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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 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real to life Billy the Kid! Superb!!, 23 Aug 2001
An outstanding insight into the real Hells Angels through the eyes of the man himself Sonny Barger.A thoroughly enjoyable book with no bars held. As it was and as it is, straight to the point.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Setting the Pace, 13 May 2004
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing read., 17 Feb 2005
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DRG (Rotterdam Netherlands) - See all my reviews
a really good read well written too I just kept on turning the pages, I've always had an intrest in the HAMC but never thought anything I read about them was a totally honest or unprejudice view from the author.
Sonny Barger finally sheds some light on the subject and for the first time I believe what is written on the HA because it's done by one the ex-President no less. who is surprisingly quick witted and intelligent I might add. I can't wait for his next book "Dead in 5 heartbeats" which I'm ordering here right now.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, 8 July 2014
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John W (Shropshire) - See all my reviews
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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5.0 out of 5 stars inside the angles, 7 Jun 2014
This book kept me reading it want be every ones taste but if you are a biker its a brillant read worth a look.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Hells Angels, 27 May 2014
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V American - assumes an understanding of American geography and culture which UK person might not have (incl me) - bought it purely for interest value - unheard of opportunity to learn about a culture which is alien to me. Not particularly well written sometimes, talks a lot of technical stuff about motorbikes which I can't understand - would probably not recommend it as a purchase yet interesting for those like me with enquiring mind....glad I've read it anyway.....Squirrel 59 - Tues 27.5.14
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