|One in the Crown
Author: Chuck Palahniuk
- 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
In the closest thing he may ever
write to an autobiography, 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.
From Publishers Weekly
Beginning with the premise that "everyone looking to make a new life
migrates west," Palahniuk (Fight Club; Lullaby) portrays Portland
as a city that attracts a sort of modern-day pioneering-or at least innovative-spirit.
And because it's the cheapest West Coast city in which to live, Portland
also draws its share of down-and-outs, making it a bit rough around the
Written as much for first-time visitors
as for those who already share Palahniuk's
passion for the city, this book is
a mixture of practical travel guide
and personal vignettes featuring quirky
acquaintances and moments of happenstance.
In keeping with the Crown Journeys
series' tone, this is at once a reflection
of the writer and of a particular
community. Would every other novelist
have devoted one of the longer chapters
to the city's thriving sex industry
and the many places visitors can partake?
Palahniuk's fondness for his not-so-sleepy
hamlet comes through in each gritty
detail (for example, the recommended
shopping excursions list includes
the best thrift stores, and suggestions
for accommodations emphasize haunted
hotels). Certain details will tempt
as many readers as they'll deter:
the semiannual Apocalypse Caf‚,
where guests pretend to celebrate "the
first potluck after a nuclear holocaust";
the world's largest hairball, on display
at Mount Angel Abbey and Seminary;
the 1940s self-cleaning house; and
historic underground tunnel tours.
Among the filth and grime, abundant
gardens grow, and Palahniuk hypes
them all-from the country's largest
forested municipal park to Mill End
Park, "the size of a big dinner
plate... surrounded by six lanes of
heavy traffic." Map.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.