

Gabriela: Clove and Cinnamon (Gabriela, Clavo y Canela) by Jorge Amado

When Gabriela came to the Brazilian town of Ilheus, things would never be the same again. In 1925, the town's cacao plantations are flourishing and progress reigns, but Nacib the Arab's most desperate worry is that his cook has walked out of his bar. He ventures over to the market to hire a migrant worker to help him and comes across a young mulatto girl named Gabriela who is wild and has hair filthy with dust. But something in her voice makes him take a chance, and it seems he's not the only man who's noticed her. Suddenly there is more to think about than everyday concerns: love affairs, murder, banquets, funerals, desire, hatred, vengeance and miracles.

The General and his Labyrinth (El General En Su Laberinto) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

At the age of forty-six General Simon Bolivar, who drove the Spanish from his lands and became the Liberator of South America, takes himself into exile. He makes a final journey down the Magdalene River, revisiting the cities along its shores, reliving the triumphs, passions and betrayals of his youth. Consumed by the memories of what he has done and what he failed to do, Bolivar hopes to see a way out of the labyrinth in which he has lived all his life...'Breathtaking. A superb fictional recreation of Bolivar's last month' - "Observer".

The Autumn of the Patriarch (El Otoño del Patriarca) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Set in an unspecified Caribbean country, this is the story of a nation dominated by a dictator who has just died after a very long reign. Its main themes are deception and illusion.

Santa Evita by Tomas Eloy Martinez

Among the great corpses of our age are Lenin, Mao Tse-tung and Stalin. Mao, at least, is still on view for the masses to see, some two decades after his demise. But no corpse engendered as much intrigue as that of Eva Peron. Elevated to near sainthood in Argentina after her death in 1952, her perfectly preserved corpse was seized by the Argentine Army following the ouster of her husband in 1955. By then her corpse had acquired the status of a sacred relic, and while army officials wanted to keep it out of the hands of Peronists, they were loath to destroy the corpse for fear of the backlash that might follow. Tomas Eloy Martinez has reassembled the story of the corpse of Eve Peron in Santa Evita, and in the process, produced a riveting, rich book that not only tells the tale of one of the more bizarre sagas in the history of South American politics, but that also gets to the heart of the age-old human impulse to create myths and tell stories.

The Green House ( La Casa Verde) by Mario Vargos Llosa

A South American city is divided when a strange green house is built across the river. For young girls and the men of Puira, the house is a night-time pleasure oasis. For the religious and moral forces in the city, the green house is the incarnation of the Devil - an evil that must be destroyed.

La Muerte de Artemio Cruz = The Death of Artemio Cruz (Punto De Lectura, 108/1) by Carlos Fuentes

Artemio Cruz, on his deathbed, passes through the events of his life in this Fuentes masterpiece. The novel is narrated in the first, second and third person, symbolic of the character's ego, id and superego. Cruz explores the deaths that spared him. His lack of courage and personal sacrifice, ironically, bring Cruz to fortune and fame. He leaves battle only to be heralded as a war hero. He escapes execution. Through deception, Artemio Curz earns permission to marry the sister of the man killed in his place. The language of the novel is rich and varied. The reader enters into the morphine-induced train of consciousness of Cruz, finds deathbed observations laced with old memories and jumps through the life of Cruz. La Muerte de Artemio Cruz is a novel of self--judgment. Before dying, Cruz examines the value of his existence.

The Vision of Elena Silves ( La Vision de Elena Silves) by Nicholas Shakespeare

In the Amazon city of Belen, in the heart of the Peruvian jungle, three old men sit on a bench. They sit in the square every day under the hot sun, remembering the women they loved and the world when it was a better place. One day, a woman hurries past their bench whom all have reason to remember - Elena Silves, the girl with eyes as blue as the sky who once saw a vision and has been incarcerated by the Church authorities in a convent high in the Andes ever since. But the old men remember something else. They remember that Elena had been in love at the time with Gabriel, a student revolutionary who became the most wanted man in Belen. "Written with precision, clarity and rare beauty - alongside Salman Rushdie and the late Bruce Chatwin, Shakespeare now joins the ranks of the New Exotics school" - Robert Carver, "New Statesman".

In Patagonia ( En Patagonia ) by Bruce Chatwin

His interest in Patagonia first awakened by a piece of sloth skin from that region that hung in his grandmother's house, Chatwin sets out on a mazy route from Buenos Aires to Tierra del Fuego. As he roams to where the ancient sloth was discovered a century before, he glimpses into the lives of the settlers, gauchos and Indians who spread themselves thinly across the pampas. The deep loneliness, isolation and fatalism implicit in the lives of those living at the end of the earth are conveyed starkly in Chatwin's laconic prose. Roaming between these outposts of humanity, he amuses himself in the pursuit of a series of riddles aside from the sloth mission - and as we are drawn into Chatwin's world of esoterics, where Butch Cassidy lived to a ripe old age, and revolutionaries become barbers, the lines between fact, supposition and invention become almost impossible to discern. So who is Che Guevara?

If you have ever traveled to South America or are planning a trip down there, then you have no doubt heard the name Che Guevara mentioned. It is no wonder that you may hear his name dropped in conversations discussing history, politics or literature, be it by the many locals who still claim his name for victory, or the South American backpackers who want to follow his legacy. Regardless, he is a man who shaped South American history in all facets and has come to be a legendary figure amongst the people.

Ernesto "Che" Guevara, commonly known as Che Guevara, El Che, or simply Che, was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, politician, author, physician, military theorist, and guerrilla leader.

As a young medical student, Guevara traveled throughout Latin America and was transformed by the overwhelming poverty that he witnessed. His experiences and observations during these trips led him to believe that the region's ingrained economic inequalities were an intrinsic result of monopoly capitalism, neo-colonialism, and imperialism. In Che’s eyes, the only way to remedy the situation was to begin a world revolution. This conviction prompted his involvement in Guatemala's social reforms under President Jacobo Arbenz, whose eventual CIA-assisted overthrow solidified Guevara's radical ideology.

Later, in Mexico, he met Fidel Castro and joined his 26th of July Movement. In December 1956, he was among the revolutionaries who invaded Cuba under Castro's leadership with the intention of overthrowing the U.S. Guevara soon began to prosper among the insurgents, and was promoted to Comandante, and played a pivotal role in the in the Cuban revolution. Later he served as minister of industry and president of the national bank, before traversing the globe as a diplomat to meet an array of world leaders on behalf of Cuban socialism. He was also a prolific writer and diarist, composing a seminal manual on the theory and practice of guerrilla warfare, along with an acclaimed memoir about his motorcycle journey across South America. Guevara left Cuba in 1965 to incite revolutions first in an unsuccessful attempt in Congo-Kinshasa and then in Bolivia, where he was captured with the help of the CIA and executed.

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