"California, Labor Day weekend...early, with ocean fog still in the streets, outlaw motorcyclists wearing chains, shades & greasy Levis roll out from damp garages, all-night diners & cast-off one-night pads in Frisco, Hollywood, Berdoo & 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 notorious motorcycle gang, the Hell's Angels.
In the mid-60s, Thompson spent almost two years living with the controversial Angels, cycling up & 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 1st defined, & when such countercultural movements were electrifying & horrifying America. Thompson, the creator of Gonzo journalism, writes with his usual bravado, energy & brutal honesty, & with a nuanced & incisive eye; as The New Yorker pointed out, "For all its uninhibited & sardonic humor, Thompson's book is a thoughtful piece of work." As illuminating now as when originally published in '67, Hell's Angels is a gripping portrait, the best account we have of the truth behind an American legend.