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Riding on the Edge: A Motorcycle Outlaw's Tale

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  146 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Ride with author John Hall into the turbulent world of 1960s bike club culture, from the time he joined an upstart motorcycle club from Dixie, and rose to become Long Island chapter president of the Pagans, a club that the FBI called "the most violent criminal organization in America." Follow him into the Pagan heartland of Pennsylvania where he fell in love, got in a road ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 12th 2008 by Motorbooks (first published January 1st 2008)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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Dec 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Riding on the Edge should be considered a must read for any would be adventurer on two wheels. John Hall is a clearly intelligent, street-wise individual with an above-average personal history into a dynamic and complex piece of American sub-culture and counter-culture. It was not the violence, drunks, boozing, fast bikes, or fast women which remained with me - it was the deliberate injecting of mythology of Old World romanticism which rings truer to anyone who has experienced such a lifestyle. ...more
Bridget Hall
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
BEST BOOK EVER! Sure, my dad wrote it, so I'm a little biased. But seriously, bikers, history, and a love story. What more could you ask for?
Michael Conrad
Jun 09, 2012 rated it liked it
This was a really good read and I enjoyed it. I've actually read it through a few times now. The reason I have rated it so low is there are many questions of the validity of the stories. Many former and current Pagans from Long Island and New York have been on record as not knowing who the author is/was and have said some of his stories on how some members died, or what happened, were not accurate. I have no way of knowing if this is true or not. So I would recommend this book to anyone who love ...more
L.V. Sage
May 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite biker-related books. Hall was a member of the Pagans MC during the 1960's, when the clubs were more into riding, drinking, fighting & getting laid. This account is honest, interesting, respectful & even romantic. A nice picture of a time gone by. I highly recommend this book! ...more
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gangs
Outlaws of a Different Era ..., October 22, 2010

There are several books available that detail the more sinister side of outlaw motorcycle clubs, but John Hall's story is not one of them. Rather than portraying a criminal history of the Pagans Motorcycle Club, "Riding on the Edge" reads more like a recollection of a roaming band of gypsies' grand adventure with a Jack Karouac or Charles Bukowski edge. While it does delve into some criminal activity, the tale parallels more with the rebellious nat
Tom Mueller
Mar 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mc, non-fiction, bio
Author John Hall takes the reader on a ride of the 1%er life in the 1960s. He was Pagans MC Chapter President of the Long Island Chapter for a good part of that decade. John is now a Penn State professor of English. Those he rode with and loved formed the crew that forged the lasting Outlaw Legend that lives on.
To say more, I would end up using trite clichés that, having lived the life, can't impart what the author does. Read the inside flap of the book for those. For any who lived the life - or
Iain Parke
Oct 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: biker-books
One from the opposite side of the country from most of the 60s books which tend to focus on the West Coast/HAMC, this claims to be autobiography of a Pagan chapter president in the early days of the club in the late sixties. Very much a tale of a young gang of toughs hanging out, drinking, riding and getting into fights.

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Dec 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Excellent book telling the story of the early days in the New York Pagan's MC. Well written and a good story. If you like Biker books you'll like this one. It starts a little slow in the first few pages, but sucks you in pretty quickly after that.
Jun 02, 2009 rated it liked it
I thought the book could have been so much more, especially since the author is now an English professor. It just seemed to be an endless listing of events and it did draw me in. I know the author and was surprised to learn of some of the things that went on.
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