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am 3. September 2014
Thompson got the idea to write about the Hell's Angels from Carey McWilliams of The Nation, the book became a turning point in his career and catapulted him to an icon of the counterculture. Researching the cycle boys had inherent dangers because Thompson wanted to submerge himself in the action, trying to understand the gang's perspective of live - if they had one. As they normally steered way clear of the media, he was lucky to meet police reporter Birney Jarvis of the San Francisco Chronicle who introduced Thompson to the biker gang. As Jarvis was also an ex-vice president and lifetime member of the Hell's Angels, this was a golden contact. The story began for Thompson in a San Francisco dive, but from there it became unpredictable and he personally spiraled into the growing violence - until he pushed his luck too far. The book is flush with exciting tales and full-size characters, some of them unbelievable in a novel of the 1960s (first published 1966). The book is action-packed right to the end when the Angels meet the resistence of hired private gunmen, country toughs, a giddy chamber of commerce capacity crowd of bystanders, vigilantes, and fired-up cops.

Thompson not only goes behind the scenes when the outlaw cycle boys roll in hordes to their annual 4th of July outing, but back through the drama when the danger was born and presents a picture of menace, terror, depraved hoodlums roaming the California highways on stripped down Harley-Davidsons. They were far from teenagers of the homey urban gang, but adults and could strike anywhere in the state, and most remarkably: they didn't fear the police. For almost a year, he accompanied the Angels and held his ground, drinking at their bars, exchanging home visits, recording their brutalities, viewing their sexual caprices and became generally converted to their motorcycle mystique. He was so intrigued, that he feared to becoming slowly absorbed by the cycle boys however that feeling ended when a group of Angels knocked him to the ground and stomped him.

How could it happen that a gang of local motorcyclists developed into a national threat, with storm warnings going up all across the country at the mere rumor of their approach? Thompson comes to the conclusion, which is an interesting sociological comment, that much is based on the puculiar propaganda powers of the press. He is supporting his experience with official reports, newspaper articles, eyewitness accounts and comes to the disturbing conclusion that almost everything printed about the Angels is pure fiction: born of a national rape mania, the rumble take-over of a small town story-hungry editors pushed the Angels to a pinnacle of nation-wide attention and public protest.

As Thompson points out in his dissection of fact vs. fiction, the reports were misleading or as he puts it "incredible swill." And he launches a beautiful attack on the "New York Press Establishment" i.e., Time, Newsweek and The New York Times. The phenomenal aspect of this press was that the Angels started believing the image. They trekked to the movies to see themselves portrayed on film by Marlon Brando and Lee Marvin in The Wild Ones. They got dirtier, tougher, meaner and for a while even had a public relations man to promote their madness into some sizable cash. What Mr. Thompson tries to say is that the Angels, while not angels, are not as bad as believed. They are "mutants," a bit more misfit but actually not too dissimilar from the local fraternity on rampage. Regardless, they have the sort of repellent fascination that may find a large readership.

This book is - even more so today - a broad comment on the modern tendency to combine violence and sensationalism to achieve higher profits in the media. It is also one of the first examples of an imbedded writer-in-residence, that became famous under the label "gonzo" journalism. Thompson had his story pat when it mattered and perfected it. Following the success of Hells Angels, Thompson was a hot item and very much in demand a number of well-known magazines, including The New York Times Magazine, Esquire and the like. During the late 1960s and early 70s, Thompson also delivered in-depth reporting about the hippies of San Francisco, despising a culture that tended to forget the political beliefs of the New Left and the artistic core of the Beats. Instead they began to settle down as new agers oozing a more relaxed state of mind. After all Richard Nixon was officially ex-president not a crook and the frantic evacuation of Saigon was superimposed by the threat of killer bees.
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am 3. September 2014
Thompson got the idea to write about the Hell's Angels from Carey McWilliams of The Nation, the book became a turning point in his career and catapulted him to an icon of the counterculture. Researching the cycle boys had inherent dangers because Thompson wanted to submerge himself in the action, trying to understand the gang's perspective of live - if they had one. As they normally steered way clear of the media, he was lucky to meet police reporter Birney Jarvis of the San Francisco Chronicle who introduced Thompson to the biker gang. As Jarvis was also an ex-vice president and lifetime member of the Hell's Angels, this was a golden contact. The story began for Thompson in a San Francisco dive, but from there it became unpredictable and he personally spiraled into the growing violence - until he pushed his luck too far. The book is flush with exciting tales and full-size characters, some of them unbelievable in a novel of the 1960s (first published 1966). The book is action-packed right to the end when the Angels meet the resistence of hired private gunmen, country toughs, a giddy chamber of commerce capacity crowd of bystanders, vigilantes, and fired-up cops.

Thompson not only goes behind the scenes when the outlaw cycle boys roll in hordes to their annual 4th of July outing, but back through the drama when the danger was born and presents a picture of menace, terror, depraved hoodlums roaming the California highways on stripped down Harley-Davidsons. They were far from teenagers of the homey urban gang, but adults and could strike anywhere in the state, and most remarkably: they didn't fear the police. For almost a year, he accompanied the Angels and held his ground, drinking at their bars, exchanging home visits, recording their brutalities, viewing their sexual caprices and became generally converted to their motorcycle mystique. He was so intrigued, that he feared to becoming slowly absorbed by the cycle boys however that feeling ended when a group of Angels knocked him to the ground and stomped him.

How could it happen that a gang of local motorcyclists developed into a national threat, with storm warnings going up all across the country at the mere rumor of their approach? Thompson comes to the conclusion, which is an interesting sociological comment, that much is based on the puculiar propaganda powers of the press. He is supporting his experience with official reports, newspaper articles, eyewitness accounts and comes to the disturbing conclusion that almost everything printed about the Angels is pure fiction: born of a national rape mania, the rumble take-over of a small town story-hungry editors pushed the Angels to a pinnacle of nation-wide attention and public protest.

As Thompson points out in his dissection of fact vs. fiction, the reports were misleading or as he puts it "incredible swill." And he launches a beautiful attack on the "New York Press Establishment" i.e., Time, Newsweek and The New York Times. The phenomenal aspect of this press was that the Angels started believing the image. They trekked to the movies to see themselves portrayed on film by Marlon Brando and Lee Marvin in The Wild Ones. They got dirtier, tougher, meaner and for a while even had a public relations man to promote their madness into some sizable cash. What Mr. Thompson tries to say is that the Angels, while not angels, are not as bad as believed. They are "mutants," a bit more misfit but actually not too dissimilar from the local fraternity on rampage. Regardless, they have the sort of repellent fascination that may find a large readership.

This book is - even more so today - a broad comment on the modern tendency to combine violence and sensationalism to achieve higher profits in the media. It is also one of the first examples of an imbedded writer-in-residence, that became famous under the label "gonzo" journalism. Thompson had his story pat when it mattered and perfected it. Following the success of Hells Angels, Thompson was a hot item and very much in demand a number of well-known magazines, including The New York Times Magazine, Esquire and the like. During the late 1960s and early 70s, Thompson also delivered in-depth reporting about the hippies of San Francisco, despising a culture that tended to forget the political beliefs of the New Left and the artistic core of the Beats. Instead they began to settle down as new agers oozing a more relaxed state of mind. After all Richard Nixon was officially ex-president not a crook and the frantic evacuation of Saigon was superimposed by the threat of killer bees.
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am 23. Oktober 2001
Dieses buch gehört wahrscheinlich zu den besten Büchern die Thompson geschrieben hat.Ich finde es sehr gut wie Thompson seine persönlichen Erfahrungen mit offiziellen Mitteilungen über die Hells Angels vermischt.Es ist ihm eine sehr objektive Darstellung der Hells Angels gelungen.Außerdem finden sich dort noch einige interssante Informationen über andere Gangs .Dieses Buch ist ein guter Gegensatz zu Sonny Bargers Buch welches subjektiv geschrieben ist und sich nur bedingt empfehlen läßt.Jeder der mehr aus der Anfangszeit jener Motorradgang lesen will sollte sich dieses Buch zulegen.Schade nur das es noch nicht in deutscher Sprache erschienen ist
0Kommentar| 16 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 31. Juli 2011
I knew Hunter Thompson mainly from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and I was actually expecting to be disappointed from this book, as I have no interest in motorcycles or motorcycle gangs. So the main reason I decided to read it is because it is one of Thompson's first works. I have to say I was surprised, it 's so well written and Thompson's point of view on everything is so original, you can't help but be sucked into the hell's angels world after the first 50 pages. Also it s quite an easy read for non native english speakers, also a plus.
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am 26. April 2000
There isn't much here to learn about the Hell's Angels if you're already familiar with them. If you're not familiar with them, and you want to learn about them, just about any other Hell's Angels book will tell you as much. The difference is in the storyteller. Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. Usually when you read or hear something like this, you're told by some raving pompous reporter, reminiscent of Robert Downey Jr.'s character in Natural Born Killers who tries to hit hard and scare you. Thompson plays it cool with his usual wit and insight. That's what makes this book worth a read. Thompson understood the Hell's Angels. He road with them, made friends. From Thompson, you always read the truth in its truest form you can read. What he found through his adventures with them made for what was indeed a strange and terrible saga.
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am 17. Mai 1999
The book Hell's Angels, by Hunter S. Thompson, is one of the best books I have read all year. The one thing that effected my liking to this book was not the description, it was not the plot, and it was not the excessive sex, drugs and alcohol. It was the fact that Hunter Thompson was living with the actual Hell's Angels for almost two years, for the sake of journalism. Hunter Thompson is by far no saint (as you might know if you read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), but some of the things that were done in the time period that Thompson was living with them were down right sinister. Behind all the rape and the pillaging and the absolute destruction of human beings were the Neanderthals, that would strike fear in the heart of any decent, hard working American. The book goes into great detail about the ways that the press can manipulate a story, and the way that can mislead the reader, and the results of this. The worst thing about this is that a lot of the Angels had things happen to them that they were completely innocent of, but just the mere fact that they were Hell's Angels made them the enemy. In no way am I condoning any of the actions that some of the Angels partook in, but there is a large difference between committing the crime, and being friends with the people that committed the crime. I recommend this book to anyone who has ever wondered what lies on the dark side of society, and to any one with a strong stomach. Thompson is an excellent writer and does go into (sometimes obscenely excessive) detail.
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am 2. Juli 1997
Roll up your sleeves boys and girls, if you read Hell's Angels the Doctor is going to inject you with a dosage of Outlaw Reality and Hog Rage as it were. The Hell's Angels are the last vestiges of the American Outlaw, 1%'s they're called, outside the outside, committed to a life of Freedom, punctuated by violence, booze, barbituates, indiscriminate sex and of course cruising the Amercian Wastelands on their Great Metallic Steeds, stripped down Harley Davidson's known affectionately as Hogs.
Hunter S. is in his own right a one percenter. This book shows the Dr. of Gonzo's journalistic zeal, as he braves the world of the Angels, driving not a Hog as he should but a Dark Shadow. This is only too perfect as Hunter is the dark specter following the dastardly deeds of these bastard bikers. This book displays Hunter's ballsy journalism, as well as allowing him to focus on a central theme that would go on to pervade his other works: the outlaw and his importance to American society, a society that is dredged to the hilt with phonies, gutless wonders, souless greedmongers, hypocrites, cowards, politicians and other scum, capitalisitc, bureacratic, pig-like and otherwise. Hell's Angels is the journalistic calm that precedes the storm of hallucinagenic brilliance that was Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. So one way or the other let the Doctor of Gonzo vaccinate your mind from the mindless surge that makes up the money grubbing, TV watching majority of this Great Country of Ours
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am 1. Februar 1999
This book, which is a fine read, seems to not quite follow the trend of dialogue style of the more recent Thompson books. It is much more of a documentary then a commentary. Hunter blazes off in a convertible following the ruthless swine who were the California Hell's Angels. The book documents a year that took place in the mid-sixties. Hunter tries his hardest to paint the Angels as innocent of various charges such as murder, kidnapping, and rape; he admits of course that they were there, but things usually just got out of hand, naturally. He became close friiends with a few and truely felt that there was an appeal of belonging to the tight nit group, that had more order to it than it was actually given credit for. This was the first point in his life that Hunter habitually used hard drugs, and I have to say that, personally, I think this was the adnventure that twisted our beloved Dr. Gonzo. The adventure comes to a sudden end as Hunter gets stomped senseless by a couple of Angels he didn't know to well. The moral of the story? The edge is out there, and no one strives to discover it more than the Hell's Angels, except maybe Hunter S. Thompson.
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am 23. März 1997
I'm always surprised when fans of the great Doctor tell me they haven't read Hell's Angels. Sure, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is probably his most humorous work, and some say it is the most profound. Fair enough. But Hell's Angels has much more substance, and it has a sort of historical significance about it for Thompson fans. It is the story not only of the famous biker gang, but, on a less obvious level, the events that shaped the character of Hunter S. Thompson and made him a true master of modern literature. It also shows what a gutsy journalist can do (and become) when he throws himself into a story. I've been a journalist going on 12 years now, and I blame Thompson for my sorry fate. Reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas when I was a high school senior led me to this "low trade," as the good Doctor would put it, but reading "Hell's Angels" several years ago reminded me why I chose this field and gave me the guts to stick with it, despite having to work for a wimpy newspaper publisher who eventually fired me for stirring up too much trouble with businesses owned or controlled by his millionaire friends. Thanks, Hunter. You bastard
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am 28. Mai 2000
I just gave this another read after having first read it in the seventies. It lacks Hunter's usual wit but offers a clear picture of those tumultuos times. This book was written before the fiasco at Altamont.
Hunter takes us on a journey through his year long affiliation with the Angel's originally intended to get their side of the story. We see the human side of one of the most infamous and misunderstood groups of the era.
This book held a few surprises for me such as the internal conflagrations between the Angel's chapters from Frisco, Berdoo, Oakland, et al. The book also describes the "love-hate" relationship between the Angel's and law enforcement, the Angel's and the peace-niks, the Angel's and the Beatniks and the Angel's and the Merry Pranksters.
Hunter doesn't sugar-coat his experiences. In fact this work has an anti-Angel's sentiment for the most part. Perhaps because he winds up on the wrong end of an Angel's stomp-fest.
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