The world of the Hells Angels, the legendary outlaw motorcycle club, is many things. Hyper-masculine. Violent. Uncivilized even. But it sure ain't boring. Its members lead a life that only a few people lead, but many are curious about, a life of “living on the edge”.
One ex-Angel who had his fair share - more than his fair share - of stories is George Christie. A Hells Angels member for 40 years, 35 of those as leader of the Ventura, California chapter, Christie has a gift for storytelling that was evident in his previous book, Exile on Front Street. And I'm pleased to say that he hasn't lost his touch. This time round, he eschews traditional publishing in favor of the independent press, but the writing is as professionally edited as anything on the bestsellers list. His prose is lean and mean, intentionally stripped down and straight to the point. Christie isn't trying to show off and waste time and pages like some other writers out there, and I appreciate the hell out of that. The book spans a lot of ground, from peace talks with the Outlaws, to the Nordic Wars fought between the Hells Angels and Bandidos, to Christie's battles with law enforcement and his time behind bars. As someone relatively new to the outlaw culture, I didn't find my lack of expertise to get in the way of my enjoyment. To say too much about the book would ruin the experience, but let's just say there are some stories in here that won't fade from my memory any time soon.
My only criticism is that the book seemed tantalizingly short; however, when did anything truly good not leave you wanting more? A tightly-packed collection of visceral tales, Outlaw goes down like a double shot of flaming blue vodka. Bring on the next round.