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Wayward Angel: The Full Story Of The Hells Angels Paperback – October 14, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


"Powerful in its striking reality, A Wayward Angel is not for the squeamish, but the descriptions of the inner codes and working of the club make for a read you can't put down."--Iron Works magazine

From the Back Cover

We all know about the Hells Angels: toughs on Harleys terrorizing the law-abiding; wild brawls and wild sex; drugs and cruelty, beatings, and even murder. But nobody really knows what it's like to be an Angel except an Angel. In this classic of Hells Angels literature, to be read alongside the works of Hunter S. Thompson and Sonny Barger, GeorgeWethern - for many years the vice president of the Oakland Chapter-tells it like it is.

Until he found himself in reluctant service to the courts, Wethern was the quintessential Angel. Oneof the
West Coast's top drug dealers, he was a man who loved bikes, fights, women, and drugs; a man who knew the deepest secrets of Angel life. Arrested, strung out, in despair, he bought a precarious freedom by testifying in major trials against Angels members - and then disappeared into the witness protection program.

A Wayward Angel is a powerful book, a not-for-the-squeamish portrait of the drug scene and the alienation of modern life in late-twentieth-century California. We witness killings, million-dollar drug deals, "picnics" that are nothing short of orgies, and the sometimes bizarre inner workings of the biker club. This is a story uniquely American. And it is a terrifying tale - because it's real.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press; 2nd edition (October 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599214636
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599214634
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #386,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 77 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book reveals the secrets and lifestyles of the notorious Hells Angels that for so long have been shrouded in scandal, mystery and fear. Written by an ex Hells Angel himself, Wethern recounts his lifestyle with the Angels from the first beginnings of the gangs operation in California, his friendship with well known gang president Sonny, orgies, criminal activity and the rapid decline of the gang and Wethern himself as drugs became the way of life and huge source of power and income. Wethern, now hidden somewhere in the states with new identity for him and his family in fear of his life as a result of co-operating with police and officials and giving informatiuon and indeed writing this book that blows the lid on the activities of a gang that is unmerciless in it's punishment of offenders, it's disregard for police, women and just about anything, but that is fiercely loyal to the brotherhood of gang members and loyalty to the president at all costs. In what would seem an act of clearing his conscience Wethern tells his tale in a way that exposes the reader to not only the innner workings of this secret gang, but also the brokenness, regret and fear that comes from living the life of a wayward angel.
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48 of 53 people found the following review helpful By M. Anderson on September 30, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Unlike Yves Levigne, who denegrates the Hells Angels in every book he writes, yet makes a ton of money doing it without having the cajones to live it, George was an OG in the Hells Angels. I remember reading in the papers when he jammed pencils in his eyes in penitance for his turning state's evidence. But, whether you agree with his actions(turning states evidence) or disagree(because you don't rat out your friends), the fact remains George lived it, which only an Angel can do. There are some pro's and con's considering everyone wants to put their best foot forward. But, it is fairly written in that he doesn't try to hide too much about his actions or the club's. A very interesting read for those who would like to know more about the early days of the Hells Angels.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By David Burr on May 13, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
George Wethern may appear to be "coming clean" in this book, but just like in every book written by ex-OMG'ers, the bravado as he describes his days with the HAMC is a bit of a turn-off. As Sonny Barger used to say, "Why do they lie about us? The truth is bad enough." Well, neither Sonny nor George seems capable of just laying it out there for us to see in some un-trumped-up manner. At least Sonny's books don't purport to be tell-alls. What is Wethern's excuse?

This book really fell apart at the end. Wethern took a wrong turn. Rather than talking at length about the details of his cooperation with authorities, and his feelings about his "ex-brothers" as well as their feelings for him, he spends little time on it. Instead, we are treated to page upon page of trailer park-esque writings between him and his wife. Who cares?

I also believe that the book was not particularly well edited.

Still, this is sort of a landmark writing because it blows a little lustre off the mystique, and there is not a lot out there by ex-insiders that purports to tell any truth. I do recommend "Under and Alone" by William Queen if you want a little more honesty about what it's like "inside."

As for Wethern's being a "rat", the people in question were all criminals to some degree anyway, so why get hung up on that? I do like the brotherhood aspect of OMGs and I am not particularly fond of rats, but there are reasons why George turned. Wethern was not the only one to not live up to the "brotherhood" ideal.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dave-O on April 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is told by George "Baby Huey" Wethern, an original member and former Vice-President of the Oakland Charter of the Hells Angels MC. He discusses his initial meetings with the club and his introduction to Ralph "Sonny" Barger, the most famous Hells Angel in history, as well as his dealings with several of the original members of the Oakland Charter that were made famous by Hunter S. Thompson in his book regarding the club such as John "Terry The Tramp" Tracy, Zorro, Skip Workman, Animal, and Chocolate George Hendricks. In all honesty I enjoyed the portrayal of the club as it was not a negative one, in the beginning at least, and it took place from the late 50's to the early 70's which is the most interesting period of history and most definetly the golden age of the outlaw motorcycle clubs which the Hells Angels MC have most definetly led the way on.

The down side to this book is the completely one sided behavior exhibited by the author towards his "brothers" even before he turns state's evidence against the club. His friend and fellow club member, Zorro, goes out of his way to buy a cabin cruiser for the both of them with his own money and lives with Wethern and his family, yet one night during a passing joke Zorro makes, George, high on PCP, shoots Zorro 7 times with a .45. Zorro ends up FORGIVING George and continues to involve George in club activities after Geroge is kicked out of the club for shooting Zorro. George repays Zorro by beating the handicapped man he himself handicapped when he begins to suspect Zorro of "framing" him and then testifies against him in court and sends him to prison.

Tiny Walters, another fellow Oakland Charter member, rushes over to George's home in the middle of the night when George has a bad trip on LSD.
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