Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas author Hunter S. Thompson rocked the literary world with his mind-bending style of Gonzo journalism. First published in 1966, Hell’s Angels is Thompson’s up-close and personal look at the infamous motorcycle gang during the time when its moniker was most feared.
©1995 Hunter S. Thompson (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC
“[Thompson’s] language is brilliant … [he] has presented us with a close view of a world most of us would never dare encounter.” (New York Times)
Yes, It's very entertaining.
I knew the ending before I read the book. For some reason the tag line that was on the original book that went something like "I lived with and was almost killed by the Hells Angels" is nowhere to be found on the modern audio book. As a side note, the idea that Hunter S. Thompson would pick a fight just so he could write that tag line to sell a book is almost laughable. That is actually a theory that a certain Hells Angel set forth in a certain very popular book.
He does a fine job getting into the character of Hunter S. Thompson. I almost feel as if I know the man.
"I partied with, lived with and was almost killed by the Hell's Angels"
So much has changed since the 1960's and yet at the core of it all, motorcycle gangs are essentially composed of the same sort of people then and now. They do essentially the same sorts of things; rape, murder, drugs, drug selling, various and assundry dirty deeds. If the men in these gangs did anything other than ride motorcycles, society would regard them with the contempt and loathing they warrant. How interesting is human nature that motorcycles transform lowly thugs into something other than what they are? Same thing for pirates of yesteryear. I myself can feel and taste the answer, yet find it impossible to put it into words.
hunter presented raw data about the H.A. in down to earth and gritty way. the story seems about as close to objective as possible.
the way hunter wrote about the H.A. in a factual manner that did not glorify the despicable actions of the biker gang.
scott really gets into character, and reads more like a great actor than a reader
i wrote a review shortly after i listened to hells angels (this being the second and more watered down version of my original review), but it never made it to print, i guess this was because i included some very raw (and probably inappropriate) excerpts from the text. what i am trying to say is that the best parts of this book are too raw and adult oriented to mention here. just listen to the book, you will not be let down
this is a must read (listen). you will not be disappointed. 5 starts all around.
I was told this book is Hunter S. Thompson pre-Gonzo style and it is the beginning of that type of journalism that he is known for. For me I felt this book was almost a look at California and the US in the mid to late 60's told through the Thompson's investigation into the Angels. This was before my time so I found it very educational. I am also a motorcycle enthusiast and enjoyed the detail into their bikes.
He reads with a good intensity that helped engage you into the story.
I didn't know very much about the hells angels motorcycle club (despite them being such a significant part of our culture) but through the eyes of America's greatest journalist, I have learned a lot about them through such an objective, yet human perspective. The style is simplistic and modern. The narrator was also great!
ELLE aka PlantCrone of the Great Pacific Northwest. I enjoy almost every genre-S/F, Action, Biographies and Histories & Romance
I had the dubious 'good' fortune to experience the Hells Angels @ Bass Week for almost a decade, especially around Memorial Day Weekend and The Fourth of July..which sometimes can be as long as 5-6 days depending on what day The Fourth comes! We found, as a whole, the members to be courteous and friendly, especially to both my young sons. My gouges son, wh was toddler to 6 year old during these summers, remembers Hells Angels MC members tousling his curly red hair. We shared a cabin with good friend who had children the same age as ours. And we had to go to the store, one of the 2 in 'town' at least once a day. My girlfriends and I soon found that wearing our bikini toe and cut off shorts to the store wasn't really good idea.
We also had the pleasure of watching the Angels water ski behind rented ski boats and even went to Willow Cove to offer water skiing lessons toy these guys...and yes-they do water ski in their colors..back then colors were most frequently work on denim jackets with the sleeves torn off...
Anyhow, it was a real memory blast to listen to Hunter Thompson's non-fiction story about his experiences with the Hells Angels-I purchased it because my son, who is now is in his early 40's, has good memories about his experiences at Bass Lake and with the Hells Angels. He said I'd enjoy it and surprisingly enough, I did.
Narrator Scott Sowers did an excellent job relating this story about his year-or-so long experiences hanging out with the Oakland CA chapter of the Angels. I had hoped this would go into the Altamont disaster when the Greatful Dead hired the Angels (and paid them with beer, no less) to provide security for an open air concert akin to Woodstock as far as security fences goes...that is a great story and I'd love to hear it from Sowers POV..but he was no longer hanging out with the Angels then.
If you are an AARP member (over 55) or West Coast person and have memories of that era I recommend buying this book. If you are a motorcycle enthuses it's a good look at the history of a significant time in 20th century cycling.
Well written and narrated I recommend this story to almost anyone with interests in this field.
I am a professional photographer, a motorcyclist, and an avid reader and listener. I enjoy history, business books and
I had read The Hell's Angels back in high school in the 70s, well before I began riding motorcycles myself. It was a good read then and an even better audio book now. The story will make you cringe at one moment and laugh the next. The Angles are part of American folklore. Hoodlums that are feared my most of the rest of us, yet they hold a certain kind of fascination. The modern day outlaw, riding on his steel ride across the land with little regard for the law. Of course, reality does get in the way.
Thompson tells it like it is, not glorifying the Angles but seeing them for who they are. At the same time, he understands them and seems to have a bond with them. He rides with them, parties with them and in the end gets a beating from them. This is a good book if you ride or not, a look back at part of American life in the 60s without the rose colored glasses that so often go on when this era is talked about. It was not all peace and love.
Scott Sowers is the perfect narrator for this book. His gritty delivery fits perfectly and you feel like your riding right along with Thompson. I have been listening to audio book for over a year now and this is perhaps the best fit of any book-narrator.
It's a great peek into the racous lifestyle of the Hells Angels in California in the sixties. I listen to it on my bike ride to and from work. Transforms my crappy road bike into a roaring Harley
The story is a great time stamp on the 60's.Thompson paints a great picture,the performance was excellent!.It sounded just the way it was written(if that makes sense).
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I've heard of Sonny Barger and, ironically, what a good leader he was. Decided to listen to the book to learn more about the lifestyle he led and to see what gave him away as a good leader.
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