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No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels | [Jay Dobyns, Nils Johnson-Shelton]

No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels

Getting shot in the chest as a rookie ATF agent, bartering for machine guns, throttling down the highway at 100 miles per hour, and responding to a full-scale, bloody riot between the Hells Angels and their rivals, the Mongols - these are just a few of the high-adrenaline experiences Jay Dobyns recounts in this action-packed, hard to imagine, but true story of how he infiltrated the legendary Hells Angels.
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Publisher's Summary

Getting shot in the chest as a rookie ATF agent, bartering for machine guns, throttling down the highway at 100 miles per hour, and responding to a full-scale, bloody riot between the Hells Angels and their rivals, the Mongols---these are just a few of the high-adrenaline experiences Jay Dobyns recounts in this action-packed, hard to imagine, but true story of how he infiltrated the legendary Hells Angels.

Dobyns leaves no stone of his harrowing journey unturned. At runs and clubhouses, between rides and riots, Dobyns befriends bad-ass bikers, meth-fueled "old ladies", gun fetishists, psycho-killer ex-cons, and even some of the "Filthy Few"---the elite of the Hells Angels who've committed extreme violence on behalf of their club.

Eventually, at parties staged behind heavily armed security, he meets legendary club members such as Chuck Zito, Johnny Angel, and the godfather of all bikers, Ralph "Sonny" Barger. To blend in with them, he gets full-arm ink; to win their respect, he vows to prove himself a stone-cold killer. Hardest of all is leading a double life, which has him torn between his devotion to his wife and children and his pledge to become the first federal agent ever to be "fully patched" into the Angels' near-impregnable ranks.

His act is so convincing that he comes within a hairsbreadth of losing himself. Eventually, he realizes that just as he's been infiltrating the Hells Angels, they've been infiltrating him. And just as they're not all bad, he's not all good.

Reminiscent of Donnie Brasco's uncovering of the true Mafia, this is an eye-opening portrait of the world of bikers - the most in-depth since Hunter Thompson's seminal work - one that fully describes the seductive lure criminal camaraderie has for men who would otherwise be powerless outsiders. Here is all the nihilism, hate, and intimidation, but also the freedom - and, yes, brotherhood---of the only truly American form of organized crime.

©2009 Jay Dobyns and Nils Johnson-Shelton; (P)2009 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"A fascinating look at the Hells Angels and the price one man paid for infiltrating the gang." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (197 )
5 star
 (62)
4 star
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3 star
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4.1 (97 )
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (91 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Kenneth Eagan, MN, USA 06-12-09
    Kenneth Eagan, MN, USA 06-12-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A waste of time."

    "My harrowing journey"??? Nothing happens for most of the book. To make an attempt at some intrigue, he attempts to make the murder seem like it really happened - by not telling you it was fake. Then in the next chapter describes how it was setup.
    The team penetrated a rural charter that did not even have enough memebers to be a real club.
    Maybe he just needed a better author to help him with the book - Spent way too much time trying to fill space with boring details - YAWN. Hunter Thompson had a more "harrowing" experience with the Hells Angels.


    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clay henderson, United States Minor Outlying Islands 05-25-09
    Clay henderson, United States Minor Outlying Islands 05-25-09 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Trashy but entertaining"

    This book contains alot of trashy language which I expected with the subject matter. I also tend not to believe most of the author's stories because he goes into way too much detail. I mean-how could he remember every little thing he ate at the Phoenix Waffle house 5 years later. I think the Hydroxy Cut screwed with his brain!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J Ogden, UT, United States 02-09-10
    J Ogden, UT, United States 02-09-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Waste of money and time."

    I feel like intelligence has been sucked out of me for having listened to the first few hours of this garbage. I finally had to shut it off. This dude is so self-serving and egotistical I fail to see how anyone could believe a word out of his mouth. DONOT waste your time and money on this as it is trash at best. In my opinion this author is completely untrustworthy and or so far out of touch with reality this book should be sold as fiction.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan Yellow Springs, OH, USA 03-25-10
    Bryan Yellow Springs, OH, USA 03-25-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    "Too long a book"

    The book started off strong but ended weak. Many chapters lasted too long and/or weren't needed to forward the story. Overall I think the book could of been cut in half and would of been a much better read. (I would of added a star if it had.)

    I'm afraid I didn't get a well painted picture of the Hells Angels as much as I did of Jay Dobyns's own internal conflicts with his undercover duties. This would be fine but the same points such as how bad he was to his family were brought up time and time again with little new insight.

    Toward the end of the book, Mr. Dobyns became a very unlikable character who I would barely root for. I did find myself feeling sorry for him getting caught up in the politics of a government agency when he put his life on the line though.

    Where this type of subject matter has always interested me, I found the book "Under and Alone: The True Story of the Undercover Agent Who Infiltrated America's Most Violent Outlaw Motorcycle Gang" by William Queen to be a much more interesting read.

    Sorry Byrd.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Olathe, KS, United States 12-27-12
    Chris Olathe, KS, United States 12-27-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    ""I would avoid this one...""

    I loved "Under and Alone" and was hoping that I would get more of that with this book, but it was not to be. One of the reviewers mentioned that the author was totally full of himself and the plot lingered on with meaningless commentary. Having not listened to the book yet, I thought that this review had to be harsh and I gave it a try. The review was totally right on. Some of the egotistical comments almost made me stop listening and move on to something else. I hung on and must say it was a disappointing ride. No doubt, what he and his fellow agents did to infiltrate the Hells Angels was extremely brave and commendable, but the book itself is totally lacking anything of substance to keep your interest. One or two chapters could have covered it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Brown everett, wa usa 11-23-11
    Christopher Brown everett, wa usa 11-23-11 Member Since 2003

    res00mwd

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I don't think so"

    seems pretty boring. Jay seems to be a big DRAMA QUEEN 0r he left alot out....I am not sure which. There are many better books. Try "Dead man walking", "Without a Badge" or "Take Down"

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Detroit, MI, United States 12-04-10
    Eric Detroit, MI, United States 12-04-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A fun ride"

    Great book and Great reader. The reader's voice just sounds like a badass old tough biker. You'll want to jump on a Harley after this listen. Very interesting book and a great story. Just a lot of fun and a great story. Shows how tough working undercover can really be.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phil Madison, WI, USA 04-29-09
    Phil Madison, WI, USA 04-29-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "no angle"

    A fun read that puts a human face on a dark subject

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BADBOY Woburn, MA, United States 03-18-12
    BADBOY Woburn, MA, United States 03-18-12 Member Since 2011

    Just BADBOY being BADBOY

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    "GREAT STORY LIKE A MOVIE STORY BUT?????"

    Great story at times thinking your cover was blown and I really like the book you got my money from me buying the book.Here's the BUT to me your a RAT & I hate RATS BUT it's your job right? Well I don't hate police who do there job walking there beat or driving around stopping cars with lights out or speeding.BUT I dislike RAT COPS which is what you are.Story good like a movie COP/AUTHOR/RAT in life dislike.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
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