Out just in time for vacation season is a 300-page paperback tour manual called "Unauthorized America: A Travel Guide to the Places the Chamber of Commerce Won't Tell You About" (Harper & Row/Perennial Library, $9.95). Author Vince Staten has turned up real locations of things you thought existed only in the pages of the supermarket tabloids -- more than 500 in all. Not only that, he gives directions on how to get there.
Among the landmarks that can be tracked down are the house where Marilyn Monroe died and the hotel rooms where she and President Kennedy pursued a liaison; the hospital where President Reagan's would-be assassin, John Hinckley, is incarcerated; Charles Manson's boyhood home in Ashland, Ky.; the place on the California highway where James Dean died; the spot where Cleveland's Cuyahoga River caught fire; Vice President Quayle's college fraternity house, and the town in Georgia that Kim Basinger bought.
The truly diligent can retrace the places around Kalamazoo, Mich., where the late Elvis Presley reportedly was sighted, then journey south to Jasonville, Ind., to shake hands with Bruce Borders, the only mayor in America who is an Elvis impersonator. Only two of the unauthorized sites listed are in Western New York -- the prison home of John Lennon's killer, Mark David Chapman (Attica Correctional Facility), and the internationally infamous Love Canal.