on October 6, 2004
This is a factual account of the recent development and evolution of biker gangs -- specifically, the Hells Angels -- in Canada. Well-written and brilliantly researched, the authors do an excellent job of providing details about the Hells' infiltration of ports in Halifax, Montreal, and Vancouver, their domination of the illicit drug and porn industries, and their expanding business empire. Sher and Marsden also examine the war between the Hells Angels and Rock Machine, focusing not only on the exchanges of bombs and bullets, but also on police, government, and public reactions to the war. Although not nearly as cynical as Yves Lavigne (author of a number of books on the Hells Angels), Sher and Marsden are justly critical of the authorities -- specifically as regards the inability of various police forces to get along and work together in the fight against organized crime, as well as the mismanagement of the ports police, who for years had argued in favour of a more pro-active approach against the Hells Angels and their associates in their (successful) efforts to control Canada's major ports.
Perhaps the most intriguing story, however, was that of Dany Kane, who led a double life as a Hells Angel associate and member of their puppet club, the Rockers, and as an RCMP source. For years, Kane provided investigators with information about Hells Angels activities while at the same time committing crimes for his biker "friends" -- including murder. Eventually, such work would take its toll and Kane committed suicide, but not before providing RCMP investigators with enough information to plan a full-scale assault on the Hells Angels in Quebec. His work led to charges against a number of the highest-ranking Angels in Quebec, including the Nomads chapter.
I have probably already said too much, and saying more would only detract from what is surely the best book I have ever had the pleasure of reading. So I leave you with this: Past, present, and future, Sher and Marsden provide the reader with important and frightening details about the world's most notorious biker gang, and do so in a format both easy to read, and easy to digest and understand.
on October 7, 2007
After reading for the longest time about the 1 percenter of the 60's, 70's and even 70's, this book is a shock, and eye opener.
Ontario had 170 hells angels 'over night' through acquisition !!.
It is business, and it is sadly the worst blow to all of us out there who were not too big of a fan of the 'man' and always liked their freedom.
Canadian Hells are probably bad not only for the country but even for outlaw bikers, they take the honor out of it sadly :(.
The book is a bit loose but due to the nature of the coverage and it is a great must read if you want to understand how it works.
Read it with 'The Rebels' of Daniel R. Wolf and you will realize how much has changed between the 80's and now, probably Daniel Wolf friends will be ashamed of the new breed.
Again.. good book, scary cops, even more scary hells.
on July 22, 2007
This book provides an excellent overall history of the Hell's Angels in Canada. The authors cover the phases of growth of the gang throughout the different provinces. Sher & Marsden maintain a professional, journalistic tone throughout, as opposed to the stream of vulgar anecdotes of Yves Lavigne. If you read just one book about the rise in prominence of the the Hell's Angels in Canada, read this one.
on August 14, 2009
This book is not for the faint of heart. Julian Sher and Marsden do an excellent job of detailing the rise of Biker Gangs in Canada's underworld, who the major players are (or were in the case of a few notable Quebec Nomad members), who their main rivals are around the country and what the RCMP have done to combat their influence. A much better read than some of Yves Lavigne's works. If you want to understand how Biker Gangs operate in our fair country, this is the book to start with.