Associated Press (Associated Press)
Arsenal Pulp's Unknown City books take you to places where Fodor's editors dare not go. With its offbeat, often scandalous history, San Francisco seems a prime candidate for the series. San Francisco: The Unknown City doesn't disappoint. Insiders Helene Goupil and Josh Krist escort readers on tours of the city's hidden nooks and dark crannies. Gangland massacres, multilevel sex clubs, even active opium dens and (blush) private karaoke rooms! Along the way, the good-natured coauthors offer tips on secret dining pleasures and bargain shopping secrets.
Editors, Barnes & Noble (Barnes & Noble)
One guidebook is never enough for a single trip. Frommer's is great for pre-departure planning. Some swear by Lonely Planet or Let's Go to help them find accommodation as they travel. But LP's forte is nuts-and-bolts information, not embellishment, so it makes pretty dry beach reading. Vancouver's own Arsenal Pulp Press fills this void with its Unknown City series. The books don't advise on where to stay, how to get around, or list the top sightseeing spots. Rather, they act like a friend who lives in the city you're visiting. They tell you the really juicy stuff.
The Georgia Straight (Carolyn Ali Georgia Straight)
The Unknown City series of alternative guides provides a fine focus on San Francisco, the hotbed of alternative culture in the 1960s, and identifies neighbourhoods and places which reflect the city's hidden history and cultures. From the gay mecca Castro Street to offbeat museums, the scene of a duel camping in the city, unique studios and performing arts venues, and more, it's fairly certain much of the attractions listed in San Francisco: The Unknown City won't be listed in your standard travel guide.
Midwest Book Review (Midwest Book Review)