Gonzo journalist and literary roustabout Hunter S. Thompson flies with the angelsâHellâs Angels, that isâin this short work of nonfiction.
âCalifornia, Labor Day weekend . . . early, with ocean fog still in the streets, outlaw motorcyclists wearing chains, shades and greasy Levis roll out from damp garages, all-night diners and cast-off one-night pads in Frisco, Hollywood, Berdoo and East Oakland, heading for the Monterey peninsula, north of Big Sur. . . The Menace is loose again.â
Thus begins Hunter S. Thompsonâs vivid account of his experiences with Californiaâs most notorious motorcycle gang, the Hellâs Angels. In the mid-1960s, Thompson spent almost two years living with the controversial Angels, cycling up and down the coast, reveling in the anarchic spirit of their clan, and, as befits their name, raising hell. His book successfully captures a singular moment in American history, when the biker lifestyle was first defined, and when such countercultural movements were electrifying and horrifying America. Thompson, the creator of Gonzo journalism, writes with his usual bravado, energy, and brutal honesty, and with a nuanced and incisive eye; as The New Yorker pointed out, âFor all its uninhibited and sardonic humor, Thompsonâs book is a thoughtful piece of work.â As illuminating now as when originally published in 1967, Hellâs Angels is a gripping portrait, and the best account we have of the truth behind an American legend.