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Hell's Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club Paperback – October 2, 2001
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Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
But he is a criminal, and the con in this book is the statement near the beginnning, to the effect of: "All I ever wanted to do was ride and be free." He proceeds to prove, through the rest of the book, that that is merely a justification for his lifestyle and (possibly) plea for fame and respect in the valuable cultural currency of 'freedom from oppresive powers' (he already has plenty of fame and respect on his own terms), but its not true. Barger likes to pick fights, bother innocent workaday people and locals, and be the center of attention wherever he goes. His quest for freedom required the abrogation of everyone else's freedom, not just the police and rival clubs as he seems to want you to believe.
"Hell's Angel" is most interesting, for me, in the depiction of his dynamic leadership and the need, so often suppressed, for men to band together and be unified in something. I envy him the brotherhood he founded and don't begrudge them the right to defend it's name, by violence if necessary, against fools who want to challenge it or steal it. But I don't believe for a moment that he wants to live and let live. He and his club steal, con, and completely disregard the wishes of the citizen's of any community they enter; in reality, it's power that they want, not freedom. Just admit that, and this account would be balanced. Its already very entertaining and valuable cultural history.
He is nothing short of one classy, dedicated to bikes and bikers, and honest to the bone. This book, he brings IT ALL OUT. I was amazed to read how the Angels got started and managed to stay together dispite the law breathing all over them, the public have a definite attitude against them. It was Sonny who kept the brotherhood together. Yes, we all know of the legal problems with the ANgels as well as other biker groups, in this book Sonny is totally honest and forthcoming. He has some very funny stories on state rallys and of course the problem at Altamont. This book is a must read for all bikers and those who WANT TO BE A BIKER. A classic read by Sonny. May God Bless You Sonny and keep doing just what you are doing. Don't change one thing. "The Attorney" Green Dragons MC - Houston
Barger is definitely not the greatest writer, though I doubt anyone would buy this book expecting him to be. But even trying to cut him a little slack for being a biker and not a professional writer, it was still hard to get through this book.
He is SO self-centered and egotistical and he tries to take credit for everything under the sun. For instances, he says the cops liked the guns (i.e. AR-15) that the Oakland Hell's Angels were carrying at the time, so they (the cops) started carrying them too. (Please.) He also takes credit for the way law enforcement does their police funeral processions now (I'm sure that was all because of Sonny Barger - right), and so many other things that just seem outrageous. I thought he was actually going to take credit for grass being green by the end of the book.
Anyway, I was DONE with the book about 2/3 of the way through because I think anyone with half a brain can figure out that this is not a true depiction of the Hell's Angels (unless you really believe that they are just a bunch of guys who like to ride bikes and only occasionally get into a couple fights, but otherwise are pretty good guys). All the REALLY good stuff (which is what I was hoping to read about) is glossed over or completely left out. I did finish the book, only because it was like a train wreck that I had to see out to the end. But in the end, I was totally disappointed.
Avoid the same disappointment and don't buy this book. There are better ones out there.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have been amotercycle fan since childhood. I rode for 41 yrs. until I had a near fatal accident in 2011. I can't ride anymore, although I would if I could. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Dan Hollingsworth
I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. It may have been all the references to things I remember growing up. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Dawn Doyle
This book is of the life & times of the Hell's Angels, from the view of a club members, & up to the views of him as the President of the club. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Clyde Allen Gullett
very good reading.the book flows like sonny had written a hundred books.it dispells alot of the gossip about the 81 that wasn't truePublished 2 months ago by mike