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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the things said by Sonny only a biker would understa
This book comes accross as being a true account of the times and events and what it was like being not only a member of the HAMC but a leader of the HAMC. If a total outsider was to read this book I find it hard to imagine that they would understand the way that bikers look after their own kind, there is no other culture on this planet that has the same commitment to...
Published on 21 Aug 2000

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but not a nice guy!
On recent holiday, I read this book - partly as a holiday read and also because I ride a Harley-Davidson. I read a lot of biographies and many times get inspiration from the main characters; I always look for something in someone to take with me when I've finished the book.
Sonny Barger's "party and ride" approach to life seems to have been at the expense...
Published on 21 July 2001 by EFMOL


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but not a nice guy!, 21 July 2001
On recent holiday, I read this book - partly as a holiday read and also because I ride a Harley-Davidson. I read a lot of biographies and many times get inspiration from the main characters; I always look for something in someone to take with me when I've finished the book.
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!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the things said by Sonny only a biker would understa, 21 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This book comes accross as being a true account of the times and events and what it was like being not only a member of the HAMC but a leader of the HAMC. If a total outsider was to read this book I find it hard to imagine that they would understand the way that bikers look after their own kind, there is no other culture on this planet that has the same commitment to looking after each other and if you can try to understand that at least a little bit, then you would understand the passion that the people in the book had about their life style and their bikes. The subject is very serious but it's been put over in a way most people can understand and smile at, if you have an open mind and let people get on with their lives when they are doing you no harm, then I think you would enjoy the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 81 ways you will like this, 13 Oct 2010
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This review is from: Hell's Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club (Paperback)
This is a great dycotomy of the life and times of a Hells Angel told by the grandfather of this great brotherhood. Although at times it seems a little too 'American gung ho' it is a superb book and well worth the read though I confess that I preferred Sonny's "Credos - Freedom of the Road" better though that is more of a handbook on how to live your life by a moral code whereas this is a history of the Hells Angels. If you are at all curious or support the Red & White then buy it, you won't regret it.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Setting the Pace, 13 May 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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You will hear the throaty roar and feel the vigration of a good road machine as you cruise past these pages about a real life leader of the pack.
The motorcycle club subculture has been an important theme in Hollywood (from The Wild One to Easy Rider) and in recordings (the song, Leader of the Pack). Everyone who sees the Hell's Angels has an opinion about what is going on, yet few have had a first hand relationship with a member. This book gives you a behind-the-scenes look at what it was like for Oakland's leader of the pack, one of the first branches of the Hell's Angels.
I grew up in San Bernardino (Berdoo in the book) which was an even earlier branch of the Hell's Angels than was Oakland's group. Some people I went to high school with joined the Hell's Angels. We all heard many stories about the group, and what went on. We treated these people with extreme caution and gave them a wide berth.
The book brings out an ethos of freedom (the open road) combined with a masculine emphasis on being respected and being loyal to friends. At the same time, there is an underlying sense of the frontier marshall, wanting to clean up those who were challenging law and order. Behind that there is a disregard for the rules most of us follow, whether in speed, drugs, theft, or violence.
This book is filled with deaths, injuries, and destruction. The Hell's Angels live in a dangerous world, and that doesn't bother them. What would bother them is not following their code of ethics.
Having read about all of the things the Hell's Angels are supposed to have done in the last 50 or so years, it is interesting to hear it from the other side.
Although you probably won't want to emulate Sonny Barger in too many ways, you'll certainly never forget him. If you love motorcycles (as many of us do), you'll be moved by his loving descriptions of various bikes. He was truly the wild one at the head of the bike pack.
I would suggest that you not share this book with impressionable adolescents.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An intersting subject but a book that never quite gets there, 16 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This was an interesting read and yet somehow dissapointing. You get the facts in a dicursive manner as though you are reading the transcripts of a series of interviews. What is overwelming is the destructiveness and the inconsistency. Self detruction and the destruction of those in anyway involved. Inconsistency in Barger's "true American" stance. It is interesting that the Angels only exist in western liberal democracies. On the big questions the final chapters really make you wince as there is an attempt to address God and the state of the world. The only answer is that there are no answers here. I am pleased I read it but doubt I'd bother twice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary true life account, 16 Nov 2000
I queued up for the signed copy of Sonny's book and heard his brando-esque narrative through every page. Painfully honest at the expense of himself and others. This digs deep into the psyche of a true American. Equally at home on the road as well as incarcerated, Sonny carries his considerable persona like Atlas. You cannot help but admire his understatedness. This would make a good film no doubt their are already a few options from Hollywood. I dont think sonny is in any hurry to turn to film a story that he must consider a very considered and long awaited response.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Explosive!!!, 14 April 2001
By A Customer
An entertaining if somewhat shrouded look at the lifestyle of the Hells Angels MC. A very interesting read even if the outlaw lifestyle is not one that you would choose for yourself. Sonny Barger has certainly had his fair share of "Happenings" and is one of the very few characters in the book to survive to tell the tale. Sonny somehow keeps going when many of us would give up! A top read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, authentic, and sometimes suprisingly humorous!, 30 July 2000
By A Customer
FINALLY! An enjoyable, easy-to-read inside look at the REAL HAMC. I found this to be one of the most intriguing, honest "no-holds-barred" books I have read in years. I found it almost impossible to put down, full of both surprises and affirmations, scattered with suspense and humor. I would love Sonny to sit down with the Zimmermans and do at least a few more!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, 8 July 2014
By 
John W (Shropshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hell's Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club (Paperback)
I bought this a couple years ago and didn't get round to reading it till just now - I didn't expect it to be very good. But it is, what can I say? Lots of fascinating detail and comes across with an authentic voice. A good (and less sensational) counterpart to Hunter S Thompson's book.

The descriptions of the code of living, and internal organisation of the Hell's Angels was very believable and reminded me a lot of a high-sec pvp corp I was involved with in Eve Online some time ago...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 3 July 2014
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