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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

3.9 (257 )
5 star
 (94)
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3 star
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4.2 (150 )
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (145 )
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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  •  
    Clay henderson, United States Minor Outlying Islands 05-25-09
    Clay henderson, United States Minor Outlying Islands 05-25-09 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    3
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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!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J Ogden, UT, United States 02-09-10
    J Ogden, UT, United States 02-09-10 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    11
    7
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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.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Eagan, MN, USA 06-12-09
    Kenneth Eagan, MN, USA 06-12-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    3
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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.


    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Olathe, KS, United States 12-27-12
    Chris Olathe, KS, United States 12-27-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    8
    7
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    4
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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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Brown everett, wa usa 11-23-11
    Christopher Brown everett, wa usa 11-23-11 Listener Since 2003

    res00mwd

    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    18
    13
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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"

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan Yellow Springs, OH, USA 03-25-10
    Bryan Yellow Springs, OH, USA 03-25-10 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    21
    2
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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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric 12-04-10
    Eric 12-04-10
    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Craig Bakersfield, Ca 11-23-14
    Chris Craig Bakersfield, Ca 11-23-14 Member Since 2015

    I'm in a love-hate relationship with Amazon Prime.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    4
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    "Captivating Read"
    Would you listen to No Angel again? Why?

    Probably not but that's nothing against the book itself. I just don't really reread books because there is so many new choices out there.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's honest look at the path that was taken and the challenges that the author dealt with.


    What about Mel Foster’s performance did you like?

    Mel is an excellent narrator. I would listen to a book that I normally probably wouldn't listen to just because he is the one narrating it.


    If you could give No Angel a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Ummm, I don't know?


    Any additional comments?

    This was a great read and I was a little depressed when it was over.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aron 05-28-15
    Aron 05-28-15 Member Since 2009
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    13
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    "Excellent story"

    Very enjoyable story. A look not only into the life of an undercover officer but the lives of people who choose to live life within an omg.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Vasko 05-05-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    53
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    Story
    "Great Read"

    I enjoyed this, it was interesting and entertaining. I loved the narrator he did a great job keeping me engaged.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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