Down to This

Down to This

Squalor and Splendour in A Big-city Shantytown

Book - 2004
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For some young men, climbing Everest or sailing solo into polar seas isn't the biggest risk in the world. Instead it is venturing alone into the deepest urban jungle, where human nature is the dangerous, incomprehensible and sometimes wildly uplifting force that tests not only your ability to survive but also your own humanity. One cold November day, Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall heads out on just such a quest. He packs up a new tent, some clothes, his notebooks and a pen and goes to live in Tent City, twenty-seven lawless acres where the largest hobo town on the continent squats in the scandalized shadow of Canada's largest city. The rules he sets for himself are simple: no access to money, family or friends, except what he can find from that day on. He'll do whatever people in Tent City do to get by, be whatever bum, wino, beggar, hustler, criminal, junkie or con man he chooses to be on any given day. When he arrives, he finds a dump full of the castaways of the last millennium, human and otherwise. On the edge of the world, yet somehow smack in the middle of it all, fugitives, drug addicts, prostitutes, dealers and ex-cons have created an anarchic society, where the rules are made up nightly and your life depends on knowing them. Not only does Bishop-Stall manage to survive until the bulldozers come, but against all odds his own heart and spirit slowly mend. An astonishing account of birth, suicide, brawls, binges, tears, crazed laughter, good and bad intentions, fiendish charity and the sudden eloquence and generosity of broken souls,Down to Thisis Bishop-Stall's iridescent love song to a lost city like no other.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Randon House Canada, c2004.
ISBN: 9780679312277
Branch Call Number: 362.509713541 Bis
Characteristics: 475 pages : illustrations, maps.


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WVMLStaffPicks Oct 26, 2014

At once appalling and uplifting, this is the true story of Bishop-Stall’s time living in a “tent city” right in the middle of downtown Toronto. It’s an anarchic group of fugitives, drug addicts, prostitutes, dealers and ex-cons who have created their own society where your life can depend on knowing the rules. As he makes his own place in their midst, Bishop-Stall finds his heart and spirit slowly mending.

Mar 27, 2011

Young man lives for nearly a year in Toronto's Tent City; a story of fights, drug abuse, conflicts, and friends in a place that was controversial in its very existence.

The author creates his home out of trash that is everywhere around him in this place and survives.

Also check out the book "The Moneyless Man", where a man tries to live without a job, support of friends, the use of money in any way, and try to survive for a year.

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