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No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels (Anglais) Broché – 2 février 2010

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"Compulsively page-turning. The true story of Jay Dobyns, all-American dad and undercover cop running and gunning with the most dangerous outlaws in the USA. A high-velocity trip into a frightening American underworld told in rapid-fire, hard-boiled prose." 
—Evan Wright, author of the national bestseller Generation Kill

No Angel pushes narrative nonfiction to new limits…If you wondered whether the bravura writing of Truman Capote and Hunter S. Thompson has a legacy, look no further. Dobyns leads us into the wacky, white world of the Hell's Angels, and with empathy and precision forces us to admit that bikers are all-too human.”
—Sudhir Venkatesh, author of Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets

“Jay Dobyns is a hero.  Out of a sense of duty, he closed his eyes and made a journey into Hell.  For two years he walked through the valley of the shadow of death, but thankfully, he lived to tell this riveting story.  Highly recommended!”
 —William “Billy” Queen, Special Agent ATF, Ret. and New York Times bestselling author of Under and Alone

“A wild ride to the dark side. Jay Dobyns roars through the gritty underworld of organized crime that you never see in TV cop shows or read in the newspaper. He reveals the true, violent face of outlaw bikers — but also the tortured souls of the undercover cops who dare to infiltrate them.”
—Julian Sher, co-author Angels of Death: Inside the Bikers’ Global Crime Empire

"No Angel is an absolutely amazing account of one man's willingness to go above and beyond.  Jay Dobyns, his team and those like them live life on the edge in an environment most can only imagine.  This book provides a rare opportunity to share in the intensity, feel the adrenaline rush, smell the fear, and admire true courage and dedication.”
—Michael Durant, author of the New York Times bestseller In theCompany of Heroes

Unprecedented and unputdownable…Most people reading this book would assume that it must be a novel since no human being could possibly be involved in so much action. However, this is the true story of a very special covert ATF agent who over decades immersed himself in the most violent and criminal culture known to law enforcement. Even as a former US Army Special Forces Operator and Police SWAT team leader, I found myself in awe of his death-defying exploits.”
—Dr.Richard Carmona, 17th Surgeon General of the United States

“Ask yourself this question: would you put your life on the line for a cause? Jay Dobyns did. This book lets you experience some of the most dangerous activities of the best known biker gang in the world. Jay Dobyns brought honor to the ATF and is a true American hero.”
—T.J. Leyden, author of Skinhead Confessions

Présentation de l'éditeur

Here, from Jay Dobyns, the first federal agent to infiltrate the inner circle of the outlaw Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, is the inside story of the twenty-one-month operation that almost cost him his family, his sanity, and his life.

Getting shot in the chest as a rookie agent, bartering for machine guns, throttling down the highway at 100 mph, and responding to a full-scale, bloody riot between the Hells Angels and their rivals, the Mongols–these are just a few of the high-adrenaline experiences Dobyns recounts in this action-packed, hard-to-imagine-but-true story.

Dobyns leaves no stone of his harrowing journey unturned. At runs and clubhouses, between rides and riots, Dobyns befriends bad-ass bikers, meth-fueled “old ladies,” gun fetishists, psycho-killer ex-cons, and even some of the “Filthy Few”–the elite of the Hells Angels who’ve committed extreme violence on behalf of their club. Eventually, at parties staged behind heavily armed security, he meets legendary club members such as Chuck Zito, Johnny Angel, and the godfather of all bikers, Ralph “Sonny” Barger. To blend in with them, he gets full-arm ink; to win their respect, he vows to prove himself a stone-cold killer.

Hardest of all is leading a double life, which has him torn between his devotion to his wife and children, and his pledge to become the first federal agent ever to be “fully patched” into the Angels’ near-impregnable ranks. His act is so convincing that he comes within a hairsbreadth of losing himself. Eventually, he realizes that just as he’s been infiltrating the Hells Angels, they’ ve been infiltrating him. And just as they’re not all bad, he’s not all good.

Reminiscent of Donnie Brasco’s uncovering of the true Mafia, this is an eye-opening portrait of the world of bikers–the most in-depth since Hunter Thompson’s seminal work–one that fully describes the seductive lure criminal camaraderie has for men who would otherwise be powerless outsiders. Here is all the nihilism, hate, and intimidation, but also the freedom–and, yes, brotherhood–of the only truly American form of organized crime.

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 352 pages
  • Editeur : Broadway Books; Édition : 1 Reprint (2 février 2010)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0307405869
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307405869
  • Dimensions du produit: 13,1 x 1,9 x 20,3 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 46.927 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
*** Commentaire en français sur la version anglaise ***
*** pour ceux qui souhaiteraient lire l'original... ***

Je commente en français, bien qu'ayant lu cette VO. Et je pense avoir fait le bon choix si j'en crois les critiques laissée sur la VF... Dans cette version, pas de lourdeur d'écriture comme relevé dans la VF, le style est au contraire très fluide et sans redondance. Je me suis même demandée si l'auteur avait écrit seul (comme quoi, on a des préjugés ; "un flic, écrire de cette façon ?"). Je n'ai pas la réponse, mais finalement peu importe.

Je me suis laissée porter par l'histoire qui peu sembler banale de cette infiltration dans le milieu des Hells Angels (et pas Hell's Angels, comme l'explique l'auteur au détour d'un paragraphe !). Banale car on a un peu de mal à saisir l'enjeu au départ : les Hells semble un club certes un peu fermé et secret, mais dont l'implication criminelle n'apparait pas très forte (un peu de drogue, de troubles à l'ordre public... pas de quoi fouetter un chat). Mais petit à petit, au fur et à mesure que les portes s'ouvrent sur les premiers cercles, ce sont homicides et véritable réseaux mafieux qui se laissent deviner.

L'auteur ne cache pas non plus que cette infiltration a eu un impact sur sa vie familiale, mais que la sympathie qu'il peut éprouver individuellement pour des gens qu'il côtoie presque 100% de son temps pendant les longs mois de cette mission, ne lui fait pas perdre de vue son objectif.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 268 commentaires
51 internautes sur 57 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Not the Definitive Case History, but Still a Darn-Good Tale 1 mars 2009
Par Wayne Beckham - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I remember thinking, years ago, when I first heard about this case, "Man, that'd make a heck of a good book!" And it did.

I'm not going to rehash the plot line, several of the other reviews have covered that nicely. What I will say is that the book holds your attention through every page, only slowing down as you realize that the case is coming to an end. I read the whole thing during one Saturday spent waiting for my daughter to finish her dance lessons - it is that interesting a book.

What always amazes me in these true stories (I'm in the middle of reading William Queen's Under and Alone) is how these hyper-paranoid outlaws are repeatedly infiltrated by guys who, essentially, just show up and hang around. If I were looking to setup an OMC (outlaw motorcycle club) I'd have a hard-rule: you must commit a serious felony in our presence - one arranged by the club. They'd still get infiltrated, it'd just be a little harder.

And another point it's not always clear to me is what exactly the 81's are doing that amounts to serious big time crime. I understand that they're violent, use drugs, work hard at being social outcasts, etc., but in this story, most of the crimes depicted amount to selling one or two guns at a time, some drugs and random acts of violence. After having read of the massive and profitable drug operations mounted by the Hells Angels' Canadian chapters I'd expected some of that here.

This is not the complete story of this interesting case: It's Jay Dobyns' story and the other case agents, his family, and ATF supervisors are less real that Jay Bird and his Red & White targets. There are some serious tales to be told by people in this book who make appearances and fade away, props used as set decoration where Jay is definitely the star.

Jay Dobyns is a fascinating guy. In the media blitz surrounding the release of this book, I've listened to hours of interviews on podcasts and late night talk radio and he's interesting and very articulate. Given that the book is about a third profanity (okay, I'm exaggerating) I hadn't expected that. He's also incredibly patient. I was listening to one pod-cast interview where the interviewer was slow, rambling, interrupted and generally irritated the heck out of me. Dobyns answered with patience and serious consideration to even the weirdest utterances by the host. Personally, I wanted to check the guy's pupils.

In the book, Jay is brutally honest particularly about himself and his failures to his family and friends. As I read it there were parts where I wondered if he understood that his wife might also read this book! He must have at some point, because his interaction with his undercover "girlfriend", Jenna "JJ" Maguire, is glossed over to the point of almost non-existence.

It's in those interviews that you get to hear about the aftermath of Operation Black Biscuit and I urge Dobyns to write the other half of the story: the prosecution that fell apart and, more ominously, the ongoing threats to him and his family. In August 2008 his house burned to the ground and his wife and children barely escaped with their lives.

The story of the ATF infiltration into the most famous of the self-described Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs deserves a wider and more documentary accounting, something along the lines of Lou Cannon's Official Negligence, everything you ever wanted to know about the Rodney King incident and it's aftermath. I'm left wondering what happened to JJ? As a woman agent in the middle of the male-dominated Hells Angels, her side of the story would be something worth reading.

So, this is a great, though incomplete, telling of Operation Black Biscuit. I hope some enterprising journalist find the time and support to put together what the late Paul Harvey called, "the rest of the story."
44 internautes sur 53 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Raw, Real and Riveting Memoir 22 février 2009
Par Michelaneous by Michele - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Captivating from the first page, NO ANGEL thrusts the reader into the inner world of the outlaw motorcycle gang, the Hells Angels. This is the story of an obsessed man, who with the all-or-nothing mentality in his makeup becomes the first undercover law enforcement agent to penetrate this notorious group.

The story is conveyed with brutal honesty. Jay Dobyns, using the alias "Bird" relies not only on his memories of the two year ATF case known as "Black Biscuit," but also on surveillance tapes and transcripts. They help provide detailed dialog between the operatives and their suspects. He puts you in the dark rooms, smoke-filled clubhouses, beer-soaked bars and inky tattoo parlors as you witness his transformation from a sandy-haired football star and all-American dad to a scary looking dude with a braided goatee. He becomes Bird.

He also becomes a patched Hells Angel, sacrificing everything dear to him in the process: his family, his friends, and nearly his soul. In a moment, however, just before the case shuts down, he experiences a revelation. It's not merely about the good and evil among the Hells Angels or in himself, it was the basic understanding this "brotherhood" was "nothing more than a support group for misunderstood loners held together by hate and money." Immersed in this HATE for so long, he ultimately casts it aside for everything he LOVES, and expresses this personal epiphany with tremendous humility. In spite of a disappointing outcome for Black Biscuit and his exposure as an undercover agent, this makes Jay a hero, and makes NO ANGEL a story worth reading.

There are many characters on both sides of the law and a slew of unfamiliar terminology and acronyms, but photos, glossaries maps and lists are provided to guide the reader. Very well done.

Michele Cozzens is the author of Irish Twins
19 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Accurate portrayal of a colossal waste of tax dollars 7 avril 2009
Par Thomas A. Staudacher - Publié sur
Format: Relié
This is a good book written from the first person perspective of undercover ATF Agent Jay Dobyns. The operation "Black Biscuit" was a lengthy and vastly expensive attempt to infiltrate the Hells Angels in Arizona. The operation was a success from the operative's perspective, but in reality it was a huge waste of tax dollars, which became evident when the case fell apart during prosecution. The most interesting aspect of the book was the internal struggle within Dobyn's life as he tries to balance his undercover role with that of a career law enforcement officer and family man. Dobyns also struggles with the fact that he identifies with and truly likes many of the Hells Angels he is targeting and deceiving everyday. Dobyns does not try to paint himself as a hero and admits to many mistakes, which gives the book credibility.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Not the best , but not bad 30 mai 2009
Par Bingaman - Publié sur
Format: Relié
The book paints a very different picture than the documentary about the same investigation. The documentary interviewed the bikers and naturally their views and memories were different than Dobyns. The documnetary states that the huge investigation netted little in the way of convictins and prison time, something the book seems to gloss over.

Its obvious Dobyns has a very high confidence level, which is required in undercover work. Its also obvious he liked the biker lifestyle more than his real life. I think the writing leaves a lot to be desired, many parts read like a cheap detective novel in particular when the author(s) are describing what someone ate and the manner in which they did so.

On the positive side, its an interesting subject. An entertainnig an quick read. I would have like more details about the Laughlin bloodbath since Dobyns and other people in the book were there. I thought Under and Alone was a far better book though.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A quick and easy read 27 mars 2014
Par Mayhem - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This was an enjoyable read. Having met a Hells Angel and spending a bit of time with him, I was fully aware of how scary these guys are. At times this book paints them as "not too bright" but my experience is much different. These are very smart people indeed.

It's an easy and entertaining read. I do wish there were more pictures of the people that they reference throughout because the ones pictured in the middle of the book helped with the mental picture of the relationships they had.
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