- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 7 hours and 41 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: HarperAudio
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 16 Oct. 2012
- Language: English
- ASIN: B009RFC5TS
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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Hell's Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
Sonny Barger's "party and ride" approach to life seems to have been at the expense of everybody else - however, he tells it as it was and his no holds barred approach is at least honest if not commendable. He's no Heaven's Angel - that's for sure. I felt that throughout the book, Sonny should somehow apologise for his drug-using, police-hating, brawling, bullying lifestyle - but I knew we wouldn't get this. I think the only thing he regrets is smoking so many Camels.
I found the book jumped around a lot and also assumed that the reader already knew a lot about HAMC (which I didn't). Many characters made brief appearances and it was sometimes hard to follow whom they were. There is genuine sadness at the loss of so many of his comrades.
I would recommend this book to others who want to get inside the mind of hell raisers like Sonny.
As for taking something from this book? In a fight, Sonny is definitely the kind of guy you want on your side. If he is your "brother" - then your enemies are his, doesn't matter what the cause of enmity is about. The Army probably blew its chances of winning the Vietnam War when they kicked him out!
It's not as free flowing and truthful as other autobiographies, like "Broadmoor" by Charlie Bronson for instance, where he's already paid the price and so can speak freely.
Barger comes across as someone who has got away with a lot more than he's letting on, and so can't say as much as he would like to, for fear of being called to account.
I don't wholly believe a lot of what Barger claims, and still question how a *club* whose only proclivity is to ride and party could support millions of dollars in legal costs, fighting a RICO case without a substantial source of combined income.
What the book lacks most is emotional depth. It's an almost mechanical recounting of situations and circumstances, with very little about how Barger felt or what drove his decisions and actions beyond a crude kind of teenage revolt that he should have outgrown long ago.
He comes across as a bit of a childish, petulant bully. He refers to himself as a "warrior" and a vet because he happened to be in the services, despite having managed to avoid the draft and having never seen any action at all.
The picture he paints is of a group of frightened, hopeless young men who band together to feel safe, never fight one-on-one and do everything they can to create an aggressive and intimidating image so that no one will ever mess with them. Genuinely tough people don't need any of this. No wonder brotherhood is so important.
It's definitely worth reading alongside Thompson's book for a broader picture - both sides are clearly underplayed, exaggerated and embellished in different places for different purposes.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting insight into biker life, I am sure a lot is missing due to lack of public need to knwPublished 18 days ago by Dave
this is the book you need to read if you want the truth about the Hells Angels. Written by Sonny Barger himselfPublished 4 months ago by Scott Quinn