Mitch’s present is blurred by alcohol and the indignities of the street. His past is lost among the nooks, alleys and bottles that are his home. When the mission that has been his mainstay is slated for demolition, Mitch must make his way over to a new shelter.
As he drifts across the city, he passes in and out of company and trouble, embarking on a collision course with his past. Some of the people he encounters shy away; others help and even provide a measure of love. Yet others see in this confused and powerless man someone to use for their own ends. Muddles in thought, and beyond care and even continence, Mitch nevertheless retains a certain dignity in his quest for a drink, a place to stay, a history – and ultimately in his search for redemption.
Provocative and at times hilarious, Crosstown is an engaging progress along the contemporary urban streetscape. It embraces the vagaries of fate, the barriers of respectability, the quirks of human nature, and the unreliable twist of conscience and memory.
“A twisted odyssey through the shards of a man’s life, Crosstown is by turns disturbing, hilarious and touching.”
- Paul Quarrington
"Exciting... Crosstown signals the entry of another significant new voice in the new wave of Canadian fiction."
- Matt Cohen, Toronto Star
"Scrimger [has] a clear eye, an original voice, and tight, punchy Hemingway-esque sentences, as well as a quirky, ironic humour."
- The Globe and Mail
“Crosstown’s sad sack hero, Mitchell, drinks not to forget but to remember, and the apparently haphazard behaviors of Mitchell’s grey cells leads to ingenious plotting. Besides writing some truly heartbreaking scenes, Scrimger finds laughs in the most implausible locations.”
- Jason Anderson, Eye Magazine
"A remarkable debut. . . Readers of Crosstown aren't likely to forget Mitchell. Nor are they likely to forget Richard Scrimger, who has launched his career with a very poignant and promising novel."
- Star Phoenix, Saskatoon