Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, Oregon

Palahniuk, Chuck

Published by Crown Publishers, 2003
ISBN 10: 1400047838 / ISBN 13: 9781400047833
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Very sweet copy in likle d/j and signed by Palahniuk on half-title page. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: Want to know where Chuck Palahniuk’s tonsils currently reside?

Been looking for a naked mannequin to hide in your kitchen cabinets?

Curious about Chuck’s debut in an MTV music video?

What goes on at the Scum Center?

How do you get to the Apocalypse Café?

In the closest thing he may ever write to an autobiography, Chuck Palahniuk provides answers to all these questions and more as he takes you through the streets, sewers, and local haunts of Portland, Oregon. According to Katherine Dunn, author of the cult classic Geek Love, Portland is the home of America’s “fugitives and refugees.” Get to know these folks, the “most cracked of the crackpots,” as Palahniuk calls them, and come along with him on an adventure through the parts of Portland you might not otherwise believe actually exist. No other travel guide will give you this kind of access to “a little history, a little legend, and a lot of friendly, sincere, fascinating people who maybe should’ve kept their mouths shut.”

Here are strange personal museums, weird annual events, and ghost stories. Tour the tunnels under downtown Portland. Visit swingers’ sex clubs, gay and straight. See Frances Gabe’s famous 1940s Self-Cleaning House. Look into strange local customs like the I-Tit-a-Rod Race and the Santa Rampage. Learn how to talk like a local in a quick vocabulary lesson. Get to know, I mean really get to know, the animals at the Portland zoo.

Oh, the list goes on and on.

Review: It's rare to find a travel guide and a memoir joined neatly together in a single, highly readable 176-page volume. But Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club, Choke, Lullaby) is a writer of rare talent and his home of Portland, Oregon, is a city of rare wonders. In Strangers and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, Oregon, Palahniuk goes beyond the AAA handbooks to reveal the places, people, and legends of Portland that have long been known only to locals. The reader learns the location of the legendary Self Cleaning House, where to find the restless ghost of the founder of Powell's Books, and why feral cats are such an important part of Portland baseball. Portland, it seems, is also a highly sexual city and Palahniuk dutifully dissects the specialties of each strip joint as well as discussing Mochika, a zoo penguin with a real fetish for black boots. Along the way, he includes "postcards" from his life in the Rose City dating back to 1981 when, as a 19-year-old, he dropped acid and accidentally ate part of a woman's fur coat during a laser show of Pink Floyd's The Wall. As Palahniuk matures, the postcards reveal the author becoming increasingly a part of the city's scene, culminating with a wild and wooly Millennium Eve celebration at the Bagdad Theater that featured a screening of the film version of Fight Club. Fugitives and Refugees is a must for anyone who may, in their lives, go to Portland. But its appeal should reach beyond Oregonians. Palahniuk's love of the city is so great, and his stories so weirdly wonderful, it makes one want to get out of the house, get in the car, and drive to Portland right away. Just remember to pack the book. --John Moe

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, ...
Publisher: Crown Publishers
Publication Date: 2003
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Fine
Edition: First Edition

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