God Forgives Outlaws
by Mark Barrile
PageTurner Press and Media

"Being an Outlaw meant to me and is supposed to mean to others the same thing: Brotherhood."

An Outlaw with faith in God is a strange mixture for someone living the patched lifestyle. But Barrile, a former chaplain, recounts his time as an Outlaw, leaning on the church while maneuvering the edges of lawlessness. He recalls the years traversing across Australia and Europe, joining associated Outlaw motorcycle clubs in search of connection, camaraderie, and brotherhood. One goal in writing this book is to disprove Daniel Wolf’s The Rebels, an instruction manual for motorcycle club wannabes, which presents a methodology Barrile finds unsound. His response is this unflinching examination of motorcycle club membership, drawing upon his own storied experiences.

Though the author presents a vivid insider’s look at the sometimes secretive goings on of these clubs, replete with heavy partying and drugs, he really captures the love and freedom of the ride, relishing the exhilaration of this nomadic reality and the liberation of the open roads. But there are caveats, like the precarious balance of loyalty between friends, unpredictable violence among enemies, politics of hierarchies and fierce territoriality, and conflicting beliefs in spirituality. Barrile also candidly shares a revelatory medical condition that shapes his way forward.

Overall, there is sort of a non-linear quality to Barrile’s narrative, which, while not altogether displeasing, makes it difficult sometimes to follow the timeline. Despite this, Barrile writes in a gruff, no-nonsense tone that’s emblematic of an Outlaw existence, using Australian slang that is unusual and colorful. The narrative pulls readers in, hypnotizing them with something a bit mystical as well as surprising and thrilling. It will be difficult not to compare Barrile’s book to the popular TV shows Sons of Anarchy and Mayans, M.C., which have inspired a fascination with the drama and survival among motorcycle clubs. But Barrile offers a more authentic depiction, looking back on his Outlaw days with a fondness that will never leave him.

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