Emma speaks well and overall, is succinct in her synopsis. This is an important skill and she still needs some work in this area. We will continue to practice throughout the year.
Hunter S Thompson travels with the Hell’s Angels throughout California. He wanted to report on the sensationalism and bias in the media that were representing the gang as ruthless rednecks who abuse their wives – all of which was true.
The typical gang member was not well-educated and got connected with the gang through a peer. What the author discovered was that most of the individual gang members wanted to gain some recognition. For most criminals, recognition is a bad thing, but for this gang, it is what they wanted and were easily arrested by the police. They also showed little remorse for their victims. Emma believes that this all relates back to a lack of education and empathy.
Emma felt that the purpose of the book was for the author to get a good story and do effective journalism; he wanted to expose the Hell’s Angel’s culture without a bias and just report what he saw to raise awareness.
Emma was interested to learn about the Angels so she could try to understand their motives: what they do, why they exist, etc. Some wanted to attack people to gain attention, for others it was a social circle.
We discussed the dangers of gathering this information for Thompson. The Hell’s Angles behavior were largely unpredictable: are they going to put a gun to my head? He put his work before his life, which he seems to have done throughout his career.
Emma learned that getting a good education and being a productive member of society are critical factors to leading a good life – stay away from bad people.
As for the writing itself, there were no chapters. It was like one giant article. Emma found it difficult to read at first as she has never read anything like it before, but after awhile, she enjoyed the style. She feels that it was well written and smart, appealing to an intelligent reader. It opened her mind to a different style of writing.
She feels he was successful in bringing these issues to light. Some people believed that they were not that bad; personal opinions range. Again, Hunter provided a non-biased view and left it up to the readers to make their own choices.
She enjoyed it. Emma did not know about the subject and learned a lot. She likes to read non-fiction. It is more appealing to her as it is something that is real. Emma would like to know more stories of what happened and their personal views from both the victims and individual gang members.
This book also enlightened her on a different kind of gang. She has been looking at cartels and organized crime. This gave her a different perspective and more knowledge on the subject.