"California, 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." Thus begins Hunter S. Thompson's vivid account of his experiences with California's most no-torious motorcycle gang, the Hell's Angels. In the mid-1960s, Thompson spent almost two years living with the controversial An-gels, 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, "For all its uninhibited and sardonic humor, Thompson's book is a thoughtful piece of work." As illuminating now as when originally published in 1967, Hell's Angels is a gripping portrait, and the best account we have of the truth behind an American legend.Author Notes
Hunter S. Thompson is a freelance writer from San Francisco, Aspen, and points east. His research on the Hell's Angels involved more than a year of close association with the outlaws-riding, loafing, plotting, and eventually being stomped. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, he began writing as a sports columnist in Florida. He started his first novel while studying at Columbia University in New York City. Since then he has worked on newspapers and magazines in New York, San Juan, and Rio de Janeiro. His articles have appeared in The Reporter, The Nation, Esquire, and Rolling Stone. He is also the author of Better Than Sex.