Che Guevara: his asthmatic, underdog boyhood in Argentina; his astounding victory with Castro's guerrillas in Cuba; the failed revolution he led in Bolivia--where he was finally executed. Neimark, an experienced biographer (Damien, the Leper Priest, 1980, etc.) knows how to make history memorable. While facts and dates are included here, the emphasis is on Che's personal struggle against fear and death--in his fight against the asthma that clogged every breath as well as in his zealous guerrilla exploits. Meanwhile, Neimark illustrates abstract terms with plenty of description (sometimes lurid) and vivid metaphor: examples of poverty include a legless man who lives in a hole in the ground and is pulled about by dogs, and a Bolivian peasant shack where a baby chews on a red worm. Though Neimark observes that "he could be lender and cruel," for the most part she downplays Che's cruel side, focusing on his bravery and quest for social justice. A bit romanticized and admittedly fictionalized, this fast-paced, exciting biography is based on Che's diary as well as on other sources. Maps; photos (not seen); bibliography.