We gave it an A
After reading this mash note from the cult ”Fight Club” author to Portland, Ore., you may consider moving there. Palahniuk seductively explores the ”Shanghai tunnels” running through downtown, roams the labyrinthine 3.5-acre mausoleum used as the setting of the author’s second novel, ”Survivor,” and attends the Santa Rampage — a ”red tide” of faux Clauses who toy with local cops every December. Fugitives and Refugees, part of Crown’s series of travel books by noted writers, doesn’t pinpoint Portland’s four-star restaurants or trendy boutiques. No, this anti-Frommer’s guide highlights an eatery that used to be a ”link in the chain of Ginger’s Sexy Saunas” and a shop that sells surplus medical supplies (the perfect souvenir for a ”Fight Club” fan). By the time Palahniuk engages in lengthy descriptions of zoo animals — ”look for Sweet Tillie, a baby swamp monkey” — and a museum of stationary engines, it’s hard to tell whether he is short on material or expanding the boundary of the freak universe. Either way, this street atlas of the weird makes for an intoxicating trip to a place you never knew you wanted to visit.