Donna's Reviews > Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga

Hell's Angels by Hunter S. Thompson
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's review
Oct 07, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction, history, biography-memoir, library

This was a quick read about a group that everyone has heard of but not many people seem to know much about. Thompson spent a year or so hanging out with the Hell's Angels, so the book includes a lot of his first-hand experiences. He also wrote about both the public perception of the Hell's Angels in the mid-60s and about how they viewed themselves.

It includes a lot of facts and stories, but they aren't overly sensationalized or romanticized. One of my favorite aspects was Thompson's criticism of the press-fueled hysteria surrounding the gang. He never tries to suggest that the Hell's Angels aren't dangerous, there's a constant undercurrent of menace during most of his interactions with them. But he does successfully make the point that reports of their activities were often exaggerated, so the attention they began to get was entirely out of proportion to their numbers and activities.

This was an interesting angle both in itself and because it kept bringing to mind similar, more recent instances of media overreaction.
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