From the father of 'gonzo journalism', Hunter S. Thompson's research for Hell's Angels involved more than a year of close association with the outlaws who burned a path through 1960s America, resulting in a masterpiece of underground reportage published in Penguin Modern Classics.
'A phalanx of motorcycles cam roaring over the hill from the west ... the noise was like a landslide, or a wing of bombers passing over. Even knowing the Angels I couldn't quite handle what I was seeing.'
Huge bikes, filthy denim and an aura of barely contained violence; the Hell's Angels could paralyse whole towns with fear. But how much of that reputation was myth and how much was brutal reality? Only one man could discover the truth about these latter-day barbarians; Hunter S. Thompson, Dr Gonzo himself, the man who saw the fear and loathing at the heart of the American dream. Determined to discover the truth behind the terrifying reputation of these marauding biker gangs, Thompson spent a year on the road with the Angels, documenting his hair-raising experiences with Charger Charley, Big Frank, Little Jesus and the Gimp. Hell's Angels is the hair-raising result: a free-wheeling, impressionistic counter-culture classic that made Hunter S. Thompson's name as the wild man of American writing.
Hunter S. Thompson (1937 - 2005) began writing as a sports columnist in Florida. He has worked on newspapers and magazines, becoming South American correspondent for the National Observer. His novels include: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, 1972 and The Great Shark Hunt.
If you enjoyed Hell's Angels, you might like William S. Burroughs' Junky, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.
'Excellent documentary non-fiction'
'There are only two adjectives writers care about any more - "brilliant" and "outrageous" - and Hunter has a freehold on both of them'