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Vagos, Mongols, and Outlaws: My Infiltration of America's Deadliest Biker Gangs

3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  377 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
History Channel miniseries!

The gripping account from an ex-con who went undercover to help the ATF infiltrate three of America's most violent biker gangs

Despite lacking any experience with motorcycle gangs, Charles Falco infiltrated three of America's deadliest biker gangs: the Vagos, Mongols, and Outlaws. In separate investigations that spanned years and coasts, Falco ris
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 272 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Apr 26, 2015 Harris rated it it was ok
This was something of a mixed bag. On the one hand, I'm fascinated by outlaw MCs and I love reading about them - especially with the contrast between the reality of the gangs versus the decidedly romanticized life of the Sons of Anarchy and the hyped-up versions from movies.

On the other hand, this was written really badly. It feels like an "and then..." story, with no real organization or arc. Every event just happens, without much of an impact. It doesn't help that Charles seems to elide over
Jan 25, 2013 Cheryl rated it really liked it
I have recently found myself gravitating more towards non fiction novels. Thus the reason that I picked up this book to read it. In addition, that I like to read about subject matters that sound appealing to me, true crimes, and events that I am not familiar with.

First off let me just comment and state that the things that Mr. Falco went through while undercover in these bike gangs is wicked crazy. I can not imagine how desperate you have to be to volunteer to do this type of job. Someone who d
Mar 16, 2013 Randy rated it liked it
this book really lost momentum in the middle. the first 50 pages were great and i was stoked, but it became just very repetitive and not all that interesting. 2.5 stars.
Feb 26, 2013 Jim rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, crime
A decent, though possibly self-serving, account of an informant who penetrated motorcycle gangs. Although the story was fine, it really lacked in detail it seemed. Of course, people who can do this are a special breed, especially cops and federal agents, who risk not only their lives but often their families as well. With all the paranoia that bikers exhibit, it is amazing not more of these guys/gals aren't revealed. I wondered why more screening and attention was made to catching individuals th ...more
Apr 23, 2015 Chris rated it liked it
Once again I enjoyed the TV version of this story a lot better.
Jul 03, 2016 Aaron rated it liked it
My mother moved to California in the early 80's to be near her boyfriend's federal prison after a well publicized trail billed as Kansas City's largest cocaine bust. She soon moved in with another drug dealer from Boyle Heights in East Los Angeles. If I learned anything from these gentlemen whom I actually found to be wonderful human beings was that never, under any circumstances does one snitch to local or federal law enforcement. In fact the former did his time in lieu of being killed later on ...more
Angee Sluder
Sep 27, 2016 Angee Sluder rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 19, 2014 Dawn rated it really liked it
I didn't realize, until I read this book, that members of the Vagos MC work as extras on the TV show "Sons of Anarchy." This book is far more realistic than the books written by Sonny Barger.
Mar 12, 2013 Pamela rated it liked it
This is a gritty read and not for the faint of heart. Any woman that believes that outlaw motorcycle clubs are like those portrayed by romance writers should read this for a reality check.
Aug 02, 2015 Joe rated it liked it
This book describes the author's time in a few biker gangs, working as an informant for the authorities. Some of the stories of the biker's activities was interesting, but didn't seem all that different from the popular conception of what bikers do -- if anything, the unexpected part of the story for me was the pettiness and stupidity of their actions.

I think I would have enjoyed reading more about biker gangs in general. The drama of the author's time in the gangs was blunted by the very fact t
Sep 14, 2014 Bryan rated it liked it
A decent read, but not anything super extraordinary. I have read better books on biker gangs, but I think it had to do with the fact that much of the undercover agent's recounting of events were heresay from other bikers or just ordinary fights, some of which were deadly or could have been deadly, but there was no firsthand accounts of extremely violent and tragic murders and death. Sort of run of the mill events played out while this undercover agent infiltrated the Vagos, Mongols, and Outlaws. ...more
Mar 12, 2014 Nicky rated it did not like it
I finally had to put this book down. I love true crime books, and realize that many of the autobiographical ones are self serving, but between this book's disjointed and chaotic writing style, shallow views, and the author's attempt to portray himself as a good guy among people he finds disgusting (not just the bikers; prison guards and police are often portrayed the same way), I found it hard to believe.
Maybe it gets better, but several chapters in left me questioning how much of this true stor
Oct 27, 2015 Ru rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Vagos, Mongols, and Outlaws" is the often nerve-wracking undercover mission with Charles Falco, an informant tasked with infiltrating some of the most dangerous motorcycle clubs in America. The tension is constant as Falco must commit fully to being a prospect in hopes of rising in the ranks of the Vagos, at first, knowing his real identity could be discovered at any time. All the while, there is a morality tale at play: how far is Falco willing to go when it comes to illegal acts, not the leas ...more
In this memoir Charles Falco repeatedly compares himself to a soldier returning from war, a retired police officer, a celebrity.. comparisons so undeserving I found myself having to laugh through my quesiness. Mr. Falco seems to be under the impression that he is God's gift to mankind. I, on the other hand, have finished this book with an entirely different opinion. As inclined as Falco is to believe he is the good guy, I happen to know that in reality this manchild is a busted drug manufacturer ...more
Allison Floyd
I mainly read this because I am partial to Hunter Thompson's Hell's Angels.

This is not on a level with that, but I wasn't expecting it to be. It's a fast, engaging read that rings truer when dude is less concerned with portraying himself as a do-gooder and more in touch with his adrenaline addiction and resistance to the mundane. This, in fact, is the most compelling aspect of this book. Apparently motorcycle outlaws are not modern day pirates, just tedious, racist, misogynistic (probably goes
Jun 24, 2015 Sam rated it liked it
A fascinating read. The writing was a little clunky in places, but I really liked the descriptions of being in solitary confinement in prison. The accounts of his time in the Outlaws was particularly gripping, but I would have appreciated a little more comparison to how it differed in intensity as compared to his time with the Vagos.
Aleksandr Jackson
May 26, 2015 Aleksandr Jackson rated it liked it
I read this book straight through the other morning. Every bar fight, every meth house, every puddle of're right there in the action as you ride along with the author, an informant. Reading this made me thankful for my normal, boring life.
Stewart Cotterill
Mar 09, 2016 Stewart Cotterill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book which strips away the Hollywood sheen of shows such as Sons of Anarchy and covers the reality. The drug addictions, the degradation of women, the unrelenting and mindless violence. A well put together and interesting book.
Apr 09, 2015 pattypitt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read

The writer made this a very suspenseful book. I really enjoyed the photos at the end. You could put a name with a face. I would recommend if you like true crime stories.
Daniel Andrews
Oct 13, 2015 Daniel Andrews rated it liked it
I don't trust this guy. His writing makes me wonder if he's being completely honest about being a good guy through-and-through and not idolizing the underground biker lifestyle..

A scary addiction on an non-conventional vice.
Diane Gartner
Sep 12, 2015 Diane Gartner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing true story

I found this book to be an interesting and truthful look into the world of organized motorcycle gang crime. It's a must read
An OK book about a confidential informant who goes undercover,, first with the Vagos in California and then after being relocated to the East Coast in witness protection going undercover with the Outlaws in Virginia.
Lesli Kraft
Sep 29, 2013 Lesli Kraft rated it did not like it
Shelves: finished
I came into this book expecting a look into the world of motorcycle gangs. What I got was a bitter taste for these types of people. I hated this book but forced myself to finish it with hopes it would improve. People need to be warned about the graphic and disturbing images this book will paint. While I did expect the graphic portion I didn't expect to be left with such a felling of disappointment as I see a motorcycle gang riding down the road. This is probably an unfair stereotype of people. T ...more
Sam Belsterling
Jul 15, 2015 Sam Belsterling rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
I'm a sucker for anything on a subset culture, so this book was right up my alley. It starts out a little frantic and jumbled, but then develops a nice pace for the second two thirds. The stories are gripping and terrifying; I just wish they would've fleshed things out more. I really feel like this book could have benefited from another 50-100 pages. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in peering into the world of OMGs
Mar 19, 2013 Sue rated it liked it
I was interested in this book but it took me a while to get through. I think one reason is because it is disturbing and violent. Another is because I couldn't keep up with the names of the bikers. There was little definitive description of any of them. I don't usually read books like this and, as I said, it was an interesting look into the deadly biker gang mentality. If you like true, gritty crime this might be the book for you.
Alayna Winter
Oct 17, 2014 Alayna Winter rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this reading this book and getting some insight into the very secretive and violent world of some biker gangs.
Jun 28, 2015 Christy rated it really liked it
This was rough at times to read....the details of the coldness/ruthlessness/drug induced frenzies of some of the gang members.
Jul 26, 2013 Ricci rated it it was amazing
This book was really good. I really gave an insight of what goes on in the biker lifestyle, which is crazy. I don't want to give any spoilers but I kind of got the feeling that the guy that wrote this was holding out a little. Either way a good read!
Sep 28, 2012 Brent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent piece of true crime non-fiction about an informant who worked to bring down outlaw motorcycle gangs. Surprisingly well-written and detailed, it gives an insider perspective on the "biker culture" and real-world "Sons of Anarchy".
Troy Mason
Jul 26, 2013 Troy Mason rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book. It's amazing to me that one guy could get inside three of the biggest MCs in the country, but apparently he is a glutton for punishment. I liked the book. There's not a lot of new information in it, but it is well written.
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“with his paperwork in order, he could now turn to more pressing issues: killing Hells Angels.” 0 likes
“With all the talk of war and hunting, death by bike was the biggest threat to the Outlaws, to any motorcycle club. The highway stretched before me, dark and inviting. And I let her go one more time.” 0 likes
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