Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Angels of Death by Marsden & Sher

The Hell's Angels leader, Sonny Barger, is toasted as an American legend, and the bikers work hard to promote their folk-hero image. But the facts tell another story. The Hell's Angels are America's major crime export. Their membership has spread to 25 countries including the UK, Australia and Holland, where they have inspired a violent subculture of biker gangs who traffick drugs and suppress any attempt to stop them. Angels of Death opens at the darkest moment of the Hell's Angels story, with the beheading of a woman at a chapter meeting.

It tells the true story of the bikers, their crime empire and the attempt of the police to stop them - with only a few successes. With eyewitness accounts from police officers who have infiltrated the gangs and gang members who have turned informers, and undercover interviews with the bikers themselves, this is a chilling insight into the world's fastest growing crime empire. It also includes exclusive material from the leaders of the Hells Angels - Sonny Barger and George Christie - who have agreed to be interviewed for the book.

Well Varen and I both read this book ... well let's be honest, only I finished it. And that's just because no matter how bad a book is, I can't not finish it - I'm the same with movies. I envy those people who have the gumption to get up and walk out midway. I can never be certain that it won't get any better, so I stay. Oddly enough, the owner of the book (Bug - Lady brought it to book club for us to read), raced thru it and declared it un-put-downable. Curious what piques different people's interest!

This book was interesting, but dragged ... a lot. And as Varen said, kept re-telling pretty much the same story just changing the characters and countries. It's interesting to have read since I've never put much thought into "biker gangs" nor have I ever thought of them as a mafia-type organisation. And even tho the South African Hells Angels get a mention here and there, I still can't quite picture them ... clearly they are not in my sphere of focus. I mean you see bikers riding about on Sundays, but I would never say "Oh, there go the Hells Angels".

This book also highlighted for me that I just don't get gang-culture. It makes no sense to me, but then again I've never been a very peer-influenced type of girl. Still, if bikers are your thing, then you should probably give this a read :)

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