New York : Richard Marek, 1978. First edition. Hardcover. 288 pages ; 21 cm. $8.95 dust jacket. Very good copy; no underlines or markings within the pages. Satisfaction guaranteed!
WAYWARD ANGEL BY GEORGE WETHERN AND VINCENT COLNETT
The Hell's Angels. The very name conjures up images: of toughs on motorcycles terrorizing communities; of wild brawls and wilder sex; of drugs, of cruelty, of beatings, even of murder. Their lifestyle, we think, is horrifying, but it is also in a perverse way attractive (for there is freedom here, and nihilism). Still, nobody knows what it is really like to be an Angel except an Angel—an Angel like George Wethern, for many years vice-president of the Oakland chapter.
Wethern was the quintessential Angel, tough as they come, one of the most important drug dealers on the West Coast, a man who loved fights, and women, and drugs; a man who was privy to some of the deepest secrets of Angel life.
Arrested, strung out on drugs, in despair, he testified in some of the major trials against Angel members and then went into hiding.
A Wayward Angel is without question the most profound look we have into one of the most notorious gangs this country has ever spawned. We learn of killings, of drug dealings grossing millions of dollars, of "picnics" that are nothing short of orgies of sex and drugs, of the inner codes and inner workings of the club (the description of the initiation rites, for example, is amazing). Much of the material has never been revealed before, and surely no such complete history is likely ever again to be written.
This is a powerful book, not for the squeamish. But it is fascinating and important, terrifying and real.
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